British journalist Jonathan Cook considered that the tripartite agreement – which opened the way for the formation of a coalition “government of change” in Israel with the participation of the United Arab List party for the first time in the country’s history – is not a cause for celebration and will sour very soon the symbolic moment that paved the way for this agreement.
In an article on the British Middle East Eye website, the writer stated that it is almost certain that the participation of the United Arab List led by Mansour Abbas – which has 4 seats in the Knesset to support the majority in a government led by the leaders of the “Yamina” party, Naftali Bennett. And “there is a future” for Yair Lapid – will lead to a further deterioration in relations between the majority of Israeli society and the Arab minority.
hostility to Netanyahu
The writer believes that the only reason for the existence of this temporary coalition is the hostility of its various constituent parties to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, not likely because of his political positions; Rather, it is because of his personality and the stranglehold of corruption with which he has silenced the political system in Israel over the past 12 years.
He adds that the “change” that the leaders of the new coalition heralds began and will end with the overthrow of Netanyahu, although the latter will strive hard – during the next few days – to find a way to dismantle the coalition before a parliamentary vote to ratify his proposed government.
According to the author; We do not need to recall that Bennett – who will occupy the position of prime minister first, alternately with Lapid – is more right-wing than Netanyahu, and that at least 3 of the main parties in the new coalition – if not more – are more extreme nationalist than him, even if the circumstances were not the same. By now, these parties would have enthusiastically headed toward a coalition government with Netanyahu’s Likud party.
The writer says that while Bennett and Abbas were meeting inside a hotel near Tel Aviv to sign the coalition agreement with the time lapse of Lapid’s mandate to form a government; Far-right demonstrators outside chanted loudly that Bennett is joining a “government with supporters of terrorism.”
Many supporters of the ultra-nationalist right inside Israel – according to the author – are so angry at Bennett’s actions that he was recently briefed and other members of his party on security details for fear of assassination attempts that might target them, as happened in 1995 with Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who was killed by A Jewish extremist accepted in an attempt to sabotage the Oslo peace accords with the Palestinians.
stab in the back
The writer notes that Bennett’s recent positions are seen in the extreme right circles as a stab in the back against the natural leader of the right, Benjamin Netanyahu, and that he allowed Mansour Abbas – whom the right considers a Hamas man in the Knesset – to “dictate politics to the Jewish owners of the land.”
It was noteworthy, Cook adds, that Bennett and Abbas were the last to sign the coalition agreement, sticking together in their refusal to join in order to get the most concessions, but both risk angering their supporters with the image they project of cooperating with the other.
The writer believes that Israeli commentators will try to portray this agreement – between a “leader of the settlers” and the head of an Arab Islamic party – as a possible moment for healing wounds after the unprecedented fighting witnessed last month in several cities inside Israel between Palestinians and Jews.
But this reading – concludes Cook – was misleading, as was the reading of the recent Jewish-Palestinian clashes. In fact, the protests of Palestinian youth at home against systematic discrimination did not develop into open confrontations until after the Israeli police used violence against them and left Jewish gangs applying the law in their own hands, and as If the balance of power in the street was tilted in favor of these Jewish thugs, the balance of power in the new alliance would also tilt strongly against the leader of the United Arab List party, Mansour Abbas.