Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.
And because lawlessness will abound,
the love of many will grow cold.
But he who endures to the end shall be saved.
Matthew 24:11-13 NKJV
In the last election on March 23, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Likud party won the most seats (30) but together with his right-wing allies, THIS was not enough to form a coalition. Consequently, the mandate to try to form a government went to Lapid.
Yesterday, Lapid announced he had the Knesset’s confidence to swear in a government, thus potentially unseating Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Yamina leader Naftali Bennett agreed to join Lapid and would be the first to serve as Prime Minister in a rotation deal. Ra’am, the kingmaker Arab party, signed on the bloc at the last moment.
Hence, the so-called “change coalition”, which is based on left-wing parties as well as some right-wing factions and lawmakers that parted ways with Netanyahu, have – at least on paper – enough votes in the Knesset to win a plenum vote that would end the premiership of Netanyahu, Israel’s longest-serving Prime Minister of more than 12 consecutive years on top of another three years in the 1990s.
But Netanyahu still has about a week to convince enough MKs (Parliament Members) in the “change coalition” to vote against it, thus preventing a swearing-in. As the saying goes: “it’s not over until it’s over.”
Understanding the New Want-to-be Israeli Government
When the children of Israel left slavery in Egypt to become a nation and enter and possess the Promised Land, they had two types of leaders. There was “prophetically-inspired Moses” who was loving but stern, following God’s lead in what the people of Israel needed and not what they wanted. And there was “Aaron,” A people-pleaser who listened to the desires of the people of Israel and fulfilled them by making the Golden Calf.
Today, Naftali Bennett, the head of Yamina is neither of the above.
Bennett has little public support and no legitimacy to serve as prime minister (he wasn’t voted in by the majority of the people.) In the last election, he got only 7 seats compared to Netanyahu who got 30 seats.
Nonetheless, he has convinced himself that he is a figure of historic Biblical proportions.
Bennett claims that everything he does is for the sake of “My People”. This is the recurring theme of his social media posts and interviews:
“When I see “my people” suffering because of leadership failures, I cannot stand idly by; I love my people; My people are hurt, and I will dedicate my whole life to healing the wound.” These statements are a justification for his lies and betrayal.
According to Bennett, not only is the Likud, under the leadership of PM Netanyahu, the only reason behind all that ails the people of Israel, but everything will be “fixed” only once he becomes PM.
The Yamina leader may soon become a Prime Minister with little public support (as we said, 7 seats he received from mostly right-wing voters). His voters are now remorseful and feel betrayed as they believed his platform of not sitting in government with the anti-Zionist Arab representatives. “His people” – the people of Israel – have become irrelevant and are ignored (the majority of Israelis are right-wing and voted for Netanyahu.)
To form a government, a party leader usually needs the support of a 61-seat majority in the Knesset (Israeli parliament) and a vote of confidence. When no one party has a majority, a coalition is built with smaller parties, sometimes from opposite sides of the spectrum.
Currently, the anti-Netanyahu bloc, composed of small mostly left-wing parties, appears to have the edge. Some small parties were originally right in ideology but are acting like the left, although some right-wing MKs in the bloc may eventually defect back to the right block.
As of now, there is
- Center-left: Yesh Atid with17 seats (its leader Lapid will be next PM in rotation after Bennett,);
- Center-left: Blue-white with 8 seats; Yamina (originally Right) with 7 seats;
- Israel Beiteinu: – lost their Right identity, mainly anti-Bibi – with 7 seats;
- Labor: Left with 7 seats;
- New Hope: – Right in ideology but mainly anti-bibi with 6 seats; and
- Meretz: – Extreme left – with 6 seats.
These parties total 58 seats and they are claiming to be able to form the 61 seat government.
Yet, to pass any legislature, Bennett’s government would need the support of Ra’am, the anti-Zionist, left Arab Muslim party.Read more about Ra’am in this article.
How did these parties ever come together?
