Netanyahu faces final curtain after record run
June 1, 2021 - Israel’s longest-serving prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, faces a potent threat to his grip on power as opposition leaders work to put together a coalition government.
Naftali Bennett, head of the small, hard-line nationalist Yamina party, has said he would form a coalition with the centrist opposition leader Yair Lapid.
Bennett and Lapid have until Wednesday to hammer out a deal in which the pair split the premiership — with Bennett serving the first two years and Lapid the following two.
If Lapid and his allies, which range from hard-line nationalists to liberal Zionists and a small Islamist party, can overcome their differences and seal a deal, it would spell the end of Netanyahu's rule, for the time being.
Netanyahu, who faces serious corruption charges and could go to jail, fell short of a decisive majority at a general election in March. It was the country’s fourth inconclusive vote in two years - and again he failed to secure coalition allies.
Netanyahu became Israel’s longest-serving prime minister in 2019, surpassing the record set by the country’s founding father, David Ben-Gurion.