Israel faces more suspense as anti-president bloc waits for vote of confidence to oust Prime Minister Netanyahu – The New Indian Express
JERUSALEM: Israel could face another week of political suspense after its speaker of parliament on Monday refused to schedule a pivotal vote on a coalition to topple veteran Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after 12 consecutive years in power.
Politicians have traded bitter accusations of undermining the political process after Netanyahu accused his enemies of “the greatest electoral fraud” in democratic history.
Speaking after the security services issued a rare warning against online incitement, centrist Yair Lapid said calls for “violence and incitement against Knesset members” are “against the very essence of the democratic process “.
The architect of the fragile eight-party alliance seeking to oust Netanyahu added that “the past few days have shown how much we need change.” But Lapid, a former TV presenter, vowed that “this government will be formed.” “There is never 100% nothing in Israeli politics, but this government has the best chance of getting there,” Lapid told reporters.
Members of the “change” coalition had hoped for a vote on Wednesday. But in formally presenting the potential new government to the Knesset, President Yariv Levin, a Likud member close to Netanyahu, simply said that a confidence vote session would take place by June 14.
The political unrest comes weeks after Israel’s last war in Gaza against the Islamist group Hamas, which saw numerous exchanges of rocket fire and airstrikes.
Hamas threatened on Monday with a further escalation over a right-wing Israeli march scheduled for Thursday in sensitive areas of annexed East Jerusalem. But organizers then said they canceled the event after police refused to approve the route.
If the Israeli legislature, the Knesset, approves the new coalition, it could mean the end of the reign of the veteran nicknamed Bibi who has totally dominated Israeli politics. His right-wing rival Naftali Bennett, who has become a kingmaker in the ideologically divided alliance, urged Netanyahu to “let go”.
Netanyahu, 71, who faces corruption charges that could lead to jail time, doubled down on his rhetoric aimed at torpedoing the emerging coalition.
In an impassioned speech to his right-wing Likud supporters on Sunday, he denounced the “violent machine” aligned against him and urged them to protest against the “dangerous left-wing government” being formed.
Bennett later warned him, “Don’t leave scorched earth in your wake.
The anti-Netanyahu bloc includes three right-wing parties, two centrists and two left-wing parties, as well as a conservative Arab-Islamic party. Bennett – who would serve as Israel’s prime minister for the next two years as part of the coalition deal for “change,” before Lapid takes over – called on the Knesset speaker to schedule a vote on Wednesday.
Netanyahu tried to thwart the coalition by eliminating right-wing defectors uncomfortable working with left-wing and Arab lawmakers.
Alarms have grown over angry rallies by Netanyahu supporters, including protests outside the homes of some Yamina lawmakers accusing them of “treason.” Security has been tightened for some MPs.
The head of Israel’s Shin Bet internal security agency, Nadav Argaman, issued a rare public warning this weekend against a “serious escalation of violent and inciting speech” online. A Shin Bet spokesperson told AFP the message was intended to soften the “general atmosphere”, but anti-Netanyahu politicians interpreted it as a warning to the prime minister.
“The red lines have crossed”
Netanyahu dismissed the warning, saying “there is a very thin line between political criticism and incitement to violence,” but condemned any incitement to violence. Yediot Aharonot, the country’s most widely read newspaper, said “attempts to challenge and prevent the establishment of the new government have crossed all red lines.”
The political unrest comes at a time of heightened Israeli-Palestinian tensions. Israeli police clashed again on Sunday with protesters angered by the impending evictions of Palestinian families in a neighborhood in East Jerusalem.
The parliamentary security committee was due to hold an emergency meeting on Monday “in light of the unusual warning issued by the head of the Shin Bet” as well as calls in recent days from far-right figures for the march in Jerusalem. Is.
Right-wing organizations had argued that their planned march for the Israeli flag on Thursday would be a routine demonstration of free speech, but many critics fear an escalation amid already seething tensions. Senior Hamas official Khalil al-Hayya on Monday warned Israel “not to let the march approach East Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.”
“We hope the message is clear so that Thursday does not turn into (a new) May 10th,” he said, referring to the start of the 11-day war that Hamas launched in response to tensions in Jerusalem. -Is.
Israeli organizers said later on Monday that they abandoned the rally after police refused to allow the route through East Jerusalem – although some far-right politicians said they would march anyway.