Longest Serving Benjamin Netanyahu Sworn-in As New PM of Israel
Under the shadow of corruption allegations and political unrest, he lost his position of authority in Israel a year ago. However, Benjamin Netanyahu solidified his return to the position of prime minister, which he has held for the longest of any Israeli leader. Netanyahu and his right-wing allies won a total of 64 of the 120 seats in parliament. He gained 32 seats for his own Likud party, 18 for ultra-Orthodox groups, and 14 for a far-right coalition. On Thursday, interim Prime Minister Yair Lapid, who may have been Netanyahu's fiercest opponent in the election, thanked him and gave his staff the order to plan a smooth transfer of power.
Israel's longest-serving Prime Minister, Mr. Netanyahu, was forced from office last year when Mr. Lapid and other opposition figures put together an ideologically diverse coalition of right-wing, centrist, center-left, and Arab parties. But the Naftali Bennett-led Yamina Party coalition government ultimately disintegrated, forcing the nation into its fifth election since 2019. The time Mr. Netanyahu spent in opposition gave him the chance to strengthen his support within the right-wing religious community as he faces three corruption trials. He denounced the "weak" coalition and vowed to "remake" Israel. The outcomes demonstrated the success of his campaign.
Israel will continue to be secure and affluent under his leadership, at least in the near future. There is no imminent danger to its existence. Iran is busy with its own domestic unrest despite long-standing suspicions that it is attempting to develop a nuclear weapon that would threaten Israel. Israel has stable peace treaties with its two close neighbours, Egypt and Jordan. Syria's and Lebanon's threats have diminished as those nations wallow in their own misery. Israel's relations with another four Arab nations, including Morocco and the United Arab Emirates, have been normalised as a result of the Abraham accords, which were reached in 2020 under Mr. Netanyahu's previous administration. Even the Islamic heartland of Saudi Arabia is prepared for covert connections with the Jewish state.
Mr. Netanyahu could form a stable government and pass legislation without having to deal with the Opposition's pressure tactics if he had a clear majority in the Knesset. But his return would also cast doubt on the stability of Israel's social order and the peace in the area. As "The King of Israel" to his devoted followers, he is at best a controversial figure whose dedication to a fair resolution of the Palestinian issue is still in question. He had previously declared that he would prevent the establishment of an independent Palestinian state. Additionally, he is well known for his aggressive stance against Iran, which holds Israel responsible for a number of subversive acts on its soil (which Israel has not denied). While Itamar Ben-Gvir of Religious Zionism, Mr. Netanyahu's major coalition partner, is more to the right than Mr. Netanyahu, who is perceived as being a hardliner. Mr. Ben-Gvir, who was found guilty in 2007 of supporting a terrorist organisation and inciting racism, wants to overthrow the Palestinian Authority, the interim administration in the occupied territories, and opposes the creation of a Palestinian state vehemently. He has also criticised Arab residents of Israel. While Messrs. Netanyahu and Ben-Gvir leading Israel's right wing would be a significant step, any leader who is concerned with the nation's long-term interests cannot ignore the escalating bloodshed in the occupied territories and the growing social unrest within Israel.
Netanyahu will be given 42 days to form a cabinet once President Isaac Herzog receives the final vote total from the electoral commission next week. It is anticipated that Likud's most likely senior partner will be the Religious Zionism party. The far-right party is aiming to gain control of Israel's security affairs, and its representation in parliament has more than doubled since the last election. Itamar Ben-Gvir, the anti-Arab leader of the party, is vying for the position of Public Security Minister, which would give him authority over the Israeli police. Bezalel Smotrich, a West Bank settler and additional party leader, aspires to be defence minister.
Binyamin ("Bibi") Netanyanhu, Israel's longest-serving prime minister, has once again shown that he is a skilled campaigner, a cunning builder of political coalitions, and a national leader in whom a sizable portion of Israeli society is still content to place its trust. In the general election that was held on November 1st, his right-wing Likud party made only marginal gains. However, Mr. Netanyahu appears destined to put together a coalition that will control a majority of a number of seats in the 120-member Knesset, Israel's parliament, thanks to his strategic skill. On the surface, it appears that Bibi is back on top of the world. However, there are causes to lament his re-election.