Netanyahu and Gantz might shake hands, but don't believe the smiles. Miriam Alster/FLASH90

Can Netanyahu Be Trusted to Keep His Promises?

Understanding Israel’s political “balagan” in the shadow of a global pandemic


The only competitor to COVID-19’s worrying level of uncertainty is none other than Israeli politics. Developments over the past week indicate that a possible unity government is at hand. Benny Gantz and Benjamin Netanyahu ended last week inching towards an agreement to form of a government in which power would be shared between Netanyahu’s Likud and Gatnz’s “Blue and White” faction and its allies.

A central component of this agreement is the prime ministerial rotation that will see Netanyahu continue as Israel’s leader for another year-and-a-half, after which he will vacate the position for Gantz.

Political earthquake

The sudden advent of a unity government sent shockwaves throughout Israel’s political arena. In a move that surprised everyone, Gantz decided that the coronavirus crisis presented a moral imperative to form an emergency unity government. The former IDF Chief of General Staff subsequently announced he was entering into negotiations with Netanyahu’s Likud party. The immediate result was the abrupt breakup of the second largest party in Israel—Blue…