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Netanyahu on the brink of power in Israel

Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s longest-serving prime minister, announced yesterday that he had succeeded in forming a coalition government. It is set to bring him back to power at the helm of the most right-wing administration in Israeli history, 18 months after he left office. Netanyahu will lead a hard-line, six-party coalition whose members seek to upend the judicial system, reduce Palestinian autonomy in the occupied West Bank, further strengthen Israel’s Jewish character and maximize state support for the most religious Jews. It would be Israel’s first ideologically cohesive government since 2019. Analysts say that will not necessarily provide political stability. Despite their relative homogeneity, the coalition’s members frequently disagreed over policy during negotiations and took more than six weeks to formalize their partnership. Its formation also puts the country on course for a constitutional showdown between the government and the judiciary. Netanyahu announced the deal minutes before a midnight deadline last night. “I have been able to form a government that will act in the interest of all citizens of Israel,” he told Isaac Herzog, the country’s president. Netanyahu is on trial for corruption. He denies any intention to use his office to influence the proceedings, but other members of his coalition have pledged to legalize some of the crimes of which he is accused and to reduce the influence of the attorney general, who is overseeing Netanyahu’s prosecution.

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