After nearly four years of political deadlock and five elections, Israel swore in the most right-wing parliament in its history
After five elections and nearly four years of political gridlock, Israel on Tuesday swore in its most right-wing legislature ever.
In the 120-seat Knesset, Benjamin Netanyahu, the designated prime minister, is attempting to put together a far-right and religious ruling coalition. Netanyahu’s political comeback, which is taking place while he is being tried for corruption, has been aided by the rising popularity of a right-wing coalition that was once on the periphery of Israeli society.
Hours after a Palestinian attacker went on a murderous rampage in an Israeli-controlled industrial zone in the occupied West Bank, killing three Israelis and injuring three more before being shot dead, the 25th Knesset was sworn into office with trumpets and choral music. Israeli citizens will be protected by more aggressive action against Palestinian attackers, according to Netanyahu’s likely right-wing coalition partners.
In his statement following the nation’s five contentious elections, Israeli President Isaac Herzog made a call for togetherness, saying Israelis are worn out from the infighting and its effects.
Now, he continued, the accountability rests mostly with you, the people’s elected officials. It is our duty to make an effort to wean us from this dependence on never-ending battles.
Herzog also urged the elected officials to protect the rights of Israel’s minorities, who worry that the next coalition government, which is predicted to be largely male, religious, and right-wing, will undo the progress made by its predecessor on issues like the environment, LGBTQ rights, and funding for the Arab population.
He said that certain populations, particularly minorities, worry that their concerns won’t be addressed. You, the duly elected representatives of the people, must think about this and keep them in mind.
The previous parliament, which included an all-time high of 36 women and a minor Arab Islamist party in the government for the first time ever, was among the most colorful and varied in Israel’s history. Only 29 women make up this Knesset. The Likud party of Netanyahu and the Religious Zionism coalition of far-right parties account for the majority of the 23 new lawmakers for this coalition.
The Israel Democracy Institute said that there were just 10 Arab parliamentarians out of 120, the lowest number in twenty years. Balad, a Palestinian nationalist party, was unable to enter parliament in part due to poor Arab voter turnout in Israel.
The left-wing party Meretz, which has long supported the establishment of a Palestinian state, likewise ceased to exist. Herzog noted in his remarks that the celebration would be missed. With only four seats, the Labor Party, which ruled Israel for the first 20 years, just about made it into parliament.