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Netanyahu’s opponents announce that they have formed a coalition to replace him

(JTA) — Benjamin Netanyahu will no longer be Israel’s prime minister, as his political opponents announced that they have formed a coalition that will replace him.

Netanyahu has led Israel for the past 12 years.

The new coalition, dubbed the “change bloc,” is an ideologically broad alliance that spans the Israeli political right, center and left. For the first time in Israeli history, it will include an Arab-Israeli party as a member. It comprises 61 lawmakers, a bare majority of Israel’s 120-seat parliament, the Knesset.

The coalition was announced Tuesday night by Yair Lapid, head of the centrist Yesh Atid party, with minutes to go before his chance to form a governing coalition expires.

For the first two years-plus of its term, the coalition will be led by Naftali Bennett, head of the right-wing Yamina party. Lapid will take over for the second half of the term.

The coalition includes eight parties in total that differ vastly on their vision for Israel, but agree on the need to end the Netanyahu era and the political crisis that has gripped Israel since 2019. Over the past two years, Israelis have voted in four elections whose results have been mostly inconclusive. Had Lapid failed to announce a coalition, Israel would have almost definitely held a fifth election later this year.

The new Israeli government, most significantly, will be the first one since 2009 not led by Netanyahu, who is the longest-serving prime minister in Israeli history. He was indicted on corruption charges in 2019 and his trial is ongoing, one of the main factors that led former right-wing allies of his, such as Bennett, to join his opponents.

To agree to partner with each other, the incoming coalition’s eight parties had to overcome a range of disagreements over policy and ministerial positions. In addition to Yamina and Yesh Atid, the coalition will include the right-wing parties New Hope and Israel Beiteinu; the centrist Blue and White party; the left-wing Labor and Meretz parties; and the Arab-Israeli Raam party, which is Islamist.

The new government is set to be approved in a Knesset vote sometime before June 14. Negotiations over its particulars may continue until the vote takes place. _ The post Netanyahu’s opponents announce that they have formed a coalition to replace him appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency._


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