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Israel’s Lapid courts Arab parties with eye toward early elections

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid is reshaping his election-campaign strategy in response to infighting on the right, and a possible showdown with former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

It is very possible that Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid might enter the Prime Minister’s Office in just a few weeks. According to the rotation agreement between him and Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, if one of the right-wing parties causes the coalition to fall apart before the official transfer of power in August 2023, Lapid immediately becomes prime minister.

The demise of the coalition has seemed increasingly likely over the last week. The government cannot pass legislation, it is losing votes in the Knesset, and its members are violating coalition discipline. To make matters worse, members of Bennett’s own Yamina party are reportedly conducting covert and even direct negotiations with the Likud about joining them at some point.

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