It appears Israel will have a new prime minister for the first time in 12 years, with Naftali Bennett, the leader of the right-wing Yamina party, agreeing to form a unity government with opposition leader Yair Lapid on Sunday. The two would split the next four years as prime minister, with Bennett (who has fierce critics) getting the first turn. If the agreement is finalized later this week it will mean the end of embattled Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's uninterrupted run in office.
Netanyahu, who has been accused of bribery, fraud, and breach of trust in separate cases, suggested Sunday that he doesn't plan to go down without a fight, but the chances of him staying in power seem slim at this point, so The National's Joyce Karam broke down what that means for Israel, at home and abroad.
Netanyahu's departure, she writes, starts a "fresh page" in Israeli domestic politics, and it's "welcome news" for the Biden administration, the Palestinian Authority, Jordan, Arab governments, and the European Union, but Karam does not believe it will significantly alter important policies, like Israel's approach to Iran or the Palestinian peace process.
Karam summed up her argument by describing the shakeup as a "major earthquake to Israel's body politic" that won't lead to "a revolution." After all, she added, Netanyahu has "formidably" led the opposition in the past, and he should do so again, while "larger issues have been stagnant" regardless of whether he's serving as prime minister.