Snapshots

A New, and Likely Less Hawkish, Government Takes Office in Israel

May 18, 2020 | 18:49 GMT

After more than a year of unprecedented political gridlock, a legitimate government has finally taken office in Israel. On May 17, Israel's parliament approved Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Blue and White party leader Benny Gantz's power-sharing agreement to form an emergency coalition in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. Under the deal, Netanyahu will remain prime minister and Gantz will take the role of defense minister, along with the new role of "alternate prime minister." While both leaders see eye-to-eye on many issues, they disagree on Israel's approach to Iran. This could be a future point of contention within the nascent government, as Gantz's history suggests he won't take Netanyahu's same hawkish approach against Iran's nuclear program. With political and legal checks on Netanyahu's powers, Gantz's new role as defense minister (and prime minister-in-waiting) will lower the likelihood of Israel directly attacking Iran by granting him the additional political...

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