After over a year of political stalemate, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his main political rival, Benny Gantz, have signed a coalition agreement, saving Israel from a fourth election in less than two years. The new government will be supported by about 70 of the 120 members of the Knesset, which might bring stability not found in razor-thin majorities. According to the terms of the agreement, Netanyahu will hold onto the premiership for eighteen months, after which Gantz will have his turn. Shmuel Rosner comments on the other details:
[Gantz] agreed that Netanyahu could initiate annexation of parts of Judea and Samaria in the early summer. . . . Netanyahu wants [annexation], but also understand that there are risks involved. He will not make a final decision until the actual time comes. If circumstances allow—the coronavirus crisis, relations with the Trump administration, and other factors—Israel might be on track to annex parts of the West Bank.
The debate concerning the legal system and its responsibilities was one of the main stumbling blocks during the [most recent] round of negotiations. Within Likud there are people who believe that the time has come for reforming this system. [Gantz took the opposite position.] Ultimately, the parties reached a compromise for a simple reason: Netanyahu never made the fight against the court his highest priority. In fact, for many years he was one of the most conservative leaders within Likud when it comes to the court. Similarly, Gantz is not fully convinced that all of the complaints against the legal system are completely off the mark. This was more a fight over pretense than content.
But, Rosner concludes, the most important outcome is that Israel won’t have a fourth election, and will get a much-needed reprieve from political chaos.