After Netanyahu Fails, Lapid Gets Turn to Form Government
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin on Wednesday gave Opposition Leader Yair Lapid one month to form a government, after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu admitted the previous evening he had failed to do so. Lapid, leader of the center-left Yesh Atid party, will now try to coalesce a handful of different parties into one cohesive bloc, a tall task that will be contested by Netanyahu every step of the way. Lapid’s partner to the assignment, right-wing lawmaker Naftali Bennett, who leads the seven-seat Yamina party, on Wednesday said he will do anything to ensure that a government is formed and that Israel’s political stalemate is overcome. Yet Bennett, a onetime Netanyahu aide and ally now slated to serve as prime minister in a joint government with Lapid, already has his hands full, after one of his party members on Thursday announced he would oppose any unity government that includes left-wing parties. If the efforts fails, Israel in all likelihood will head to its fifth general election in two and a half years.