Israel: Coalition Formed with Right/Left Prime Minister Rotation
Shortly before the midnight deadline on Wednesday, center-left politician Yair Lapid notified Israeli President Reuven Rivlin that he had succeeded in weaving together a coalition government. The deal structured among the participating parties places right-winger Naftali Bennett in the prime minister’s seat for the first two years before turning over the reins of state to Lapid in the third year. Many, however, are betting against the government lasting that long, believing that once the glue that binds the coalition dissipates – that is, the common animus toward longtime incumbent Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu – it will be impossible for the coalition, which ranges from a party on the far left to one on the far right and including centrist parties leaning both right and left – to agree on most issues. Also on board is the first Arab party to participate in an Israeli governing coalition. The immediate goal of the parties to the new coalition – the removal of Netanyahu – will be met if and when parliament passes a vote of confidence in the new coalition. But the stability of the government-designate is already being tested. A member of Bennett’s Yamina party is jeopardizing the first order of business – the replacement of the parliament’s speaker – by refusing to support the new coalition’s position. All before the government is even sworn in.