Orthodox Jewish parties in the government of Israel

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There are fears that the new Israeli government will exacerbate the conflict with the Palestinians, reduce the independence of the judiciary and limit the rights of minorities. Netanyahu promised to pursue peace and protect civil rights. Speaking at a special session of the Knesset in Jerusalem, the new prime minister said his administration would “restore rule, peace and personal security to the citizens of Israel.” Natanyahu’s opponents suggest that he was forced to sign deals with orthodox parties because the more liberal ones refused to sit in government with him on charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust. He himself denies these allegations. This is Netanyahu’s record-setting sixth term, having been ousted from power by his opponents 18 months ago. His coalition partners promise to lead the country in a new direction. The first guiding principle of the new government is that “the Jewish people have an exclusive and unquestionable right to all areas of the land of Israel” (including the occupied West Bank) and promises “progress and development” of settlements there. Since Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem began in 1967, approximately 600,000 Jews have settled in approximately 140 settlements. Most of the international community considers these settlements illegal under international law, although Israel denies this. There are also about 100 outposts in the West Bank – small settlements built without the consent of the Israeli government. In a coalition agreement with the ultranationalist Religious Zionist party Natanjahu signed last week, he agreed to legalize the facilities retroactively. He also promised to annex the West Bank, “choosing the time and considering all the national and international interests of the State of Israel.” Israel’s Western and Arab allies oppose such moves. Religious Zionist leader Bezalel Smotrich, a West Bank settler who will serve as finance minister, will also oversee the civil administration that approves settlement construction in the West Bank and controls important aspects of Palestinian life. The leader of the Otzma Yehudit (Jewish Power) party, Itamar Ben-Gvir, another settler and ultranationalist politician, previously convicted of racism and supporting a terrorist organization, will become the minister of national security responsible for the police. Netanyahu’s coalition partners reject the idea of ​​a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – an internationally supported peace formula that envisages an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank, with Jerusalem as its joint capital. Avi Maoz (anti-LGBTQ), head of the Noam party, will serve as deputy minister in the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office. He calls for the banning of gay parades in Jerusalem, denounces the equality of women in the military and wants to limit Jewish immigration to Israel in accordance with the strict interpretation of Jewish law. As a balance, openly gay Likud member Amir Ohana was elected speaker of parliament. BBC, KR

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