Benjamin Netanyahu’s tenure as Israel’s longest-serving prime minister is facing its biggest threat yet, as key coalition partners have indicated they may withdraw support in light of Netanyahu’s proposed judicial reforms. This comes on the heels of Israel’s recent conflict in Gaza, which has led to growing anger towards Netanyahu’s leadership.
Judicial Reforms Spark Backlash
Netanyahu’s proposed judicial reforms, which would give politicians more power over Supreme Court appointments, have unified a fractured opposition and led centrist coalition partners to speak out (Haaretz, Times of Israel).
“We cannot be partners to a move that harms democracy, divides the people, violates the existing constitutional order and places too much power in the hands of one man,” said Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked (Haaretz).
The reforms have sparked major protests, with over 100,000 gathering in Tel Aviv last weekend to oppose the changes. Protesters carried signs accusing Netanyahu of undermining democracy and calling for new elections (Haaretz, Tortoise Media).
While the reforms could help Netanyahu evade his ongoing corruption trial, coalition partners seem unwilling to sacrifice democratic principles for political expediency (Arab News, Haaretz). Sources suggest that Netanyahu lacks the 61 votes needed to pass the reforms in their current form (Haaretz).
Anger Mounts Over Failed Gaza Strategy
Anger towards Netanyahu has been building since Israel’s recent conflict in Gaza, where Netanyahu’s strategy of dividing Palestinians failed to achieve objectives and led to international criticism over civilian casualties (National Herald, DW).
“Netanyahu completely miscalculated Hamas’ response,” said former diplomat T.P. Sreenivasan. “This war was triggered by Netanyahu’s machismo and thirst for revenge rather than any security threat” (Times of India).
The death toll has fueled outrage in Israel over the lack of progress after repeated wars in Gaza. A poll last October found that 68% of Jewish Israelis wanted Netanyahu to resign due to his handling of the crisis (Time Magazine).
Opposition leader Yair Lapid has criticized Netanyahu’s failure to negotiate a long-term truce with Hamas after 4 major flareups under his leadership. Sources suggest Lapid is well-positioned to lead a unity government if Netanyahu’s coalition collapses (Haaretz).
What’s Next for Bibi?
If centrist coalition partners follow through with threats to bolt, Netanyahu would lose his parliamentary majority and early elections could be triggered (Haaretz). However, some analysts believe Netanyahu will find ways to shore up support and cling to power, as he has done repeatedly throughout his political career (Unherd, Commentary Magazine).
“Count Netanyahu out at your own peril,” said analyst Seth Mandel. “He has made an art form out of navigating treacherous political waters” (Commentary Magazine).
Nevertheless, Netanyahu appears more politically isolated than ever before. His list of enemies runs long, and includes opposition figures, security officials, and even former allies like Naftali Bennett. With a potential corruption trial looming, Netanyahu is incentivized more than ever to remain in power by any means necessary (The Daily Beast).
If he manages to push through the judicial reforms, Netanyahu would gain significant control over the courts and other checks on executive power. This raises concerns that Israeli democracy could suffer long-term damage, even if Netanyahu is ultimately replaced (The Guardian). After 15 consecutive years in office, many believe it is time for Netanyahu to go for Israel’s sake, regardless of who replaces him (National Herald, City Watch LA).
|Position on Judicial Reforms
|United Torah Judaism
|National Unity (Sa’ar)
|Yisrael Beiteinu (Lieberman)
This summarizes where Netanyahu’s coalition partners currently stand on his controversial judicial reform proposal. The centrist National Unity and Yisrael Beiteinu parties have indicated their opposition, which puts the reforms in jeopardy. Meanwhile, the ultra-orthodox and far-right parties remain supportive.
|Centrist parties bolt, early elections held
|Netanyahu lures centrist parties, pushes through reforms
|No substantive changes, Netanyahu holds power
This table outlines a few potential scenarios and their estimated likelihood and impact. The moderate scenarios of early elections or passing reforms would significantly shape Israel’s future, while the status quo maintains risks to democracy over time.
To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.