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Naftali Bennett (left) and Benjamin Netanyahu. Photos: GALI TIBBON/AFP via Getty Images; ALEXANDER ZEMLIANICHENKO/AFP via Getty Images

The leader of Israel's right wing Yamina party, Naftali Bennett, told members of his party at a meeting Sunday he's moving forward with joining opposition leader Yair Lapid to form a power sharing government that would oust Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Why it matters: A new "change government" would make Bennett prime minister and bring an end to 12 years of Benjamin Netanyahu's rule. The development could end the political crisis that has led to four elections in two years.

What he's saying: Bennett told the members of the legislature from his party Sunday that Netanyahu has no ability to form a government, and that his claims that he can get members of the center-left bloc to defect and join the right-wing bloc are false.

  • Bennett added that the only alternative to a “change government” with the center-left would be a fifth election.
  • “Netanyahu will not be able to get a majority again and then we will go to a sixth election. The country can’t continue like that”, Bennet said according to press reports about the meeting.
  • A statement by the Yamina party said all members of the legislature who attended the meeting backed Bennett’s effort to form a government and avoid a fifth election.

Worth noting: Under a “change government”, Bennett would serve as prime minister for two years before Lapid rotates into the job. It would be the most wide-ranging coalition ever formed in Israel.

Between the lines: Such a government would be highly fragile, avoid controversial issues, take all decisions in consensus and focus on the economy, post-COVID-19 relief and stabilization of the Gaza ceasefire.

  • Even such an agenda would be very hard to implement, and the government could fall apart within months.

What’s next: The new government could be sworn in next Monday — giving Netanyahu a week to try and sabotage it to prevent Lapid and Bennett from acquiring a majority.

What to watch: Bennett will announce his intention to form a government with opposition leader Yair Lapid during a speech at 8 p.m. local time, or 1 p.m. ET.

Go deeper

Sep 3, 2021 - World

Japan's Prime Minister Suga to step down after one year in office

Suga detailing his resignation on Japanese television. Photo: Carl Court/Getty Images

Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said Friday he will not seek re-election as the leader of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party this month, bringing his time as prime minister to an end ahead of a general election on Nov. 28.

Why it matters: Japan is the world's third-largest economy and a key U.S. ally. Suga became the first world leader to visit the White House in-person in April, where he and President Biden announced a "new era" in U.S.-Japan relations aimed in part at countering China's influence in the Indo-Pacific.

Biden sinks in swing districts

Photo: Biden speaks about wild fires and climate change in Sacramento on September 13, 2021. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/ AFP via Getty Images

Sudden doubts about President Biden's competence — on Afghanistan, immigration and COVID — are driving double-digit drops in his approval in private polling in swing House seats, The Cook Political Report's Amy Walter writes.

Why it matters: "[T]hese early mistakes go directly to the very rationale of his presidency; that it would be low drama and high competence."

Ina Fried, author of Login
26 mins ago - Technology
Column / Signal Boost

How COVID slowed 5G

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Two years into the 5G era, expensive new cellular networks have blanketed much of the country, but they have yet to change our lives.

Between the lines: It was always going to take some time for 5G's full impact — from faster service to new uses — to arrive. But the pandemic has slowed even some of the initial benefits.