With a coalition finally in place, the Israeli public expects the newly established political team to deliver on a number of fronts. But current challenges facing Israel’s new unity coalition.
Primarily in tackling the raging pandemic and its dire economic repercussions as well as stabilizing the country’s security and improving its international image.
After almost two years of unprecedented deadlock, numerous crises, and three elections Israel finally has a government.
Signed between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his former rival-turned-ally Benny Gantz last week, the agreement stipulates the division of power between the two, with Netanyahu to occupy the PM’s chair first and Gantz taking his seat a year and a half later.
For Gantz that was a personal achievement. “We prevented a fourth round of elections”, he wrote on Twitter. “We will guard Israel’s democracy. We will fight the coronavirus and we will take care of all citizens…”
But it is too early to celebrate. Now that the main obstacles are out of the way, the two will need to overcome a number of challenges for the government to function, the first of which is the division of ministerial posts, pleasing all allies.
The unity government is set to have more than 30 ministers and this means that Netanyahu’s Likud with its 36 members, who up until now have controlled most of Israel’s ministerial jobs.
Now they will need to share these not only each with other and their allies in the Netanyahu-led bloc, but also with the Blue and White MK’s who are supposed to man 16 of these ministerial positions.
Although Likud is supposed to control such key posts as the ministry of foreign affairs (for half of the period) as well as education, transportation, and environmental protection the most prestigious jobs including defense, strategic affairs, justice and absorption, will be in the hands of Gantz.
Netanyahu was aware of the dissatisfaction this situation might cause and was prepared for it. Determined to keep his team pleased and, most importantly, intact, he convinced Gantz to let Likud control key diplomatic positions as well as important Knesset committees that the party holds dear to its heart.
Gantz was quick to agree to the solution, as according to the deal, it will be a Likud member leading the mission to the United Nations and it will be Netanyahu’s party taking the lead in the Knesset’s monetary, absorption, and economy committees.
Sputnik / ABC Flash Point News 2020.