Israeli right-wing parties are demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and calling for another right-wing leader as his successor, according to political sources familiar with the matter in Tel Aviv.
The recent demand is welcomed by several parties such as Netanyahu’s Likud, as well as the New Right and the National Union, both members of the Yamina Alliance led by Naftali Bennett.
They used scare tactics to warn right-wing parties that their ideologies face the risk of losing power due to Netanyahu's failures to address the scourge of the coronavirus and the dangerous economic consequences.
They say that the public has lost confidence in the PM and his ministers, who are chaotically leading the country with contradictory decisions.
The parties said that a number of ministers issued precautionary measures that they did not follow, but asked citizens to abide by them.
Polls confirm that despite the achievements in foreign policy and the agreements with the UAE and Bahrain, Netanyahu's domestic popularity continues to decline, according to right-wing officials.
They believe he should resign and give way to another right-wing figure who is welcomed by all, in order to save the right-wing regime.
However, another part wants the premier removed because they believe he, like some of his predecessors, has betrayed the principles.
They refer to Menachem Begin, who evacuated settlements by force and recognized the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, Ariel Sharon who split the Likud party and led the withdrawal from the Gaza Strip to the 1967 borders, and Ehud Olmert who offered Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas a plan to withdraw from 98 percent of the West Bank.
Journalist Kalman Libeskind suggested finding a “respectable exit” for Netanyahu by concluding a plea deal with the prosecution, according to which he retired from politics, in exchange for dismissing the indictments against him.
A similar position was reflected by a senior Likud official who spoke to journalist Ben Caspet, on condition of anonymity.
The official believes that it’s about time Netanyahu ends his term. He indicated that the PM is even following the path of the left-wing leaders who ignored all principles and ideology and have always sought compromises for solutions.
He described Netanyahu as a “pragmatic leader” who does not take military risks.
The official recalled how Netanyahu accepted the Oslo Accords and completed their implementation, and now stopped the annexation plan and pledged not to object the deal to sell advanced aircraft to the UAE.
He warned that if Netanyahu remains in power, “he will reach an agreement with the Palestinians, the price of which will be high, more than what we have paid so far. Therefore, it is time for him to give up.”
Netanyahu's comrades in Likud fear that the upcoming elections will not be in their favor.
The public discontent with the government’s failure to combat the pandemic and the exhausting economic conditions are noticeable and high. In addition, unemployment rate has amounted to half a million workers, and in the most recent polls, 49 percent of Israelis complained that they were directly affected by the government's recent economic decisions.
However, Naftali Bennett is benefitting the most from the current situation. A once high-ranking official at Netanyahu's office, Bennett left to form a party with Ayelet Shaked and they now lead the coalition of extreme right-wing parties, Yamina.
They won six seats in the Knesset, and polls show that they could quadruple it to more than 22 seats in the coming elections.
Bennett sees himself as a strong candidate for the premiership, even in an alliance with Netanyahu.
Bennett seeks to expand the ranks of his party to include liberal forces and gain the votes of the center. He proposes forming an alliance between Likud and Yamina, before the elections, provided that he leads the government until Netanyahu finishes his trial.
In the meantime, Bennett continues to attack Netanyahu for his failures, and Likud threatens to keep him out of any future right-wing coalition.