Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Deal formed for Israeli unity government

After a few weeks of negotiations, it looks like there'll finally be a national unity government formed to deal with the emergencies at hand, and we have to hope it'll be for the better:
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his centrist election rival Benny Gantz signed an agreement on Monday to form an emergency coalition government that would end a year of political deadlock.

Netanyahu's right-wing Likud and Gantz's Blue and White party issued a joint statement saying they had clinched a unity deal, which follows elections in April and September 2019 and on March 2 in which neither won a governing majority in parliament.

The two had agreed Netanyahu would remain prime minister for 18 months period until Gantz takes over in late 2021.

Until then, Gantz, a former Israel Defense Forces chief, will serve as defense minister and several of his political allies, including two members of Israel's Labour Party, will receive ministerial portfolios as well. He will also be considered "alternate prime minister". Once Gantz becomes prime minister, Netanyahu would get the title "alternate prime minister."
Isn't that "deputy"? Whatever, I hope this'll ultimately serve Israel's needs in a positive sense, and that Judea/Samaria/Gaza will be annexed for real. This article says the coalition deal provides that possibility:
The unity government agreement finalized on Monday evening by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Blue and White leader Benny Gantz allows Israel to promote the annexation of parts of Judea and Samaria as early as July, sources privy to the details of the deal told Israel Hayom.

According to Article 29 of the 14-page agreement, Netanyahu, who under the rotation deal with Gantz will remain the PM for the next 18 months, "will be able to present the agreement reached with the US on the application of sovereignty [in Judea and Samaria and the Jordan Valley] for the approval of the government and the Knesset starting July 1, 2020."

The Trump administration presented its Middle East peace plan in late January. Gantz was previously hesitant to support any annexation move, but under the unity deal, his party has pledged to vote with the coalition on the issue.
Well let's hope he does. He's also going to have much to prove at a time when the Corona crisis struck the globe as hard as it did. I know many on the left are already angry at Gantz - and Labor - for going with this coalition. Time is going to confirm whether this'll have any real, promising effect.