The former premier from 2009 to 2021, who is on trial for corruption, has formed a right-wing government
Benjamin Netanyahu is on course to become Israel’s prime minister for the third time in his political career. Despite facing an ongoing corruption trial, Netanyahu has managed to form a coalition government with far-right and ultra-orthodox political parties.
Taking to Twitter early on Thursday, the veteran of Israeli politics posted a short message, reading: “I’ve done it.”
Several hours before, Netanyahu had informed the country’s president, Isaac Herzog that he had secured last-minute agreements with previously undecided coalition partners. According to Israeli media, he managed to do so mere minutes before his mandate to form a government expired.
On November 1, Israelis headed to the polls – for the fifth time since 2019 – with the former premier’s conservative Likud party coming out on top and a number of far-right and religious parties making gains as well.
President Herzog subsequently gave Netanyahu a month to try and form a new coalition government, later extending the mandate by ten more days.
Early on Thursday, Netanyahu posted a video of his late-night conversation with Herzog, in which he said, “Thanks to the immense public support we won in the elections, I have managed to set up a government which will take care of all the citizens of Israel.”
Israeli Parliament Speaker Yariv Levin is expected to officially break the news on Monday. From that point on, Netanyahu will have a week to swear in his government.
The new coalition includes, apart from Likud, the far-right Otzma Yehudit, Religious Zionism and Noam parties as well as the ultra-Orthodox Shas and United Torah Judaism. Multiple media outlets have described what looks set to become Israel’s 37th government as the most right-wing one in the country’s history.
The parties which Netanyahu had been busy wooing, reportedly demanded in exchange for their support that religious influence be expanded, including in Israel’s public education.
Ever since Netanyahu fell from power in June 2021, he has been in opposition.
The former prime minister has for several years been at the center of several corruption investigations, with a trial still ongoing.
Back in 2020, he was indicted on charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust, becoming the first sitting Israeli premier charged with a crime.
December 22, 2022 at 03:26PM