Why is Israeli government teetering on brink of collapse?

 Why is Israeli government teetering on brink of collapse?

Resignation of Ghaida Rinawie Zoabi of the Bennett and Lapid-led coalition has brought the Israeli cabinet closer to collapse. Resignation of Zoabi, of Meretz party, comes less than two months after Idit Silman, of Yamina party, left the coalition, leading to fall in the number of the seats held by the coalition to 59 of a total of 120 seats and making it a minority in the parliament.

AhlulBayt News Agency (ABNA): Resignation of Ghaida Rinawie Zoabi of the Bennett and Lapid-led coalition has brought the Israeli cabinet closer to collapse. Resignation of Zoabi, of Meretz party, comes less than two months after Idit Silman, of Yamina party, left the coalition, leading to fall in the number of the seats held by the coalition to 59 of a total of 120 seats and making it a minority in the parliament. 

This is in the context of four rounds of elections held between 2020 and 2021, the last of which was in March 2021. During these four elections, the lack of consensus among the political factions to form a coalition with each other led to the failure to form a government and thus holding early elections. As a result of the Lapid-Bennett coalition, a new government was formed in June 2021, but the regime's cabinet looks set to fall on the eve of its one-year anniversary. All these developments have left the Israeli politics facing a big crisis and reports suggest that the Knesset plans to vote on its dissolution on May 25. 

Failure of "change" government and resinking in crisis 

In analysis of closeness of Bennett cabinet's collapse, it is important to know that the decline of Lapid-Bennett alliance was largely predictable. Basically, the new government was formed without any political or ideological unity, and the only link between the parties in the coalition was opposition to the premiership of Benjamin Netanyahu. 

The "change" government consists of Neftali Bennett-led Yamina, Yair Lapid-led Yash Atid, Benny Gantz-led Blue and White, Avigdor Lieberman-led Yisrael Beiteinu, Merav Michaeli-led Labor Party, Nitzan Horowitz-led Meretz party, and Mansour Mahmoud-led United Arab List. The coalition of these parties seems to have been based more on the insistence on removing Netanyahu from power than on a solid and real basis. In fact, the coalition was formed not on the basis of a common ideology and agreement on policies, but solely on the basis of hostility and the need for unity to remove Netanyahu from power. 

Even before the Silman and Zoabi's quitting, it was clear to everyone that the ruling coalition in the occupied territories had a fragile majority and there was no confidence in ending its four-year term. In addition to the departure of these two members of the Knesset, there may be more resignations in the near future. Therefore, it can now be said that the cabinet of the Israeli regime is facing a full-blown crisis, perhaps a political vortex. Now the coalition cannot continue its rule, and on the other hand, the Likud party and its allies led by Netanyahu are incapable of forming a government. Such a situation has once again brought back the political crisis, and practically, as in the years after 2020, a large part of the energy of the politicians is spent on political disputes at home. 

How are small parties prompting a domino of failures of the government? 

One of the most important factors in the successive collapses of the Israeli governments is related to the role of small parties in entering into coalitions and the unbridled multi-party system in this regime. The Israeli constitution allows small parties to enter parliament. This is due to the wide gap in the social and political arena, which does not allow the formation of a cohesive government from the coalition of the right or the coalition of the center and left. This gap shows itself in a variety of domestic policy issues, including education, health, economy, and culture. The existence of such a situation can be clearly seen in the coalition cabinet of Netanyahu and Gantz which despite the need for a cabinet during the emergency of coronavirus outbreak, the cabinet did not last long and collapsed after several months of infighting. 

The new coalition cabinet is no exception as the hostility to Netanyahu and not an understanding and united policy brought forth Bennett government. So, with quitting of the small numbers, Bennett’s government is teetering on the brink of collapse. 

Israeli cabinets' arteries under guillotine of Palestinian resistance groups 

In addition to the structural problems of the electoral system in the Israeli regime, the brutal actions of the Israelis in attacking the worshipers in the holy Al-Aqsa Mosque have been an important factor in the Israeli cabinet nearing its fall. This issue is so important that Zoabi cited tough positions and radical actions of the coalition leaders against the Arab community in the Israeli regime and the violent treatment of the Palestinian worshipers by the police forces during the month of Ramadan in Al-Aqsa Mosque as her driver for separation from the coalition. 

On the other hand, even if Zoabi had not resigned, the United Arab List would surely have led to the fall of the cabinet in the near future. Following the continued aggression of Israeli military and extremist settlers on Al-Aqsa Mosque and clashes with Palestinians, on April 18, the United Arab List party had suspended its participation in the regime's cabinet, and it was possible that this bloc would also leave the cabinet in the next few weeks. 

Overall, the coalition government of Bennett and Lapid, like the coalition government of Netanyahu and Gantz, seems to have fallen victim to the repetition of Netanyahu's right-wing policies toward the Palestinians and underestimating the power of Palestinian resistance in the occupied territories. Under Netanyahu, the defeat of the Israeli regime by resistance forces during the 11-day war on Gaza Strip, and to some degree the West Bank, brought Netanyahu closer to the end of his government. During Netanyahu's premiership, Hamas, despite all the existing sanctions and a choking siege, succeeded in acquiring new technology in building missiles, and Israeli army's inability to withstand the attacks of the resistance forces left the whole Israeli political complex and on top of that Netanyahu invalid politically. In the new circumstances, it seems that the brutal Israeli actions in Al-Aqsa Mosque during the holy month of Ramadan will strike the final nail in the coffin of the coalition government of Bennett and Lapid. 

The dark future of politics in Tel Aviv 

The collapse possibility is coming while Bennett was planned to remain in the post to 2025 and then Lapid replace him to 2025. But now the coalition has moved out of the majority and into a minority of 59 seats in the Knesset, triggering a debate about the future political scenarios. 

If Zoabi remains out, Lapid cannot serve his two-year term. 

Moreover, some parties, such as the left-wing Meretz, will be the second victim of Zoabi's resignation, especially since the party has been in the opposition ranks for more than 20 years and has not participated in any of the governments during that time. 

Also, there is a scenario about the opposition coalition, which has 53 seats and is led by Netanyahu, forming a government. Over the past few days, Likud proposed forming a government headed by Knesset speaker Yariv Levin. The party tried to persuade Gantz and leader of New Hope, Gideon Sa'ar, to join in on a coalition cabinet. But with regard to records of differences within the coalitions, such an alliance looks somehow unlikely. So, now an early election and sliding back into a political crisis presents itself like before as a scenario.




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