(Worthy News) – Israel’s presumed prime minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu is working to form a government amid political and diplomatic challenges. The rise of Religious Zionist Party leader Bezalel Smotrich and Otzma Yehudit Party leader Itamar Ben-Gvir in the recent elections have raised both hopes and concerns on both sides of the political spectrum. Their popularity has also reportedly raised concerns in the United States. There are also reports that U.S. Ambassador to Israel Thomas Nides allegedly expressed his concerns to Netanyahu with regard to the possibility of Smotrich being appointed defense minister.
Supporters of Smotrich and Ben-Gvir, as well as many other Israelis, have expressed their wish to see Israel taking a stronger stance against Palestinians who wish to harm Israel’s security. Critics who have voiced their disappointment with the rise of the two politicians are worried they will control the next government’s agenda, will pull Israel too far to the right and will force Netanyahu to implement right-wing policies.
Jonathan Schanzer, senior vice president of research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told JNS, “The onus will be on Netanyahu to determine how much they dominate the agenda.” [ Source” JNS News (Read More…) ]