Spelling out the phrase “outgoing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu” feels more than a little strange, but that seems to be the way things are trending. There are still a few procedural hurdles, and Netanyahu will not exit gracefully, but with the signing of a coalition agreement Wednesday night, Israel is heading toward a new government with Naftali Bennett as prime minister and Yair Lapid as foreign minister and alternate prime minister.

After twelve years of uninterrupted rule, which, together with a short stint in the 1990s, make Netanyahu Israel’s longest-serving prime minister, this transition will be a significant political upheaval that opens up more questions about Israel’s future than it resolves.

How Long Will This Government Last?

As the nascent Israeli government began to take shape over the last week, observers noted the mismatched nature of the coalition-to-be. Feminists and advocates for LGBT rights paired with conservative Islamists, annexationists and settlers with anti-occupation leftists, secularists and religious Zionists, and so on and so forth. Amid all of this, Israeli politicians seem to have found room for cooperation. Mansour Abbas, whose Ra’am is poised to be the first independent Arab party to join a government in Israel’s 73-year history, appears to have extracted substantive concessions from his new coalition partners. This reportedly included an extension on a freeze to parts of the Kaminitz Law, a 2017 piece of legislation cracking down on unauthorized construction that disproportionately impacted Israeli Arabs, as well as possible amendments to that law.

On the other hand, there really is no shortage of issues that can split a new government. The last-minute wrangling between Yamina’s Ayelet Shaked and Labor leader Merav Michaeli over control of the Judicial Appointments Committee was no mere technicality but a question that cuts to the heart of how one views Israel’s system of government: Shaked has long positioned herself as the standard-bearer in a campaign to limit the courts’ power while the left aims to protect the judiciary’s independence. Michaeli conceded for the sake of the more immediate need to unseat Netanyahu, but that does not mean that this fight is over, and this is just one likely conflict out of many.

What Will Happen to Likud and Yamina?

Yamina’s Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked have both long seen themselves as potential prime ministers, using small parties as vehicles to deliver themselves to the leadership of the Israeli right. Bennett deserves credit for finally rebuffing Netanyahu, but his voters could be forgiven for feeling at least a little aggrieved about his decision. Bennett waffled between the pro- and anti-Bibi camps through the March election campaign and into the coalition negotiation period, and many expected he would help Netanyahu to another term. Bennett’s Yamina party has already seen one defection from MK Amichai Chikli, while Nir Orbach is another potential weak link. If Yamina is whittled down to just five seats, it will be the second smallest faction in the government, ahead of only Mansour Abbas’s Ra’am. Depending on what happens next, Bennett could find himself as a prime minister without a party. This could give Bennett an incentive to hold the coalition together by focusing on more consensus issues.

Bennett and Yamina’s fates may still be tied, in many ways, to the future of Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud. Israel’s flagship right-wing party has morphed into a cult of personality around the outgoing prime minister. Here, the case of Donald Trump and the Republicans may be instructive; for Netanyahu, as for Trump with the American presidency, losing the prime minister’s office need not mean losing his sway over the party, and burning the house down on the way out could even reinforce his standing with the most fanatical devotees. However, there are certainly Likudniks who would like to replace Netanyahu. A report circulated earlier this week that Yuli Edelstein would challenge Netanyahu for the Likud leadership if the latter loses the premiership. If Likud is able to move on from Bibi, then the stain of Bennett’s supposed “betrayal” on his right-wing bona fides may not last so long. But if the incitement leveled against members of the prospective government is any indication, challenging Netanyahu will come with significant risks. Netanyahu did not relinquish control of Likud after the party won just 12 seats in 2006. Likud has a bigger presence in the Knesset today—30 seats—and Bibi’s personal legal issues give him more incentive to cling to his position.

What is Next For the Israeli Center-Left and the Arab sector?

During Netanyahu’s last twelve years as prime minister, the center-left contracted significantly, the consequence of serious political missteps, the public’s rightward shift, and a barrage of attacks from the prime minister and his allies. Last March, the breakup of Kachol Lavan—the centrist alliance that once outperformed Likud, becoming the largest party in the Knesset—seemed to do permanent damage to the center-left opposition. Even with Naftali Bennett in the prime minister’s chair, this new government could offer an opportunity to rebuild. Yair Lapid’s centrist Yesh Atid party will be the largest party in the new coalition. Meretz, the leftmost Jewish party, will return to government for the first time in twenty years. Labor, whose antecedents helped establish the State of Israel, nearly disappeared from the political map before its new left-wing leader, Merav Michaeli, rescued its electoral fortunes, and joining the government can give the party new relevance. While the homophobic positions of the religiously conservative Islamist Ra’am are cause for concern, Arab participation in government is indeed a victory for Israeli (small “d”) democrats.

