Benjamin Netanyahu at a Likud faction meeting, 24 December 2018. (Photo credit: Yonatan Sindel/FLASH90)
In anticipation of potential new elections in the event of a collapse of the government of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Israel’s Likud Party – the main right-wing party led by opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu – is ramping up its campaign and promising strict new laws if elected.
A report by The Times of Israel from 18 May claims the Likud Party has several new laws in mind, tailored to attract voters upset with the waves of Palestinian retaliatory operations against the Israeli occupation.
Recent polls also show that a large portion of Israeli citizens have lost faith in the future of their nation.
In response to this trend, Likud promises to introduce legislation that would deport relatives of Palestinian resistance members who hold Israeli citizenship; criminalize the flying of the Palestinian flag or burning the Israeli flag, punishable by imprisonment; and revoke the citizenship of those who protest during “times of war.”
Member of Knesset (MK) Miki Zohar told Zman Yisrael that all those laws would be passed if they were to be elected.
“The Arabs are taking over the country. We see it every day. They abuse Jews. They do what they want. They go out to violent demonstrations that sometimes lead to lynchings. They trample on Israeli flags,” Zohar exclaimed. “This will be the hot topic in the elections and the public will be with us.”
Likud has relied heavily on anti-Arab sentiments in previous elections, as was the case in 2015 when Netanyahu stated that “the rule of the right is in danger. Arab voters are coming in droves to the ballot boxes.”
At least 75 percent of Israeli Arabs say Jews have no right to sovereignty in occupied Palestine.
A Haaretz report from 9 May suggests PM Bennett is anticipating the possibility of the collapse of his government, which would throw Israel into fresh parliamentary elections.
The new Knesset would then have to elect the next prime minister.
The report stated that Bennett himself believes his government will resign in the coming weeks.
The Israeli premier and his adviser allegedly discussed the possibility of dissolving the Knesset and using the support of the Arab Joint List to maintain his position in the government.
If Bennett can still count on the support of the bloc led by current foreign minister Yair Lapid, then Bennett can remain prime minister, the report added.
On 6 April, the defection of an MK to Likud led to Bennett losing his parliamentary majority, and placed his coalition government in a state of uncertainty.