After the dissolution of the Israeli Knesset itself on Tuesday, the dissolution of the government coalition headed by Benjamin Netanyahu and leader of the “Blue and White” Benny Gantz, and the countdown to new elections, which will be the fourth in two years, have begun; Observers believe that the great competition in these elections will be within the spectrum of the Israeli right in light of the significant decline of the left-wing parties.
For his part, Netanyahu – who is facing a trial on corruption charges – seeks to form a government that guarantees his immunity from prosecution and prevents him from being thrown in prison if he ends his political career, in the face of a conviction formed in the right-wing camp that sees the need to replace him.
Perhaps the former minister, Gideon Sa’ar, defected from Likud, and ran in the elections with a right-wing party seeking to preserve the Jewishness and democracy of the state and immunize it from the culture of corruption. Netanyahu, who was dubbed “the King of Israel”, has been troubled by his assuming the reins of power for an odd decade, and at this stage he faces fateful challenges within the right-wing camp.
Accordingly, the most prominent feature of the fourth elections that will be held on March 23 for every voter and political current will be: Are you for or against Netanyahu remaining in the government who has deliberately marketed himself as a victim who is being pursued politically in the corridors of the courts by the judiciary, which is trying to control him Undermine his powers; With the aim of ensuring that his trial does not continue and to avoid being thrown behind bars.
Amid these changes and challenges, analysts agree that Netanyahu has succeeded – in the last two years – in “personalizing” the political and party map in Israel, as the political arena and the government have turned into a hostage in his hand and according to his personal interests, amid an almost complete absence of urgent issues and regional security challenges that pose a threat to security The Israeli nationalist, despite the normalization agreements with Arab and Gulf countries, to transfer the solution to the Palestinian issue to the unknown.
Interests and alternatives
The Israeli journalist who specializes in Arab and Palestinian affairs, Yoav Stern, confirmed that Israel is going to a fourth election for one reason, and that is Netanyahu’s personal considerations, who wants to evade the judiciary and prosecute the corruption charges he faces.
Accordingly, Netanyahu – according to Stern – needs a strong right-wing government in which the partners do not express any reservations about his attempt to entrench and legislate “French law”, which aims to prevent indictments and to refrain from trying the prime minister while he is in office.
In his interview with Al-Jazeera Net, the Israeli media explained, “Netanyahu, contrary to what some believe, is pulling Israel tactically to a fourth election within less than two years, and promotes the impression that this is due to the Corona pandemic, as if he has no interest in going to the polls, knowing that these are His first interest, which meets his second interest, is to dismantle the opposition within the Israeli political and party scene, so that an alternative leadership will not be formed for his rule.
He pointed out that “Netanyahu, during the 23rd Knesset session, succeeded in dismantling” Blue and White “, his biggest ally in the government coalition, which may be his alternative in power, and he also succeeded in sowing the seeds of discord and dismantling in the Joint Arab List, and besieging the” There is a future “party. It undermined his electoral influence in the center and left camps.
But the problem facing him in this election will be within the camp of the ruling right, which sees the need to replace it to ensure the survival of the government and the preservation of the Jewish democratic state.
Netanyahu and Sa’ar
He pointed out that many electoral bases in the right and center camps see Sa’ar as the savior of Israeli democracy from the culture of corruption that Netanyahu has enshrined, who seeks to control the joints of the judicial system to avoid prosecution and imprisonment, and therefore these electoral rules tend to vote for Sa`ir and not support the small parties in the camp. The right, which revolves around Netanyahu’s orbit, knowing that the vast majority of the Jewish community leans to the right.
Stern believes that the political and partisan map will witness more changes and alliances in the coming weeks, including the entry of new personalities into the political arena and the electoral competition, as this product can generate power within the right-wing camp by an alliance with the center, to be a substitute for Netanyahu, while ensuring that the right remains in power. And forming a government without Netanyahu, who will be in the dock if he loses the battle to form the next government.
He made clear that the Israeli society is fully convinced and aware that normalization between Israel and Arab and Gulf states does not end the Palestinian issue, which Netanyahu intended to postpone a solution or any future settlement. Consequently, he believes that the Palestinian issue will remain a pressure card in the hands of Arab and Islamic countries, which are printed on any Israeli government, even after the departure of Netanyahu.
Normalization and undermining
It is not excluded that the formation of a right-wing government led by Sa’ar, who believes in Jewish beliefs and Zionist ideology that expresses the views of the majority of Israeli public opinion, is a scenario that Netanyahu fears and is in a state of anxiety due to the defection of his rival from Likud.
What reinforces the scenario of Saar’s assumption of the presidency of the next government is that the Israeli electoral bases are indifferent to the occupation and the Palestinian issue, not even normalization, which is an achievement for Netanyahu and enjoys Zionist consensus, but Israeli society expresses its concern about the depth of the rift between the Jews and the culture of corruption and undermining the foundations of the democratic system in Israel.
This proposition was expressed by the researcher on Israeli affairs, Antoine Shalhat, who asserts that the fourth elections put Netanyahu’s continued rule on the line, and in front of unprecedented challenges, especially in the right-wing camp to which he belongs, which has become weary of him and can no longer tolerate him in the leadership of Israel. Because of the culture of corruption and compromising so-called democracy and law enforcement authorities to serve a personal agenda, given that Netanyahu has the longest term as prime minister, surpassing even that of Ben Gurion, the founder of Israel.
Shalhat explained to Al-Jazeera Net that the most prominent feature of the fourth and present elections over all previous competitions is the race and competition between right-wing parties and right-wing leaders who see themselves as an alternative to Netanyahu, as this competition – and if it leads to the ouster of Netanyahu from the premiership – will keep the right-wing camp. With all his policies, agenda, ideologies and principled stances regarding the struggle with the Palestinians in power.
Alliance and split
Accordingly, Shalhat believes that Netanyahu will, in his next election campaign, promote achievements in the face of the Corona pandemic, bring “Pfizer” vaccines, and provide vaccines against the virus to all citizens, and most importantly, he will continue to promote “Abraham” agreements and normalize with Arab and Islamic countries in line with His doctrine is “peace for peace,” and he kicked the Palestinians aside, alone, as he was in the so-called “Deal of the Century”, as a result of his relations with the outgoing US President Donald Trump.
However, despite this, Shalhat says, “The fourth elections are taking place amid a split within the Likud party, and the formation of Sa’ar for a new party, which was not the case in the past. Confrontation and competition with leaders affiliated with the center and left camps, but for the first time it is competing with figures from the right camp.
In light of these developments and changes, Shalhat points out that the questions that arise are: Will the Sa’ar party attract votes from the electoral bases that support Likud and Netanyahu? Is resolving the fund an alternative to Netanyahu? These are the questions that add to the blurry Israeli political scene, and will remain unanswered until after the elections, despite the fact that leaders in the right-wing camp declared that they would not be partners with Netanyahu in a future government. Because of the corruption charges he faces, going to a fourth election in less than two years is a strong indication of the beginning of the end of the Netanyahu era.