After 12 years of Israel being locked in his vice-like grip, Netanyahu has taken a tumble. The strongman is no more. Israel’s recent election yielded the power to Naftali Bennett, but it wasn’t by a landslide. The election came down to a confidence vote in which Netanyahu was defeated by one lone vote.
Keep in mind, Israel is election-happy so we’ll see how long the new regime lasts. The nation has held four elections in just two years. That’s one every six months. But Bennett is bringing a new cuisine to the table and it’s the likes of which Israel has never before tasted.
Diversity is foreign to Israel. Under Netanyahus’ rule, the nation, inclusive of its government, had no room at the inn for non-generational Israeli’s of non-Jewish descent. Bennett aims to change all of that. For the first time in its long and confusing history, an Arab will be filling one of Israel’s vacated government positions.
In his speech, Bennett referenced the dangers of polarization and the effect it’s already had on the nation. Every Israeli citizen deserves to be heard, Jew, non-Jew, naturalized citizens, and transplants. He plans on kicking the door off of its hinges, but will it work? Creatures of habit don’t like change.
“Twice in history, we have lost our national home precisely because the leaders of the generation were not able to sit with one and another and compromise. Each was right, yet with all their being right, they burnt the house down on top of us. I am proud of the ability to sit together with people with very different views from my own,” he said.
Is Bennett talking a big game or will he really attempt tackling the beast of diversity? Or could he be Israel’s version of Joe Biden who talks a big game but whose rubber never hits the pavement? Of one thing can be certain. His Tinkerbell approach is going to unlock the shackles of resistance groups that feared Netanyahu. Only now, some of Netanyahu’s die-hard supporters are bound to form new groups to add to the certain hostility that’s to come.
Previous to his new role, Bennett led a minority right-wing party called Yamina. They only held seven seats in Israel’s parliament, the Knesset. He beat the odds by becoming Israel’s first prime minister to have won with such a small number of party followers in the Knesset. Netanyahu’s Likud party came on strong but their best wasn’t good enough.
Here’s the frightening part. Where Biden often condemns Netanyahu, he likes this new guy. The two had a nice phone chat where they virtually hugged and kissed and vowed to become BFFs. “The leaders agreed that they and their teams would consult closely on all matters related to regional security, including Iran. The President also conveyed that his administration intends to work closely with the Israeli government on efforts to advance peace, security, and prosperity for Israelis and Palestinians,” read the White House transcript.
One of Bennett’s handful of worker-bees released a statement saying how the two leaders “emphasized the importance of the alliance between Israel and the United States, as well as their commitment to strengthening ties between the two countries and maintaining the security of the State of Israel. Bennett also praised Biden for his “support for Israel during the recent operation in Gaza.”
Netanyahu has not scurried away with his tail between his legs. He’s verbally assaulted the Yamina party time and again. He said they’re “weak” and “dangerous,” and he is most unfortunately and in all likelihood correct.
“You call yourself the guardians of democracy, but you are so afraid of democracy that you are ready to pass fascist laws against my candidacy — the language of North Korea and Iran — in order to maintain your regime,” he angrily said. He more or less said this no regime lacks the gonads to push back against Iran, and he was also quite clear when he said, “We’ll be back soon.”
So. All eyes on Israel as it erupts into a burning inferno. Old dogs don’t like learning new tricks and they’re not about to roll over for this guy anymore than we’re willing to do for Biden. Any bets on how long it’ll take Bennett to get kicked to the prayer wall?