After Benjamin Netanyahu’s bloc won a majority of 64 members out of 120 members in the Knesset, all Israeli parties, both in the opposition and the ruling bloc, appeared to share similar goals and methods regarding their stance towards the Palestinians and other countries in the region. However, the opposition parties found an internal issue related to the judicial laws that Netanyahu sought to impose by a parliamentary majority, which are general laws of internal order and benefit everyone who manages to form a government, not just Netanyahu’s.
The opposition attempted to persuade members of the government bloc to join their cause and deprive Netanyahu of a parliamentary majority, but they were unsuccessful in their efforts. As a result, the opposition resorted to mobilizing supporters to protest and put pressure on a party to split and withdraw members in their favour, even if it required bribing defectors by offering them a ministerial post in a government formed by the opposition.
The goals and patterns of defection in Israeli politics, both in the past and present, demonstrate that politicians are often motivated by personal gain. For instance, former Defense Minister Moshe Dayan, who was one of the founders of the Labor Party alongside David Ben-Gurion, defected to the Likud Party in exchange for his appointment as foreign minister. Similarly, Shimon Peres, a colleague of Dayan and Ben-Gurion, defected from the Labor Party in 2005 and joined Ariel Sharon Party, where he served as a minister.
Given the current situation in Israel and the region, it is unclear what the opposition parties could achieve even if they were to unite into a single bloc and share in the privileges of government.
Over the past four years, Israel has held four emergency parliamentary elections, and despite the opposition forming two governments with a majority of 59 seats, they were unable to reach the required 61 seats to overthrow Netanyahu and his party. In the most recent election at the end of 2022, Netanyahu and his bloc won a majority of 64 seats. However, his government, like previous ones, is still grappling with the same political and existential challenges that previous governments could not solve or mitigate, which has implications for the army, settlers, and the future existence of Israel.
The information that is forced to be published by official statistics and research studies in Tel Aviv indicates a significant decline in the achievement of a number of key and strategic goals set by Israeli governments during the past five years, the most important of which are:
1- The immigration of Jews from abroad to Israel has decreased significantly, with only a small number of elderly immigrants coming to the country. This has resulted in the army losing potential young recruits to bolster its manpower.
Moreover, the presence of housing units for free settlement in the occupied territories no longer appeals to young people, as they witness the Palestinian armed uprising targeting the settlers. Consequently, coming to Israel in such circumstances is akin to entering a battlefield, which further discourages young people from considering it as a viable option.
2- There has been an increase in the number of people who are returning to their home countries through reverse migration from Israel due to the deteriorating security situation and the uncertainty about the future. This is particularly true for those who were brought to Israel as immigrants but are now leaving because of the increasing number of Palestinians in the occupied territories, which has reached around seven million and has caused widespread insecurity.
3- The United States’ failure to effectively manage the Middle East region, which has been compounded by a year of war, has had negative consequences on the security of the Israeli entity. The US has been unable to achieve its goals in the region, which has further restricted the narrow margin of maneuver that Israel has in the regional arena.
4- On March 10th, an earthquake shook Israel, caused by an agreement of understanding between China, Riyadh, and Tehran. This agreement has the potential to reshape the region both regionally and globally, and Israel and its American ally did not anticipate this development. Some analysts in the United States have described it as “the largest sudden global, regional shift in the region to harm Washington and Tel Aviv.”
5- Following the agreement between China, Riyadh, and Tehran, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s visit to Moscow has had positive consequences for both the Syrian and Russian peoples. Despite the efforts of Washington and Tel Aviv, they have been unable to prevent the military and economic developments that have resulted from the Russian-Syrian summit, which will benefit Syria in the present and future years.
Israeli analysts predict that in the next five years, Washington and consequently Israel will face more crises, given that Moscow and Beijing are boosting the capabilities of their regional allies, Iran and Syria. These transformations took place in less than a week and have already changed the face of the region.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.