Members of the new Israeli government formed by Naftali Bennett, the new prime minister, called their coalition a “government of change”. But a big question is whether there will be any changes in Israel’s foreign and defense policies, which have been almost exclusively controlled by Benjamin Netanyahu since 2009, when he entered his last term.
Most members of the Bennett security cabinet have served in the past as senior members of various Netanyahu cabinets for the past 12 years and have supported the policies of the outgoing Prime Minister – Mr. Bennett was Mr. Netanyahu; Avigdor Lieberman was Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Defense; Yair Lapid was Minister of Finance; and Benny Gantz was Minister of Defense, and before that, Chief of Staff of the Army.
In addition, the new government, made up of parties from across the political spectrum, is unlikely to initiate significant changes on controversial issues – such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and issues of establishing an independent Palestinian state or establishing an independent Palestinian state. the continued establishment of settlements in the occupied west. Bank.
Israel is also unlikely to significantly change its policy of waging a so-called “war between wars”, at or near its borders. This includes hundreds of Israeli attacks, almost all from the air, in an attempt to prevent further military build-up in Syria by Iran and Hezbollah, and the development of advanced precision weapons for the Lebanese Shiite militia.
The policy was shaped by the new government’s Defense Minister Benny Gantz when he led the IDF, along with others. But Mr. Netanyahu’s ability to wage this war without letting it deteriorate into a global conflict depended in part on his close ties to President Vladimir V. Putin, which helped prevent clashes between Israeli forces and Russian forces. in Syria.
Mr. Bennet does not have such a relationship with Mr. Putin, and it will be difficult for him to establish one in the context of the tension between Moscow and Washington.
Israel’s new rulers, however, may want to make some changes to distinguish themselves from Mr. Netanyahu, straying from his path in areas like relations with the Palestinian Authority, which Mr. Netanyahu wanted to weaken.
One such possible change could be to follow the military’s recommendation at the end of recent hostilities with Hamas to cut off the flow of funds from Qatar to the Islamist regime in Gaza, and instead direct it to the Palestinian Authority. It could change the balance of power between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority.
One of the first issues Mr. Bennet faces is whether to allow a provocative “flag parade” scheduled for Tuesday in the Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem by ultra-nationalist Jewish Israelis.
Security officials have warned that the parade could spark a new wave of Arab-Jewish violence, including a possible rocket attack against Israel by Hamas in Gaza, and foreseeable Israeli military retaliation.