Israel’s Political Scene in Disarray as Lawmaker Quits Coalition

Published May 22nd, 2022 - 11:13 GMT
Israel’s Political Scene in Disarray as Lawmaker Quits Coalition
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett (4-L) and part of his government attend a cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's office in Jerusalem, on May 22, 2022. (Photo by RONEN ZVULUN / POOL / AFP)

The resignation of an Arab lawmaker from the ruling coalition in Israel has left the government of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on the verge of collapse.

Ghaida Rinawie Zoabi, a lawmaker from the leftist Meretz Party, quit the coalition on Thursday, reducing it to a minority in the Knesset (Israel’s parliament).

She cited the harassment of the Arab community in Israel and land confiscations as among reasons for her resignation from the ruling coalition.

Her resignation means that the Bennett’s government now has the support of 59 lawmakers in the 120-seat Knesset.

Last month, lawmaker Idit Silman from the right-wing Yamina Party quit the ruling coalition.

As the Israeli opposition is breathing down the government’s neck, there are now a number of possible scenarios for the political scene in Israel.

Headed by the right-wing Likud leader and former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the opposition is relentlessly seeking to persuade right-wing lawmakers to withdraw their support for the government.

However, six deputies of the Joint List, an alliance of three Arab parties, are worried that endorsing the opposition move may pave the way for Netanyahu to form a new government.

Jonathan Freeman, a political science lecturer at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, believes that the Bennett’s government can still survive despite becoming a minority in the Knesset.

"One of the things that works in favor of the current government is the public opinion polls that suggest that members of the current coalition have more to lose than others in terms of their seats in the Knesset if new elections are held,” he told Anadolu Agency.

"This is a key point that pushes them to sacrifice more in terms of their ideologies in order to preserve the government," he added.

Freeman opines that the tense security situation in the Palestinian territories and Israel has weakened the Bennett’s government.

The government “is accused of failing to stop this wave of violence at a time when the security situation is already deteriorating,” he added.

 


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