Israel’s anti-Netanyahu coalition moves to unseat Knesset speaker

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Israel’s anti-Netanyahu coalition moves to unseat Knesset speaker

Replacing Yariv Levin would mean the new government could take office as soon as Monday

Michael Daventry is foreign editor of Jewish News

Yair Lapid, Naftali Bennett and Mansour Abbas were among eight party leaders who agreed the coalition deal. (Photo: Twitter)
Yair Lapid, Naftali Bennett and Mansour Abbas were among eight party leaders who agreed the coalition deal. (Photo: Twitter)

The eight political parties hoping to unseat Benjamin Netanyahu as Israel’s prime minister moved on Thursday to unseat the Knesset speaker in a bid to accelerate the handover of power.

Replacing Yariv Levin would mean a vote of confidence could take place as early as Monday, allowing the new government to begin work next week.

It comes after opposition leader Yair Lapid secured a late-night coalition deal that would see right-wing leader Naftali Bennett become Israel’s prime minister for the next two years in a rotation arrangement.

The agreement is historic not just for spelling the end of Netanyahu’s 12 years in power, but because it involves an Israeli Arab party, the United Arab List, for the first time in the country’s history. Other left-wing and centrist parties are also included.

Lapid, who will become prime minister in two years under the agreement, said: “This government will work for all the citizens of Israel, those that voted for it and those that didn’t. It will do everything to unite Israeli society.”

Bennett said that no one would be asked to “give up on their ideology” in the coalition, but added: “everyone will have to postpone the realisation of some of their dreams. We will focus on what can be done, instead of arguing over what is impossible.”

Unseating Knesset speaker Yariv Levin, who is a member of Netanyahu’s Likud party, and replacing him with an opposition MK would allow a vote of confidence to take place earlier.

Levin is reportedly planning to delay the vote to as late as June 14.

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