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THE WEEK AHEAD: Knesset to dissolve, Yair Lapid to become interim prime minister as Israel switches to campaign mode... again

Here are the stories we are watching...

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Minister of Defense Benny Gantz and Minister of Foreign Affairs Yair Lapid during a discussion and a vote on a bill to dissolve the Knesset, June 22, 2022. (Photo: Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)
  • The Knesset dissolves

  • Yair Lapid becomes interim prime minister

  • US envoy for anti-Semitism in Saudi Arabia  

  • EU’s top diplomat in Iran as Vienna talks to resume

  • Cyber Week

KNESSET TO DISPERSE THIS WEEK

Israel's 24th parliament is set to dissolve this week, following a failure of the Bennett-Lapid coalition to maintain a solid majority that will stick together during votes on critical legislation.

Israel is now entering a fifth campaign period in less than three and a half years. In fact, Israel has more frequent elections than any other country. Whereas some in the country are excited about bidding adieu to the current government, others are certainly not. 

Meanwhile, the opposition is attempting to replace the government with an alternate one led by Benjamin Netanyahu in the current Knesset – without going to elections – by means of a constructive non-confidence vote. Chances of that scenario are considered low. Snap elections would be set for late October or early November.

YAIR LAPID TO BECOME INTERIM PRIME MINISTER

Israel’s Foreign Minister Yair Lapid will become the caretaker prime minister this week and lead the country during the transitional period until a new government is formed. Outgoing Prime Minister Naftali Bennett vowed to support and assist Lapid, with whom he had rotation agreement in the current coalition.

Despite the many ideological gaps between them, Bennett and Lapid have managed to demonstrate political unity against Netanyahu. Last week during a press conference to announce their decision to dissolve the Knesset, Lapid told Bennett “I want to thank you for the friendship; I love you very much.” 

US ENVOY FOR ANTI-SEMITISM IN SAUDI ARABIA

Deborah Lipstadt, the Biden administration’s special envoy to monitor and combat anti-Semitism, will embark on her first overseas tour to the Middle East on Monday. Her 11-day trip will begin in Saudi Arabia and will include stops in Israel and the United Arab Emirates. Lipstadt said that Saudi officials were immediately receptive when she proposed the trip, a signal of the kingdom’s efforts to change its image in the West and among Jews.

Barbara Leaf, the U.S. assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs, suggested last week that U.S. President Joe Biden's visit to the Middle East next month could bring new developments in the relationship between Israel and Saudi Arabia.

EU’S TOP DIPLOMAT VISITS IRAN

Long months of nuclear negotiations with Iran have yielded no concrete progress towards a new agreement. Although many believe that prospects to revive the JCPOA might be dead, the European Union’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell traveled to Iran on Friday in a final effort to kickstart talks.

Borrell tweeted that he intends to meet with the country’s foreign minister and Iranian authorities since “diplomacy is the only way to go back to full implementation of the deal and to reverse current tensions.”

Nuclear talks between the EU and Iran could resume this week, according to reports.

CYBER WEEK

Tel Aviv University is hosting one of the world’s most recognized international cybersecurity events, Cyber Week. Some of the most renowned names in the cyber world will discuss crucial dilemmas and unsolved challenges facing public and private sectors in every company, city and country in the modern world.

The summit attracts thousands of attendees from more than 80 countries, including cybersecurity experts, industry leaders, start-ups, investors, academics, diplomats and government officials. The list of speakers includes outgoing Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Anne Neuberger, White House deputy assistant to the president and deputy national security advisor for cyber and emerging technologies.

This week we are also keeping an eye on these developing stories:

  • ... Is Israel keeping the Biden administration in the dark about its covert operations against Iran?

  • ... Why is the Saudi crown prince meeting with various regional leaders ahead of Biden’s visit to the Middle East?

 

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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