“Judea is ours”: The political crisis in Israel, lasting for 508 days, is over
The government of national unity of Israel, which administered an oath on May 17, became the thirty-fifth in the history of this country. And this is the fifth government headed by Benjamin Netanyahu. It is officially called the emergency Government of National Unity.
Valery Rubin, Israel
However, after 18 months, as part of the rotation, it could become the first Israeli government led by Beni Ganz. If you are lucky, of course, you never know what events can happen before that time. Ganz is appointed Minister of Defense and Deputy Prime Minister, and he will play the second violin in his office. In addition to him, his so-called narrow security cabinet will include his supporters - the ministers of foreign affairs and justice, respectively Gaby Ashkanazi and Avi Nisankoren.
In his "inaugural" speech, Netanyahu outlined his vision of the political challenges facing the new government. Among the priority ones is the annexation of the historical territories of Judea and Samaria on the West Bank of the Jordan River, where scattered Jewish settlements still lacking official status, whose population has exceeded 400 thousand people. The acquisition of the sovereignty of Israel over them is the plan of annexation.
“The time has come to apply sovereignty to the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria. This will not move the world, it will bring it closer, ”Netanyahu said. Then he continued: “The truth is that everyone knows about it, that hundreds of thousands of settlers living in Judea and Samaria will remain there, no matter what agreement is reached with the Palestinians.” One can agree with this: neither Jews, neither the Palestinians will move anywhere from their native habitable places, they are doomed to live together in this region of the Middle East, but for now - in an atmosphere of ghostly peaceful coexistence.
Netanyahu is an experienced politician, he realizes that the window of opportunity for annexation is open while Donald Trump is the president of the United States. Therefore, he plans to make every effort to advance his agenda (he admits that he has been obsessed with this idea in recent years) in the next few months, before the US presidential election in November. The clock for Netanyahu is ticking. And not only "rotational", until November 17, 2021. Already next week, May 24, he will be called to the Jerusalem District Court, where he will be tried for bribery, loss of public trust and fraud.
You should not expect the imminent ending of this saga, the accusations and the defense will cross the swords - but nobody knows what will follow. One thing is certain: the public status of a long-lived prime minister can be seriously affected. The coalition agreement with Kahol Lavan by Beni Ganz would seem to give Netanyahu a “roof” for a while, but if there is a misfire with the plan of annexation, Netanyahu will become a played-off card for the right-wing religious camp.
Today he is 70. Annexation is his last, vitally important project for him, his legacy. As for Israel, because it will determine the borders of the state for subsequent generations of Israelis. To say that everything is already predetermined would be naive. Powerful forces oppose annexation, including neighbors Egypt and Jordan. King Abdullah, as you know, informed the world that the annexation in the context of the peace plan (Trump and Netanyahu) will lead to a "large-scale conflict." There is something to think about. And the opposition in the Knesset is not asleep. Party leader Yesh Atid, a former Ganza partner, directly tells the newly-minted government and its colleagues: "Today, you take the oath of allegiance to the person who will face trial for bribe next week." Incredible, you say, but such is life.
Be that as it may, the political crisis in Israel, after 508 days, is finally overcome. Does this mean that the two-headed, exorbitantly swollen cabinet (34 ministers for a small country - isn't that a bit much?) Does Netanyahu-Ganza last for a long time? The answer will give only time.