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Where is Netanyahu's government headed after barring Deri?

Israeli Interior Minister Aryeh Deri [Adi Cohen Zedek/Wikipedia]
Aryeh Deri [Adi Cohen Zedek/Wikipedia]

It seems that time is running out for  the Israeli government, contrary to this existing belief. The government is racing against time and trying to pass laws and legislation to change the judicial system, among others.

The Israeli Supreme Court's decision to bar Aryeh Deri from his position as Minister, after he was previously convicted and imprisoned on corruption charges, including embezzlement of government funds for his party and tax evasion, carries with it several predictions, most notably signs of escalation issued by the Council of Torah Sages through a statement, in which they said, "We are all with you, Aryeh, don't worry. You have the entire public behind you, the entire Israeli nation," according to Israel's Channel 12.

The government's attempts to change the judiciary system, manipulate its powers and work to pass an "override clause" may create real challenges for the existing government coalition, given that what is happening is considered by some to be a "political coup". The retired former President of the Supreme Court, Aharon Barak, referred to it by saying that these reforms would lead to the undermining of the Supreme Court, and would be the "beginning of the end of the Third House" a biblical expression describing the fall of Israel.

READ: Netanyahu sacks minister with criminal record to comply with High Court ruling

There are possible scenarios standing before Netanyahu's government, including Shas accepting the Court's decision, staying in the current government coalition, appointing another minister from the party instead of Deri, or rejecting the decision. This means that the "current coalition" will be in danger, because the rejection will embarrass the government if it does not submit to the Judiciary and accept what was issued by it, while avoiding the wrath of the Shas party, as it weighs heavily in the coalition structure.

If the Judiciary's decision is rejected, the streets of Israel may ignite and further tension and confrontation may occur between the government and the opposition, with the strengthening of the opposition's position, which says that the government is being led by a "thug government" that does not respect the laws of the state of Israel which are issued through its official institution. On the other hand, the accession of any other opposition party to fill the void if Shas left the current government coalition is unlikely.

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Netanyahu has mastered the game of playing on contradicting ropes between the Israeli politicians, and his past experiences with Naftali Bennett and Avigdor Lieberman are the best evidence of his overcoming such crises, as they joined him in previous alliances and, when he entered into crises, he blamed them for what happened. The helpless Lieberman, said at the time, "Netanyahu is the biggest fraudster, and he will deceive you as he deceived us before you," addressing the partners of the current government.

In conclusion, the fraudster Netanyahu will not fail, and will work to achieve what Charles Darwin believed, "it is not the most intellectual of the species that survives; it is not the strongest that survives; but the species that survives is the one that is able best to adapt and adjust to the changing environment in which it finds itself."

Translated  from  Arabi21, 23 January 2023

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.

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