Name? Naftali Bennett
Westphalian identity? Israeli
Why is he in the news? Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett announced yesterday that his coalition government will dissolve the Knesset next week, which means that the government will disband, and the country will hold elections for the fifth time in three years. This comes after weeks of turmoil within the coalition, ranging from decisive members quitting and rejoining the coalition all the way to Bennett allegedly planning a government with former Prime Minister Netanyahu.
Why do we care? Because this might end with the return of Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s longest-serving leader, and whose ousting was the reason Bennett and Yair Lapid formed the coalition in the first place. Netanyahu is also on trial for corruption and currently leading the polls, which indicate that a bloc led by him would win most seats in a fresh election, though still two short of a majority.
Why should you care? Bennett’s coalition breaking apart comes shortly before US President Joe Biden will make his trip to the Middle East. Once the bill dissolving the parliament passes, Yair Lapid will become Prime Minister and meet with Joe Biden, a fact you should care 0/10 about.
Who else cares? Supreme Leader of Iran Ayatollah Khamenei. Iran and Israel have escalated their ongoing tit-for-tat to uncomfortable levels, any instability and uncertainty in Israel’s government are good news for Khamenei.
Any further comments? Let’s be honest, we all knew that this eight-party coalition, including hard-right, liberal and Arab parties with deep differences on questions from religion to the Palestinian issue would never survive, but we sure thought they would last until Netanyahu’s sentencing. Ironically, the final push that brought Bennett’s coalition to fall was that a bill, which has been repeatedly renewed over the past 50 years without a problem, failed due to the opposition choosing to vote against a law they support in order to further weaken the government …