On Friday, the new Israeli government signed potential coalition agreements including term limits. Far right leader Naftali Bennet of the Yamina party will take over as Prime Minister for two years on Sunday from longstanding Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The coalition is a mishmash of different ideologies from the far right to the far left but has come together to lead the country. The new government will focus on economic and social issues.
The “unity government” as described by Yair Lapid of the centrist Yesh Atid party will focus on infrastructure to build and maintain new hospitals, a new university and another airport. The coalition also plans to pass a two-year budget. This will stabilize the country’s finances. It was using a pro-rated version of a base budget passed in 2019 which was ratified in 2018. The political uncertainty in the past couple of years has adversely affected financial outlays and progress in Israel.
The government plans to maintain “status quo” on issues of religion and state. The Yamina party will have a “veto.” Two reforms that have been touted include decentralized authority over conversions to Judaism and removing the monopoly held by ultra-Orthodox Jews on kosher foods.
Changes will also be made in Israeli-occupied West Bank to “ensure Israel’s interests.” There will be an overall plan for transportation as well for infrastructure and welfare in Arab towns. A plan to curb violence will also be drawn up.
The coalition government is also looking to decriminalizing marijuana, a policy that has also been implemented by its biggest supporter and closest ally, the U.S. The coalition will also move to regulate the lucrative earner as revenues from marijuana can be diverted for use in building and sustaining economies of states or countries.
On Sunday, June 13, both Naftali Bennet and Yair Lapid will be waiting for their coalition to secure the necessary number of votes to unseat Benjamin Netanyahu, who has been the Prime Minister of Israel for twelve years. He has been the “common factor” who brought together a never imagined coalition of parties as all of them wish to bring an end to his era.