Israel’s ruling Likud party has committed to a peaceful transition of power after its leader Benjamin Netanyahu’s repeated allegations of election fraud prompted security services to warn of the dangers of political violence.
On Sunday, the Israeli prime minister’s 12-year grip on power is expected to end. That is when 61 MKs of the 120-seat Knesset will vote in Naftali Bennett, the ultra-nationalist at the head of an eight-party coalition agreed last week, which aims to impeach the prime minister five times.
Netanyahu, the Likud leader, described it as part of repeated efforts to destroy the coalition Bennett Alliance With parties extending from the left to an Arab Islamic party as the “fraud of the century”.
“We are witnesses to the greatest electoral fraud in the history of the country and, in my opinion, the history of democracies,” Netanyahu said at a meeting of the Likud faction this week. closest ally He’s had in his decades in politics: Donald Trump.
There is no evidence of election fraud. The coalition agreement was reached after four elections in two years failed to produce a clear result. If the new government does not get enough votes on Sunday, new elections will be held.
Netanyahu’s allies in the hardline political parties, which have formed the backbone of his alliances and now face the same exile from power as Netanyahu, have gone further in their rhetoric. Jacob Litzman, the former health minister, demanded that Bennett, who is religious, be removed from office kippah (hood) in public, portraying him as a traitor to the Jews.
At least four members of Bennett’s party, Yamina, now live under police protection, in addition to several coalition members, and journalists who are critical of Netanyahu. Right-wing protesters set up tents outside the homes of Yamina’s MPs, who were forced to change their phones after incessant death threats. Walla News reported on the Internet that one of the representatives was followed by a suspicious car for a whole day.
Israel’s Shin Bet security chief Nadav Argaman warned this week that continued incitement against lawmakers “may be interpreted by certain groups or individuals as permitting violent and illegal activities that may become fatal, God forbid.”
But Likud, which was on the verge of entering opposition for the first time since 2009, rejected the comparison to Trump’s final days in office as US president, saying the allegations of electoral fraud did not amount to an indictment of Israel’s vote count. Instead, they were highlighting Bennett’s shift from the right-wing camp to the center-right government he would head.
“Bennett hijacked votes from the right and shifted them to the left in direct contradiction to his pledges,” Likud said in a series of tweets late Thursday. “If this isn’t fraud, we don’t know what is.”
“There has always been a peaceful transfer of power in Israel and there will always be,” she added.
The party had announced on June 7 that Bennett was turning “Israel into a dark dictatorship . . . akin to North Korea or Iran”, by considering laws limiting the term that could prevent Netanyahu from running again. Local media reported that MPs are expected to be exposed during Shabbat prayers by Likud loyalists. Voting will take place on Sunday at 4 pm.