(Photo credit: Abir Sultan/Pool Photo via AP)
Israeli Channel 12 published a poll on 23 December detailing the approval of the Israeli public towards Benjamin Netanyahu’s new government and his far-right coalition partners.
At least 51 percent of Israelis are dissatisfied with how Netanyahu’s government was formed and how Jewish supremacist parties have gained leverage that outweighs their support.
Additionally, about 40 percent of the Israeli public fears the government and the repercussions of its “extremist elements.” Only 40 percent is hopeful, while the other 20 percent is undecided.
Similarly, 72 percent of those interviewed from opposition parties expressed similar fear. Eleven percent of those who voted for the new far-right government also say they fear what is to come.
In a report by the Palestinian news website Al-Hodhod, the dissatisfaction with the far-right involves influential members of Likud, Netanyahu’s political party.
“It was not a negotiation; it was a settlement,” claimed a member of Netanyahu’s party in an interview with Israel Today.
He added that while the Likud controls specific ministries, Netanyahu gave enough leverage to the head of the Religious Zionist Party, Bezalel Smotrich, and Otzma Yehudit party, Itamar Ben Gvir, to sabotage them.
“For example, the Ministry of the Army is with us [the Likud], but Smotrich has an official there. The Ministry of Education is with us, but entire departments were handed [to the coalition partners] during the negotiations,” the unnamed official told Israeli Today.
As a result, Likud will only lead 17 out of 37 ministries in the new government.
Moreover, the outgoing army Chief of Staff, Aviv Kochavi, has denounced the “political interference” in the army’s decisions from high officials in the incoming government.
Kochavi and many other officers are fearful of what impact the ultranationalist officials will have on the integrity of the chain of command and the overall stability of the army.
TV channel Kan 11 reported that as part of the coalition deal, the prime minister agreed the chief military rabbi of the army would be appointed by a committee headed by the chief Sephardic rabbi of Israel, Yitzhak Yosef.
The change marginalizes the army chief of staff, who traditionally appoints the rabbi. This will impact the soldiers who would follow rulings that differ from the Military rabbinical doctrine.