Benjamin Netanyahu’s formation of a right-wing government in Israel has been met with a great deal of criticism from liberal Israelis, Western allies, rights groups, businesses, and serving officials.
This government is composed of Netanyahu’s Likud Party, the pro-settler Religious Zionism party, and the ultra-Orthodox Shas party, who have all made demands for power in exchange for their support.
The approval of Parliament for the legislation granting the Religious Zionism party authority over West Bank settlements and allowing Shas party leader Aryeh Deri to serve as a minister despite a tax fraud conviction has been seen as a controversial move by many, especially those from liberal backgrounds. Furthermore, the new government has already been criticized for its anti-gay statements, efforts to curb the power of the Supreme Court, and other controversial policies.
Netanyahu has promised to protect civil rights, but the opposition to his government remains strong and vocal. Businesses, rights groups, and serving officials have all expressed concerns over the potential for human rights abuses, a lack of democracy, and a weakening of the rule of law. Additionally, many are worried that the new government’s policies could lead to further divisions between Israelis and Palestinians, and increased tensions in the region.
The new government is set to be sworn in on December 29th, and while Netanyahu has promised to protect civil rights, it is clear that many are still wary of the implications of his government. The formation of this right-wing coalition is seen as a major setback for many liberal Israelis, Western allies, rights groups, businesses, and serving officials, who fear that it could mean an erosion of democracy and human rights in the region. Only time will tell whether or not Netanyahu and his coalition partners will live up to their promises, and whether or not their policies will have a positive effect on the region.