Friday, May 08, 2020

Israel's supreme court approves Netanyahu forming government, and Knesset parties approve coalition

The Israeli supreme court made the right choice not to interfere with Benjamin Netanyahu's forming a new government:
The High Court of Justice unanimously rejected petitions about whether to allow Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to form the next government despite his indictment in three corruption cases, allowing him to go ahead with a controversial rotational unity coalition deal signed with Blue and White chief Benny Gantz.

The Knesset is set to green-light the Likud and Blue and White parties’ coalition deal on Thursday, and the new government will be sworn in on May 13, ending 16-months of political deadlock.

The deal’s validity was challenged in eight separate petitions, with the main argument being members of Knesset indicted on corruption charges cannot serve as prime minister.

The hearing also covered whether certain aspects of the deal struck between the are constitutional.

Despite “grave charges pending” in the bribery case facing Netanyahu, and “significant challenges” within the terms of the deal itself, the maximum 11-judge panel ruled that there is no legal reason to block Netanyahu from the task of forming a government.

According to the terms of the deal, Netanyahu will serve as prime minister for a year and a half after which Blue and White head Benny Gantz will replace him.

The judges ruled Netanyahu could not be disqualified from forming a government outright since the law only stipulates disqualification applies to a convicted prime minister who has exhausted all his appeals.
The "charges", it should again be reminded, are some of the most trumped up nonsense ever concocted for the sake of delegitimizing Netanyahu, after all the hard work he did to have Jerusalem recognized as Israel's capital.

Anyway, now that that's been worked out, the Likud and Blue & White have issued a majority of votes for setting up a governing coalition:
Prescient Reuven Rivlin officially granted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a two-week mandate on Thursday night to form his fifth straight government, which would keep him in power until November 13, 2021.

"I hope Israel will soon have a government that will deal successfully with the complex challenges that stand before us," Rivlin said, noting the dual crises of the political stalemate and the impact of the coronavirus.

Representatives of Likud and Blue and White submitted 72 signatures of MKs recommending that Netanyahu form the government to Rivlin late afternoon on Thursday after all the bills required to form the government passed by a wide margin. The signatures came from Blue and White, Labor and Netanyahu's Right-Center bloc, except for the MKs of Yamina, who absented themselves, because it is still unknown whether it will enter the coalition.

Netanyahu and Yamina leader Naftali Bennett failed to make any progress in a conversation on Thursday. Sources close to Netanyahu said afterward that it was final that Yamina would remain in the opposition, because of the party's unrealistic demands at a time when there is a shortage of portfolios for Likud ministers.
As I've noted before, I'm finding it hard to feel sorry for Yamina's leaders if they lead to a situation where they'll be left in the opposition, or, if they really want to remain there, then they've proven what phonies they are anyway. Bennett and Shaked may have made some significant improvements in Israel's judicial system initially, but along the way, there were also some alarming mistakes they made that really caused harm to the country. And now, they could be paying for their errors.

It just remains to be seen how this forming coalition will function, and I'm hoping that ultimately, things will turn out well enough.

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