On the topic of Ra’am: Mansour Abbas’s historic decision to join the government (and Abbas’s coalition partners’ willingness to accept him after years of delegitimization, which Netanyahu amplified and his rivals largely acquiesced to and sometimes even echoed) will have a big effect on the Israeli Arab political landscape, although it is not clear what that effect will be yet. In the near term, Ayman Odeh appears to lose out. Odeh united three disparate Arab parties with his Jewish-Arab communist Hadash party in the leadup to the 2015 elections under the banner of the Joint List, which became the third-largest faction in the Knesset. This was an important milestone for Arab representation and Odeh took up the mantle of Israel’s leading Palestinian politician. Odeh’s Joint List did recommend Benny Gantz as prime minister twice—marking only the second and third time an independent Arab party recommended a Jewish-Zionist candidate. However, it was Abbas, who, after splitting from the Joint List, ultimately opted to join a government led by Bennett and Lapid. This was probably made possible in part by Netanyahu’s own entreaties to Abbas, which helped lift the pall over Arab involvement in Israeli government. Odeh’s Joint List is less enthusiastic about Bennett, pointing to his pro-annexation advocacy (and, in fairness, it’s not clear that Bennett or other right-wingers like Gideon Saar would have accepted Odeh). At best, some members of Knesset from the Joint List will ensure the new government is sworn in if they end up being the deciding votes, but they have said they will not join it.

Polling has borne out the fact that Israeli Arabs want to see Arab parties represented in government. If this new government can return tangible policy successes, the Joint List’s tepidness about the coalition will look like principled foolishness, and Abbas’s star will only continue to rise with Arab voters. But if the government falls apart, or if it somehow accelerates Bennett, Shaked, and Saar’s annexationist designs on the Palestinians, or if there is a military conflict in Gaza or the West Bank, Abbas will be the one who is embarrassed and Odeh will be vindicated.

How Will the U.S.-Israel Relationship Be Impacted?

There are substantive issues contributing to the partisinization of U.S. support for Israel, particularly relating to Palestinian rights, the continued occupation of the West Bank, conflict over Gaza, and Iran. But Benjamin Netanyahu undoubtedly accelerated those trends: in twelve years, he made a deliberate effort to align himself closely with the Republican Party against the Democrats. This became especially clear in the last four years, when Netanyahu rode on his personal relationship with Donald Trump and the political “gifts” the last administration handed the Israeli right. This past weekend, as Netanyahu watched the premiership slip through his fingers, he delivered a speech casting aspersions against the Biden administration while railing against enemies from Lapid and Bennett to Iran.

Some Republican politicians may stick to Netanyahu no matter what, and a few left-wing Democrats might still find reason to quibble even if Tamar Zandberg were Israel’s prime minister. But Bennett and Lapid can be productive in strengthening the U.S.-Israel relationship. Lapid is a known quantity in Washington, and Bennett is a telegenic figure, who, like Netanyahu, speaks English with barely a hint of an Israeli accent. There are positives here. Making Israel less of a partisan issue may reverse a trend that has cooled attitudes toward an important U.S. strategic partner among some Democrats and aligned Republicans with expansionist Israeli positions, perhaps best exemplified in the Trump plan. On the flipside, as Bennett burnishes his credentials with the White House and on Capitol Hill, there is a risk that his pro-annexation positions—which he has been more quiet about of late, but hardly shirked from—will receive tacit bipartisan imprimatur.

What Does This Mean for the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict?

To sum up an excellent piece of analysis from Dahlia Scheindlin that was recently published in The New York Times: it’s the conflict, stupid. While the new government will work hard to avoid controversy in order to stay afloat, and each party can threaten to bring the government down, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict still defines the left-right axis in Israeli politics and will permeate many of the disagreements that are bound to arise between the coalition’s strange bedfellows. The eleventh-hour showdown between Merav Michaeli and Ayelet Shaked over the Judicial Appointments Committee and the broader fight over the role of the judiciary stems in large part from the right-wing view that the courts are too deferential to Palestinians, while impeding the popular will. So, try as Bennett and Lapid might, the issue is bound to come up.

And though the coalition’s makeup means Bennett will have a hard time advancing annexation in the occupied territories, the converse means that some more progressive policies toward the Palestinians and in support of a two-state solution will face a veto from Yamina, New Hope, and possibly Yisrael Beiteinu and Kachol Lavan as well. This means the best outcome is a preservation of the status quo, a misnomer for a bad situation that is anything but static.