Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is seeking conservative lawmakers to come alongside him in an effort to derail a proposed new coalition government there that would move him out of power for the first time in a dozen years.
The New York Post explained Netanyahu is trying to convince right-wing lawmakers to join him – so that a newly announced coalition would fail for lack of support.
He warned on social media on Thursday, “All right-wing Knesset members must oppose this dangerous left-wing government.”
The new coalition is being developed behind Naftali Bennett, a right-wing politician who reportedly is working through his party, the Jewish Home, with Ra’am, a left-wing group, to assemble a 61-seat majority in the 120-seat legislative body.
Netanyahu said the deal apparently is moving forward because Bennett was “selling” the Negev to the left-wing interest group.
Centrist Yair Lapid and even the Islamist United Arab List also are involved in the coalition.
It was Lapid who had announced the attempt to move forward, with a message to President Reuven Rivlin that he had an agreement with Bennett to end Netanyahu’s time as prime minister.
Arab List leader Mansour Abbas celebrated being included.
“This is the first time an Arab party is a partner in the formation of a government,” Abbas reportedly said. “This agreement has a lot of things for the benefit of Arab society, and Israeli society in general.”
Reuters said it was a common fight against Netanyahu that brought the Islamist politician to endorse “a far-right Jewish leader.”
An estimated 21% of Israel’s population is Arab – Palestinian by heritage and Israeli by citizenship.
“We decided to join the government in order to change the balance of political forces in the country,” Abbas said.
He also confirmed the deal includes $16 billion “to improve infrastructure and curb violent crime in Arab towns,” the report said.
The BBC reported before the deal was announced that Netanyahu was warning it would endanger Israel’s security.
He had fallen short of a majority in the general election in March, the nation’s fourth inconclusive vote in two years.
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