After four elections in two years, Israeli opposition leader Yair Lapid, head of the centrist Yesh Atid party, has agreed to form a broad-based, national unity government with Naftali Bennett’s far-right Yamina party, likely putting an end to the political stalemate of the last two years as well as the 12-year reign of Benjamin Netanyahu, the longest-serving prime minister in Israel’s history. Under the terms of the agreement, the ultra-nationalist Bennet will serve as premier for the first two years—assuming the coalition holds up that long—before handing the premiership to Lapid.
The new “change government” includes an unprecedentedly diverse set of parties ranging from the pro-two state solution Meretz Party on the left to the pro-annexation Yamina on the far right, and will for the first time ever include an Arab party, Mansour Abbas’s United Arab List, in the ruling coalition.
How durable will the new coalition government be? What does a Naftali Bennett premiership mean for the future of a two-state solution and the Israeli occupation? How will Netanyahu deal with his new role as Israel’s opposition leader?
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