The new prospective (“Mish-Mash”) coalition’s diverse members share little in common apart from the desire to end the 12-year run of Netanyahu, Israel’s longest-serving leader of right-wing administrations.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned on Sunday that Yamina leader Naftali Bennett’s decision to partner with the Left to form a so-called “change government” would spell disaster for Israel and was a form of betrayal of the Right.
He addressed Bennett directly: “Naftali, your values are not even light-weight; not a single person would have voted for you had they known what you were planning to do (join the Left and the anti-Zionist Arabs).”
Naphtali Bennett shrewdly hid his true intentions while preparing for this moment when he revealed, by his actions that his party “Yamina” is Yamina In name only (Yamina means “to the right” in Hebrew.) Bennett has abandoned his right-wing ideology and is going to the left instead.
Apart from a handful of Yamina supporters, the vast majority of those who are backing Bennett and his latest moves are supporters of Labor, Meretz, and Yesh Atid. The left-wing parties will be happy to see him as Prime Minister, allowing them to have major offices in the new government, especially Labor and Meretz who hardly passed in the last elections.
On Sunday, for the first time, Bennett ripped off his mask and told everyone the truth, including the journalists and media people who followed him. As of now, it seems that most members of his small party will follow him, unless at the last minute some may have a bit of value or ideology left in them to leave. Here is an account of one of them:
“I did everything I could in recent months so that the Yamina Knesset list would garner a significant number of votes in the elections and Naftali Bennett would be Israel’s Prime Minister. I believed in him, his integrity, and his love for Israel and Zionism, and I supported him with all my might… Yet this is not the path. He said loudly and clearly: “I won’t be Prime Minister with 10 mandates. That [is] not moral, and it’s not democratic” (Amichai Chikli, an MK as part of the Yamina faction.
He is right. The premiership should express massive -+ public support we didn’t earn.
Every decision he makes as Prime Minister will require the de facto approval of the Yesh Atid party (that is on rotation bases co-partner in premiership), a party that is three times as large as Yamina but shares none of its founding principles [platform]- neither questions of the relationship between the legislative and judicial authorities or questions of policy or public security.
There is no real agreement on issues concerning the State of Israel’s DNA either (Zionism). Yesh Atid identifies with President Reuven Rivlin’s talk of a “collection of tribes” and opposes the nation-state law (the State of Israel’s definition of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people). Yamina, on the other hand, supports it, accusing PM Netanyahu of spreading fake news about him, Bennett said:
“Bibi’s spin is an absolute lie. These are my principles for the next government:
- Lapid will not be prime minister. I am a man of the Right, as are a majority of the voters (even though they gave Netanyahu 30 and Lapid 17).
- The next government that will be established will be a right-wing government that cares [about its voters].”
In retrospect, it turns out the spin was Yamina’s (Bennett): allowing, on a rotation basis, Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid will be prime minister (after Bennett’s 2 years), and although a majority of Yamina’s voters are members of the Right, the government that will be a Left, Center-left government, with the addition of a few “fig leaves” from the Right. (Bennett’s Party) Yamina broke a majority of its promises to voters, through the gross violation of the most basic of democratic codes: Tell the truth to voters and make an honest effort to meet your commitments to them.
Now for the significance of the decision to establish a left-wing government – from a societal standpoint, this is in no way a “unity” government, but rather a government that excludes over a million right-wing voters.
Now that Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked (his second in command ) two self-proclaimed “leaders”) who started as ideological Right-wing (hence the name Yamina, “to the right”) defected from their home base to form a leftist government supported by anti-Zionist, pro-Palestinian Arab parties, what could be the national consequences of their move?
The Danger from Outside
The ministers in this new government who support the Biden administration’s Middle East policies will hold an absolute majority.
