In Israel, a surprise government

In a logical and therefore surprising conclusion to Israel’s long-standing political paralysis, Benny Gantz has agreed to form a unity government with current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. As I understand the status of the agreement, the details are being worked out and the parties to the agreement have yet to sign on the dotted line. This JNS report by Dov Lipman relates details and wrinkles. Here is Lipman’s opening:

After nearly a year of political paralysis, Israel is finally on its way towards a national unity government as the nation battles against the unprecedented coronavirus pandemic. Benny Gantz, who has stood as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s chief rival through three consecutive election cycles, announced that his party faction would join Netanyahu’s right-wing coalition to form a new government.

According to the terms of the agreement, Netanyahu will serve as prime minister for 18 months before handing the premiership as part of a rotation to Gantz, who will serve under Netanyahu as deputy prime minister and defense minister for the first 18 months, and then become prime minister in September 2021.

Gantz’s dramatic move jolted Israel’s political system. The agreement led to the collapse of Gantz’s own Blue and White Party.

Senior party members Yair Lapid and Knesset member Moshe Ya’alon, who each led separate factions within the larger Blue and White alignment, rejected joining a government led by Netanyahu. The pair have officially split from Gantz, and filed a motion to retain the name Blue and White as they prepare to sit in opposition to the government.

As Drudge might put it, the agreement is impacting, and in a big way. Among the commentators whose interpretation of events I find interesting and/or helpful are David Horovitz (Times of Israel), Haviv Rettig Gur (Times of Israel), Moran Azulay (Ynet News), Lahov Yarkov (Jerusalem Post), and Caroline Glick (via Avi Abelow/IsraelUnwired).

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