The Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who faces a trial for corruption, has only a few hours left to bring together all of the country’s right-wing forces, or even come to terms with Islamists, to form the next government. He has until 23:59 (20:59 GMT) to do so, failing which President Reuven Rivlin will grant this mandate to another elected official.
Netanyahu’s (right) Likud had won the March legislative elections with 30 seats, the fourth in less than two years in Israel, and had been tasked by the president with forming the next government. To achieve this, Netanyahu must muster a majority of 61 out of 120 MPs in the Knesset, the parliament. As the support of his allies from the ultra-Orthodox Jewish parties is not enough, the Prime Minister has stepped up contacts in recent weeks in the hope of reaching this threshold.
Netanyahu wooed the radical-right Yamina (seven MPs) formation of Naftali Bennett, and the far-right coalition “Religious Zionism”(Six deputies) by Bezalel Smotrich. And he even proposed Monday to Mr. Bennett, ex-minister of defense and ardent defender of the development of the settlements in the occupied West Bank, to assume first the function of head of government, within the framework of a possible agreement. of rotation to power. But Bennett returned the buck by declining the offer, accusing Netanyahu of beating his party in recent weeks.
The possibly united votes of Likud, ultra-Orthodox parties and extreme right-wingers would bring the counter to a total of 59 MPs, just below the majority threshold. To obtain these two supports, Netanyahu must either convince the rebellious Gideon Saar, ex-Likud fiercely opposed to the Prime Minister, to join him, or still to rally Mansour Abbas, head of Raam (4 elected), an Islamist formation.
All eyes on Lapid
In recent weeks, discussions have multiplied with and around Mansour Abbas, who did not refuse to support a Netanyahu government without participating in it. But a problem persists: the extreme right, some members of which have chanted in recent weeks “Death to the ArabsIn the streets of Jerusalem, refuses to participate in a government supported by the Islamists.
«The game is not over, but Benjamin Netanyahu is running out of rabbits to come out of his hat“, Summarizes this Tuesday the daily Maariv playing on the nickname of the Prime Minister, often qualified as”magicianOf politics for its ability to forge alliances to stay in power. Unless there is a last-minute outcome, Netanyahu’s mandate will therefore fail at the stroke of midnight.
All eyes are already on opposition leader Yaïr Lapid as the country mourns after the giant stampede that left 45 dead on Friday during a pilgrimage bringing together tens of thousands of Orthodox Jews to Mount Meron . Affirming that “this tragedy could have been avoided“Lapid accused Netanyahu of leaving the Meron site”open“And called on Monday for the formation of a future government”responsible».
«The time for a new government has come (…) This government will not be perfect but it will take its responsibilities and focus on the management of the country», Declared Yaïr Lapid affirming to be able to rally elected representatives of right, left and center to reach the threshold of 61 deputies. If he succeeds, a page in Israel’s history will be turned with the departure of Benjamin Netanyahu, 71, including the last 12 years in power. Otherwise, the Israelis risk returning quickly to the polls …