If Netanyahu is finally ousted from power as seems to be the case, a change of personnel is unlikely to bring a changed approach to Israeli colonisation of Palestinian land.

Israeli opposition parties are gradually coalescing towards an alliance that could finally bring down the curtains on one of Israel's longest-serving prime ministers, Benjamin Netanyahu.

Even by Israeli standards, Netanyahu’s tenure has been controversial, with three corruption cases hanging over his head. Netanyahu's wife, Sara Netanyahu, was also found guilty of misusing public funds in 2019.

Netanyahu has managed to "completely demolish Israeli politics by creating a pro-Netanyahu and an anti-Netanyahu camp," says Rami Younis, a Palestinian writer and filmmaker living in the Israeli city of Haifa.

That polarisation of Israeli politics could now be Netanyahu's undoing.

"I believe Netanyahu's era is behind us," says Younis speaking to TRT World following the ultra-nationalist leader Naftali Bennett's announcement that his party would join talks to form a governing coalition with centrist party leader Yair Lapid.

"I will do everything to form a national unity government with my friend Yair Lapid," said Bennett in a televised appearance.

Netanyahu could find out as soon as Wednesday whether the anti-Netanyahu opposition can find enough common ground to wrestle his grip on power following four elections that have ended in a deadlock.

However, a post-Netanyahu era will reveal to what extent modern Israeli policy towards Palestinians, often attributed to Netanyahu, is historically and structurally embedded across Israeli politics.

"What we are seeing is the embodiment of what it means to have a Netanyahu and an anti-Netanyahu coalition. We have been saying for the past four elections it doesn't matter anymore in Israel who's right or who is left," says Younis.

A fragile anti Netanyahu coalition emerges

The polarisation in Israeli society - due to Netanyahu’s long term rule - has arguably obscured the uniformity of views towards Palestinians both within Israel and the occupied territories over the last two decades.

"It's shocking to discover, but the differences between Yair Lapid and Naftali Bennett in terms of how they view Palestinians are not big," says Younis.

While Lapid presents himself as a centrist, Israeli politics has shifted so much to the right that such notions have become relative. "That's how a centrist party and an ultra-nationalist party are now teaming up together," adds Younis.

Yair Lapid is a staunch and proud follower of Zionism, a colonial movement that aims to build an exclusively Jewish state that is widely regarded as relegating Palestinians to second-class citizens.

Human Rights Watch recently described Israel's policies in the occupied territories as constituting apartheid.

"Whereas Naftali Bennett bragged about killing Arabs when he was serving in the army," says Younis. In 2013 Bennett, a former officer in the Israeli army, said, "I've killed lots of Arabs in my life – and there's no problem with that."

However, the emerging anti-Netanyahu coalition will move carefully, warns Younis, in part because of the Joint List, which is the grouping of Palestinian political parties in Israel.

“I don't think they will expand settlements at the moment," says Yasir adding that, "if it were up to Bennett, of course, we would see a rise in settlement expansion."

Netanyahu's Likud party made an offer to Bennett and the leader of another potential coalition party to share the premiership in a three-way split, an offer that was ultimately rejected.

Inas Khateeb, a Palestinian human rights defender in the Israeli city of Haifa, greeted the prospect of a post-Netanyahu political coalition coolly when speaking with TRT World.

"For me as a Palestinian, I don't see any difference between the Netanyahu period and a post-Netanyahu. Naftali Bennett is not better than Netanyahu. Even Lapid is not better than Netanyahu. I think the situation will remain the same, and it might even get worse."

Source: TRT World