After three elections, 18 months of internal political chaos and three days of late breaking, Israel has a national unity government led by Benjamin Netanyahu. This is the Government with the most portfolios in its history, made up of 36 ministers, to close the longest-lasting political crisis in its history and has a priority on its agenda: to start the annexation of the Jewish settlements in the West Bank and the Jordan Valley. 1st of July. After the slight doubts that could be generated by the non-reference to the annexation by Mike Pompeo during his visit this week, the Prime Minister pointed out that “with all due respect to our American friends, the security of Israel is an exclusively ours issue” and insisted that «the time has come »to implement the Israeli law on the West Bank. According to Netanyahu, “this will not affect the peace because those colonies will be part of Israel in any scenario,” alluding to the settlements that international law considers illegal.
The new government will be rotating and therefore, in addition to Netanyahu, Benny Gantz was also sworn in as Prime Minister, a position he will take on November 21, 2021., according to the pact signed between both leaders. The former army chief will until then be the defense minister and another former army chief, Gabi Ashkenazi, will be in charge of the foreign ministry. Yariv Levin, a person very close to the prime minister, will occupy the presidential office of Parliament and Tzipi Hotovely will be the minister for the Settlements. This appointment was a secret that Netanyahu did not reveal until the last moment.
The distribution of portfolios generated tensions within the Likud and that was the main reason why the formation of the executive had to be delayed from Thursday to Sunday. The new government has representatives from the Blue and White side that remains loyal to Gantz, the ultra-Orthodox Shas and Judaism United Torah parties, Labor, Derech Eretz and Gesher. The far-right Yamina party was left out due to a lack of understanding between Netanyahu and his former Defense Minister Naftali Bennet.
Netanyahu is still in his post as prime minister and in this capacity he will appear before Justice next Sunday, the date set for the start of his trial for three corruption crimes. Gantz was his great adversary in the April and September 2019 and March 2020 elections, when he was at the forefront of the ‘Blue and White’ coalition and his surprise decision to agree to the unity government, under the pretext of facing the coronavirus emergency, blew up this alliance that put Likud on the ropes.
Yair Lapid, former Gantz partner in ‘Blue and White’, spoke harsh words to the new prime ministers of whom ‘I cannot say anything from this podium that is as bad, violent and horrible as what you say to each other, even now, off the mic. ” Lapid called the coronavirus an “excuse” to form “the most corrupt and inflated government in history.”