Long-serving Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was the face of Israel for over a decade and more has finally been forced out of office. Indians are familiar with Netanyahu for his bonhomie with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
During Modi’s path-breaking visit to Israel in 2017, the first by an Indian PM, there was a virtual love-fest as Netanyahu embraced Modi and sent out tweets every hour to record the occasion. Since then, Netanyahu has been a hot favourite in India, especially among bhakts and supporters of the government.
Netanyahu, a sharp politician who served Israel for three successive terms of four years each, could not make it this time. Yet till the floor test in the Knesset (parliament) was taken, no one was very sure whether Netanyahu would not pull a rabbit out of his hat. That is the kind of formidable reputation he holds in the country. He has survived several attempts to dislodge him in the past.
Nothing, not even the long-running corruption cases against him had succeeded in getting the wily Netanyahu a master politician out. This time his luck ran out. Not even the 11-day clash with Hamas in the Gaza Strip and his divisive agenda could stop his ouster.
Israel’s new Prime Minister Naftali Bennet unlike his predecessor is not much known outside Israel. Bennet, once a close aide of Benjamin Netanyahu, is again a right-wing politician who does not acknowledge the two-nation theory which is the basis of the Oslo Peace deal signed in … However Bennet is heading a coalition of disparate interests, all bound together to oust Netanyahu.
These groups range from the far right to the left and include for the first time a small Arab party.