What, if any, are the implications for Israel’s national security of the toppling of Benjamin Netanyahu’s government, and his replacement by the new administration led by Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid?
In the past, the emergence of a new prime minister, relatively inexperienced in the national security field, has led to efforts by Israel’s adversaries to “test” the new chief executive, leading to a period of instability.
Most recently, Ehud Olmert’s replacement of the infirm Ariel Sharon at the helm in January 2006 was rapidly followed by a series of provocations, from first Hamas in Gaza, and then Lebanese Hezbollah. These precipitated the Second Lebanon War of July-August 2006. While it is not possible to establish a certain causal link between the accession of Olmert and the provocations by Hamas and Hezbollah, the timing indicates that the accession of Olmert, and his inexperience in the area of national security, almost certainly factored into the decision-making process in both organizations