Benjamin Netanyahu Is Israel’s Leader Once Again

Benjamin Netanyahu Is Israel's Prime Minister Once Again

( – On December 29, Benjamin Netanyahu retook the office of prime minister in Israel. While he enjoyed much support, he also faced opposition. Some feel his motives will only harm the nation, especially minorities like the Palestinians and the LGBTQ+ community. But the returning PM claims he is ready to make the country stronger.

Rising Back Into Power

On November 1, the Likud party in Israel took the majority of seats in the country’s parliament, the Knesset. The victory opened the door for former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to retake the office.

He left power in 2021 after deadlocked elections because of concerns over legal troubles. He’s facing corruption charges, and many felt he shouldn’t rule the country while under criminal investigation. Yet, Netanyahu denies all claims against him, and when opposing coalitions fell apart in June, his run for office strengthened considerably.

His election win on December 28 and swearing-in on December 29 marked his sixth term as prime minister. But the conservative, traditional leader continues to face questions about his true motives and plans for Israel.

Concerns Over the New Government

With Netanyahu and conservative parties in power, some feel the new government bodes ill for women, LGBTQ+, and non-Jewish citizens. Fox News printed a translation of Netanyahu’s tweet on December 28, in which the new prime minister stated his plans to retake lands for the Jews but also implied he would work with other world leaders to combat climate issues and fight terrorism.

Netanyahu’s supporters are primarily parties that have stances in opposition to these minorities or are extremely religiously conservative. Some also oppose the Palestinian state. In addition, he’s appointed officials who have a history of racism and Jewish supremacy, Axios reported.

Bezalel Smotrich is the finance minister. He leads a religious party looking to advance Judaism; in his new job, he will have power over the disputed West Bank settlement. Meanwhile, Itamar Ben Gvir has become the national security minister. He has a past criminal history involving racism and support of a Jewish terrorist organization and will now control the police.

Aryeh Deri is taking two positions as the minister of the interior and health. He is perhaps the most controversial selection. He got the jobs through the Deri law, a recent change by the Knesset that will allow him to take office despite past criminal convictions. The Israeli Supreme Court will hear the matter to determine the measure’s legality.

Netanyahu also has coalition agreements that are causing concern. He plans to put Israelis in charge of the land, but it leaves out any discussion of rights for the Palestinians. He also has committed to a focus on the Abraham Accords.

There are also coalition plans to change the judicial system, which the prime minister said will aim to balance out the branches of government. But concerns are that he will void the highest court by allowing for overrides by the Knesset. Critics feel his goal is to clear himself of legal troubles.

Steps to Ease Uncertainty

Netanyahu is well aware of the opposition to him and the concerns surrounding his rise to power. He addressed those by saying he would destroy the country and remove democracy by noting his election is the true epitome of the strength of democracy within the nation, according to CBS News.

In addition, the Knesset swore in Amir Ohana, an openly gay man, as speaker on December 29. In a speech, Ohana stated the new government would honor the rights of the LGBTQ+ community.

Despite worries the new government might clash with the Biden administration over issues concerning the Palestinians, President Joe Biden said the new PM has “been my friend for decades” in a statement on December 29. His words showed an openness to working with Netanyahu. Still, he stressed the need for equal opportunity for all the people of Israel and for peace, which he hopes is also a priority for the new government.

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