Iran. The Biden administration’s commitment to returning the US to the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran leads only in one direction. Biden’s Iran policy guarantees that Iran will achieve its goals of developing A nuclear arsenal by 2030, after receiving billions of dollars in cash payments in the form of sanctions relief and new lines of credit. This will aid the Khomeinist regime’s ambition to deepen its control over Yemen, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon, to expand its war against Saudi Arabia while compelling the Gulf States and maybe even Jordan to surrender. After that, it will target Egypt and the Sisi government in order to replace it with Muslim Brotherhood leadership. Unfortunately, unlike the former Trump and Netanyahu governments, the Left-wing west, including the US and the new Israeli government is too naïve to see or understand the above scenario and even support it.
The leftist government that Bennett and Shaked are about to form will not be able to oppose Biden’s policies because most of its cabinet ministers support those policies.
The Abraham Accords. And this spells the demise of the Abraham Accords. The rationale behind those peace deals was faith in Israel’s willingness to confront Iran even in defiance of the US. Once that is gone, the Abraham Accords will not be able to survive.
The Biblical Heartland – Judea and Samaria. As far as the territories in Judea and Samaria, also known as the West Bank, the leftist government that Bennett and Shaked are now forming will allow for the Palestinian Authority’s complete seizure of Area C (area controlled by Israel,) which the Palestinians have undertaken with funding by left-wing international organizations, endangering Israel’s strategic interests and imperiling its communities. Most of the members of a mostly left government will object to any steps to secure Israel’s rights and strategic interests in the territories. Not only are they themselves ideologically committed to undermining Israel’s rights in Judea and Samaria, but they also will never dare to defy the Biden administration, which supports Palestinian control over the area. Israeli PM Netanyahu could have stood against Biden as he stood firm against Obama.
Hamas and Gaza. Under the leftist government, Hamas will rebuild its military capabilities in a matter of months. With the economic and political support from the Biden administration, the EU, and the UN, Hamas will be able to import all the building materials and other products it requires without limitations. Here too, a majority of the cabinet members support the US plan to “rebuild Gaza” for “humanitarian” reasons, unaware of Hamas’ strategy to use these materials to rebuild its underground “Metro” of tunnels to infiltrate Israel to kill Israeli citizens and/or kidnap Israeli soldiers.
The Danger From Within
In the international arena, the establishment of a left-wing government that includes those who side with the International Criminal Court will be yet another blow to the nationalist-conservative parties. We can expect to see victorious rejoicing in [Biden’s] Washington, Ramallah, the Gaza Strip, and above all else, Iran. (They will be happy to see strong right-wing Netanyahu go.)
The new government can be formed only with the support of the anti-Zionist Muslim Arab party Ra’am, which has expressed the desire for Israel to be a nation of all its citizens and not only a state of the Jews. [Please check our blog about the Nation State law in Israel.]
When it comes to the balance of power between the legislative and judicial branches, the State Attorney’s Office and the judicial branch will be handed a victory. The justices of the Supreme Court (mostly left-wing) and attorneys in the Attorney General’s office and state prosecution, WHOSE aim is to have complete power over the Knesset and Government offices, supported by a large majority of ministers in the leftist government now being formed, will be able to exercise unchallenged authority over all aspects of public life. The chance of restoring the powers of Israel’s elected leaders and returning sovereignty to the people will be gone the minute this government is sworn into office.
This is going to be (if it happens AT all) the most radical and weakest government Israel has ever known.
A Little History
In 1990, in rotation with Yitzhak Shamir (right-wing) Shimon Peres (left-wing) secured the signatures of 61 MKs to set up a government with himself as PM. At a celebratory Knesset session, convened to swear in the new government, two members who had promised to back Peres failed to show up. Mr. Peres announced his intention to make peace negotiations with Palestinians his new government’s top priority. The defectors opposed a government that depended on Arab members of parliament for support, and also rejected the return of occupied land in exchange for peace. Peres failed to get the needed 61 MKs to form a coalition, so the Right remained in power for another two years.
We hope and pray that it will happen again, with one difference. Back then, it was Peres and the Left who were subverting the Right. Today, it’s Naftali Bennett, from the Right who is willing to hand over power to the Left.