Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister who has been in office for a record twelve years has been ousted by a single vote in the parliament. Naftali Bennett, a right-wing extremist led his alliance of eight parties and won with 60 votes against 59 in the 120-member Knesset. The motley grouping of leftists, centrists, and right-wingers got united only on the single minimum agenda of removing Netanyahu. That brings to an end the months-long uncertainty about prime ministership. But that need not give a comfortable time for the new ruling alliance, given Netanyahu's threat that he will sit in the opposition " with our heads high until we topple this bad government". Netanyahu leaves office with the record of having occupied the prime minister's post for the longest period in Israeli history. The fact is that his forte of foiling any and every challenge at national and international levels through Zionist terrorism didn't stand him in good stead this time, losing out to a still more extreme leader.
Ever since 2019 Netanyahu has been battling a set of corruption allegations like having received illicit funds from crony billionaires and making quid pro quo deals with media barons in return for his image building. In the recent spate of elections – four within two years all yielding doubtful popular verdicts - the charges remained live against Bibi whom opponents called 'crime minister'. But he overcame them all by shedding the blood of women and children living in the West Bank and Gaza living under the limited autonomy of Palestinians. Whenever the prime minister of Israel got entangled in political controversy, it was the innocent Palestinians who paid the price. And Netanyahu fancied that the rockets and missiles launched to the West Bank and Gaza would guarantee him victory. But not this time, for that he could not overcome the internal opposition with such tactics is proved by his defeat in two successive elections. No wonder then that the streets of Tel Aviv on a Sunday were celebrating his defeat while equating Netanyahu to the tycoon Haman, the darling of Pharoah in history who tortured the Israelites. The people of Israel have termed Netanyahu, who surpassed everyone else in the matter of deceit and nepotism, as a betrayer. Everyone believes that the unusual political assortment of left, right, moderate and extremist elements is the outcome of nothing but the damage of his own making.
But one thing certain is that neither in Israel nor in Palestine and in the larger West Asia, where Palestinians are the constant victims of Israeli spite, this change of regime will not make any major difference. For the mantra of Netanyahu's rule and power consisted of three 'No's: No Palestinian state, No return of Golan heights which it captured from Syria and No negotiations about the future status of Jerusalem. He had even resigned from his post of foreign minister in 2005 in protest against the decision to withdraw from Gaza. And he is one who liberally promoted the illegal settlements in Palestinian territory. If Israel's diplomatic relations with the US, was limping because of the tiff with Barack Obama during the eight years of his term, Netanyahu used the opportunity as soon as the racist in Donald Trump came to office. That was followed by America's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Jerusalem, which Israel had been claiming as its own for several decades. Trump left office and in came Biden, but America's support for Israel continued for the 11 days of Israel's spitting of fire on Gaza that killed about 300 Palestinians including 70 children. What his ouster now proves is that none of these acts persuaded the Israeli population to bear with Netanyahu's corrupt regime any longer.
Apart from the fact that the new regime comes to office because of Netanyahu's shady background alone, the new prime minister Naftali Bennett is nothing but one step ahead of Netanyahu in ultra-nationalism and in the inhuman approach in Palestinian land. Palestinians are convinced that in the upcoming tenure of Bennet, who argues that that Palestinians are terrorists deserving to be killed and that West Bank has already become a part of Israel, it is a myth to expect that the region will move to peace. This change of the guard represents only a settlement of the internal bickering within Israel. Its blood-stained track of belligerence and racial hatred is likely to continue.