May 11, 2021

A Lapid-led emergency government?

Right now the mandate is in Yair Lapid's hands, that means it is on hi to come to the President at some point within 28 days and present a viable government coalition. 

Right now Benjamin Netanyahu cannot form a government. Whether or not the current round of violence helps him or not, he cannot do anything until after Lapid's mandate concludes unsuccessfully, and even then he might not be given another opportunity as the President could technically send it back to elections (or he could give the Knesset a chance to decide for itself and then Netanyahu would have a 2nd chance).

So right now it is in the hands of Yair Lapid and only he can officially make offers to other politicians and put together a coalition. Meaning, with all the calls now from the Likud to Bennett and Saar saying this is not the time to stand against Netanyahu, right now we need an emergency government, etc, Bennett and Saar can't even go join Netanyahu in forming a government right now - at most they can call off negotiations with Lapid, wait 3+ weeks and then maybe form an emergency government with Netanyahu. By the time 3 weeks passes, the hostilities might be long finished and the urgency gone.

If an emergency government is needed, and usually emergency government also means a unity government formed across the political spectrum in order to deal with an emergency situation and focus on that until it is resolved, it is really right now on Lapid to form it. As I explained, Lapid has the mandate and right now only he can form a government.

So, perhaps right now Yair Lapid should make an official statement, calla  press conference, and announce that negotiations for forming a government are being frozen during the hostilities, and he should put out an offer to Benjamin Netanyahu to form an emergency unity government together. It sounds a little ridiculous, but this is really the only way an emergency government can happen right now.

If he were to make such an offer, would Netanyahu agree to it? I don't know. Presumably Lapid would likely have to offer Netanyahu first slot in a rotation, as he has supposedly offered Bennett. But even if he were to make such an offer, would Netanyahu do everything possible to form, or actually, join such an emergency government? Would he betray the Haredi parties in that way? Would it even be considered a betrayal considering the emergency situation? And maybe the Haredi parties would also be willing to join, even though it would mean sitting with Lapid, considering the emergency situation - would this be their opportunity to come down form their ladder about not sitting with Lapid, if they are even interested in such a ladder?

It sounds a bit fantastical, and Lapid would have to know he is giving himself up for an emergency situation because it is almost definite that Netanyahu would find a way out of the arrangement before his turn was over.

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