What will Israeli politics look like after Netanyahu?

The promises and dangers of Israel’s new coalition government

Whatever else can be said about Israel’s current politics, it would appear that a change is in the making. How big a change, and how real it will be, is yet to be seen. But the very composition of the new government suggests that things cannot continue in the way they have been for the past few years.

The new coalition, a group that calls itself the “change party,” is emphasizing its intention to strike out in a new direction from that of the Likud party and its leader, Benjamin Netanyahu. Part of this is rooted in the willingness of the central parties that constitute the new government—Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid, Benny Gantz’s Blue and White, and Naftali Bennett’s Yamina—to show their disgust with Likud and especially its leader.

But there are also other parties in the coalition, ranging from right-wing parties (Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu and Gideon Sa’ar’s New Hope) to left-wing parties (Merav Michaeli’s Israeli Labor Party and Nitzan Horowitz’s Meretz) to the first-ever Arab party to be part of an Israeli government, Mansour Abbas’s United Arab List (Ra’am). This last member of the coalition may in fact prove to be the most radical change of the new government.