We use cookies to provide some features and experiences in QOSHE

More information  .  Close
Aa Aa Aa
- A +

Is the understated Lapid betting a scathing, divisive Netanyahu will defeat himself?

16 7 6

An earthquake hit northern Israel on Wednesday evening, just as outgoing Prime Minister Naftali Bennett was wrapping up the final business of his collapsed government — pledging to help his interim successor Yair Lapid, announcing he wouldn’t be running in the coming elections, and handing what little remains of his Yamina party to the control of longtime ally Ayelet Shaked.

The death of the Bennett-Lapid coalition — cemented on Thursday morning with a Knesset vote that set November 1 as the date of our fifth election since April 2019 — was anything but an earthquake. It was, rather, the inevitable culmination of a relentless process by which an ambitious alliance of largely well-intentioned but strange political bedfellows was gradually crushed.

A few of its members, from several of its component parties, failed to appreciate and solidly support what their party leaders had so improbably put together — a radically disparate alliance conceived in unified hostility to Benjamin Netanyahu that was compelled to set aside divisive ideological positions and govern by consensus. And another few of its members, from Bennett’s own Yamina slate, found they could not live with those required ideological compromises — not under the constant demonizing pressure exerted by Netanyahu and his loyalists.

As with the four previous electoral bouts, Netanyahu, now 72, still fiery and indomitable, is in one corner, scathing and contemptuous of those who dare to challenge him. Unlike those four past contests, however, there’s an incumbent in the other corner — and interim prime minister Yair Lapid (a former........

© The Times of Israel

Get it on Google Play