JERUSALEM – After three inconclusive elections, a
a year and a half of political deadlock and a three-day delay due to the
in his Likud party for the coveted ministerial posts, the
prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu finally took the oath in his new
government on Sunday.
During the weekend, both Netanyahu and his
rival now turned ally, Benny Gantz, announced his appointments
for the new coalition – resulting in the largest cabinet in the
history of Israel: 36 ministers and 16 deputy ministers.
Netanyahu and Gantz, a former military chief, announced
last month that they would put aside their differences to join forces to
to guide the country through the crisis of the coronavirus and its severe
His controversial power-sharing agreement gives
Netanyahu the role of Prime Minister during the first 18 months of government
before being replaced by Gantz for the next 18 months.
Your blocks will have a similar amount of
ministers and a virtual power of veto over important decisions of the other.
Critics have already accused the
government to be outdated by creating so many cabinet posts in one
when unemployment has shot up by 25% as a result of the pandemic.
But because the Netanyahu block includes
several small parties, he will only be able to offer a limited number of seats
of ministers to the members of the Likud.
This has led to a small uprising in part
of angry senior party members prior to the scheduled
inauguration ceremony on Thursday.
Unable to meet the deadline, Netanyahu called for
a postponement in order to solve the internal crisis of his party.
To appease their legislators without charge in the
cabinet, Netanyahu introduced a number of new and questionable ministries,
such as “community development”, “settlement issues” and “education
and water resources”.
Yair Lapid, the alleged leader of the opposition
said that the intrigues have caused a loss of “peoples confidence
“The coronavirus serves as an excuse for a
corrupt at the expense of taxpayers. After all the empty phrases about
to an emergency government, the government that has been formed today is the most
numerous and most inefficient in the countrys history,” said Lapid. “It is not only
the waste, but the contempt. The total disregard for the crisis that faces
the Israeli population”.
The agreement in advance had caused the
dissolution of the alliance between Gantz and Lapid after the former failed
his campaign promise not to join the Netanyahu government, who
faces corruption charges and a criminal trial starting next week.
His coalition, under heavy scrutiny, could only
after the countrys Supreme Court determined that there was no basis for
legal to prevent it.
The main point of dissent with the
detractors has been the newly created post of “alternate prime minister”, a
position that could allow Netanyahu to remain in power even after
to hand it over to Gantz and during his trial for corruption and potential
It is also suspected that Netanyahu might decide
not fulfilling his part of the agreement to hand over the post of Prime Minister to
Netanyahu faces charges of fraud, abuse of
confidence and bribery in a series of scandals involving an alleged
exchange of favours with wealthy media tycoons.