Israel faces the uncertainty of post-Netanyahu era

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a meeting of the right-wing bloc at the Knesset (Israeli parliament) in Jerusalem on November 20, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 22 November 2019

Israel faces the uncertainty of post-Netanyahu era

  • Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s rival Benny Gantz will now seek to encourage defections either from within the Likud party or from allied right-wing parties

AMMAN: It is unclear whether we are witnessing the final chapter of the era of Israel’s longest-standing prime minister but his days of glory appear to be over.

Dian Butto, a Palestinian American lawyer and former member of the Palestinian negotiating team, said that the era of Netanyahu as the sole ruler of Israeli politics is certainly over.

Butto, who is teaching international law at Harvard University, said that for the last few years the general thinking in Israel was that “there is no alternative to Netanyahu.”

Butto also expected that the demise of Netanyahu would be felt within his Likud party.

“Until recently elections slogans said that Netanyahu and the Likud is good for Israel and that Netanyahu and Trump are in a different league. But with Netanyahu gone politically the Likud party will be shaken to its core.”

International war

Mohammed Wattad, a senior analyst working on the Arabs 48 news site in Haifa, said that the days of calling Netanyahu the king of Israel are over, but his disappearance will not be immediate.

“True, the corruption indictment against Netanyahu ends the rule of the King of Israel, but he will continue to hold on to the seat of the prime minister as long as possible.”

Wattad said Netanyahu had created an international war within Israeli society by putting into question the very basis of the government’s social religious and political existence.

“Some analysts believe that the corruption that Netanyahu represents is much more threatening to Israeli society than the Iranian nuclear threat.”

However, Haifa University political science professor Michel Oun believed that it is too early to count Netanyahu out.

Immunity

“He has said he will continue in his position as long as he can and that he is the victim of a coup. I think the legal case will continue for three to four years and unless his immunity is lifted it will be impossible to remove him from his position as a member of Knesset until a judgment is made and enforced.”

Johnny Mansour, a Haifa-based historian and political science lecturer at Beit Berl College in Israel, said that Netanyahu will stay in the job and he listed five different scenarios for the future:

* he resigns and continues as head of a caretaker government

* 2/3 of the Knesset asks that his immunity be lifted, which is very difficult since he heads a coalition of 55 out of 120 members

* a coup takes place in the Likud and the party will collapse.

* a new war breaks possibly in the north and he will stay in power.

* in the absence of a coalition agreement a third election takes place.


Kuwait cabinet consider full coronavirus curfew

Updated 10 min 37 sec ago

Kuwait cabinet consider full coronavirus curfew

DUBAI: The Kuwait government has said it is considering imposing a full curfew in the country, as well as increasing medical employees and halving passes issued to workers across various sectors that allow their movement during the curfew, state news agency KUNA reported.
The cabinet discussed preventive measures and current conditions in the Mahboula and Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh areas in the country, which are under complete lockdown.
The authorities have been ordered to create an executive plan to deal with the possibility of imposing a curfew, government spokesman Tareq Al-Mezrem said in an online news conference.
A program of repatriating people is due to start at the end of the week for those who register on a special website.
Al-Mezrem said the cabinet had ordered cleaning and security companies, contracted to the government, to pay workers and ensure they have good living conditions.
“The government will take legal action against companies violating this issue,” he said.
The country has also approved a request from the Ministry of Commerce to activate an electronic app for people to shop at cooperative societies, Al-Mezrem added.
The state, meanwhile, ordered the Directorate General for Civil Aviation to enable airline operation in order for expats to return back to their countries.