Tag: Israel

Meet the New Boss; NOT Same as the Old Boss!

Naftali Bennett (LA Times)

A day after they gained the confidence of the Knesset and were sworn into office, Monday saw the ministers of the newly confirmed government take up their roles at various ministries, where some were treated to handover ceremonies by their predecessors and others were not.

Former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who the night before was ousted from power after 12 years in office by the incoming coalition, gave his replacement, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, less than an hour — according to some reports, just half an hour — for their handover, before publicly declaring that he would swiftly bring down the new government.

The formal transfer of power ended without the traditional ceremony and public good wishes, without a handshake and with no photo-op, an indication of the animus Netanyahu harbors toward Bennett, his own one-time chief of staff. Addressing the heads of the parties, Netanyahu demanded discipline and cohesion in order to make life harder on the coalition and “rescue the people and State of Israel.” The Times of Israel

Analysis: One of the indicators of a leader’s character is the way he/she bows out when defeated. For twelve years, I’ve admired Benjamin Netanyahu for his ‘stand-up’ leadership style. He’s ran a good race; perhaps it’s time for him to move on. Unfortunately, now that he is out of office, he may be facing a trial for corruption soon. Maybe that’s one reason he seems adamant in clinging to power.

The incoming coalition will have its hands full and will need to hit the road running. With the Syrian war a continual problem next door, in addition to the problems in Gaza with Hamas and the continual situation up north dealing with Iranian-supported Hezbollah, astute leadership will be needed.

There will be compromise on some level coming in the Middle East. Iran wants and expects U.S. sanctions loosened in exchange for transparency on its nuclear programs. The resultant agreements through the Abraham Accords will be continuing. Like I’ve maintained, a major portion of that agreement turned out to be nothing more than an ‘arms-for-peace’ deal, with the F-35s thrown in to sweeten the pot. If anyone suggests there will suddenly be peace in the region because of the accords, they have more hope in the system than I do.

The age-old, two-state solution debate between Israel and the Palestinians will continue. The Palestinians will likely never agree to what’s offered by Israel; there are too many deep-rooted differences regarding Jerusalem and the West Bank. And with Bennett in control, I doubt any compromises will take place any time soon.

Abbas spokesman Nabil Abu Rdeneh said Sunday [Associated Press] that the Palestinian position remains “adherence to international legitimacy and the two-state solution by establishing an independent Palestinian state on the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.” According to the coalition, discussions regarding this issue will be tabled for the time being.