Day After Elections, Coalition Building Begins for Netanyahu

January 23, 2013 9:29 am 0 comments

Israeli Knesset (parliament). Photo: wiki commons.

With the election behind him, the real difficulties begin for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as he tries to build a broad coalition, a task almost surely to be delegated to him by President Shimon Peres.

As he has done in the past, Netanyahu may seek first to partner with the right-wing and ultra-Orthodox parties. Shas and United Torah Judaism seem Netanyahu’s “natural” partners, and both have already signaled they are eager to join his coalition. The prime minister also reportedly expressed his willingness to invite them to build a government together, offering to open coalition talks with Shas’s Eli Yishai on Thursday.

But a right-wing coalition would  leave Likud-Beiteinu, the Jewish Home party (11 seats), Shas (11 or 12 seats) and United Torah Judaism (7 seats) with just 60-61 seats — a tiny majority, if that, in the 120-seat Knesset. Aside from it’s tenuous position of power, it would also be unlikely that a coalition of purely right-leaning members would be welcomed by the international community.

Netanyahu, however, signaled Tuesday that he wants to form a broad coalition, one that would include Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid, whom he called shortly after election results were in. This would be dependent on Lapid, who is unlikely to join a coalition that includes both of the ultra-Orthodox parties. Also, Lapid has a firm stance on the universal draft. Any coalition that would include Shas and especially UTJ would be unlikely to agree to push through a law that would allow for Haredim to be drafted.

Another option, noted over at the Times of Israel, is Likud-Beiteinu partnering with Yesh Atid and Jewish Home. Again, this would mean Netanyahu having to survive on a slim majority of 61 seats, but it would be a majority devoid of Haredi parties, meaning the government would be able to finally legislate for universal conscription. Both Jewish Home chief Naftali Bennett and Lapid have voiced their willingness to join a government led by Netanyahu. On Wednesday morning Bennett told Ynet, “There is a real chance to form a government that will work towards true equal share of the burden.”

If Tzipi Livni’s Hatnua were to join as well, a stable center-right government with 67 seats could emerge. Sources at Hatnua told Ynet that the issue of a universal draft will be one of the party’s terms to joining the coalition. Kadima might also join (if it holds on to its projected 2 seats). But Livni would want to take steps to energize talks with the Palestinians; Netanyahu might not.

Whatever the case may be, Likud-Beiteinu has indicated that it is likely that the next government will be vastly different from the outgoing one. With 53 new MKs, they’re probably right.  Yisrael Beiteinu chairman Avigdor Lieberman posted a message on his Facebook page which read, “We’ll form the next government headed by Benjamin Netanyahu,” but the former foreign minister sounded a somewhat conciliatory tone.

“We shall continue to lead Israel with responsibility and security. The elections force the next government to focus on internal matters, and mainly equal share of the burden, changing the form of government and affordable housing. On the diplomatic level, if the Palestinians show they are willing to meet and restart negotiations we would be happy to meet with them, with no preconditions.”

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Blogs Book Reviews The Origins of Palestinian Refugee Relief Efforts (REVIEW)

    The Origins of Palestinian Refugee Relief Efforts (REVIEW)

    Romirowsky and Joffe’s book Religion, Politics and the Origins of Palestine Refugee Relief is an important volume for those interested in truly understanding the origins of the Palestinian refugee issue. Utilizing a treasure trove of newly released documents, the authors link UNRWA’s (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine) origins to the Quakers/American Friends Service Committee (AFSC). For those readers who thought they knew most of the Middle East story, Romirowsky and Joffe’s version provides another twist. The authors meticulously [...]

    Read more →
  • Sports Israeli Soccer Team Faces Prospect of International Ban

    Israeli Soccer Team Faces Prospect of International Ban

    The Israel National soccer team could be facing a World Cup ban, and other soccer sanctions, unless it alleviates travel restrictions and increases field access for Palestinian players and coaches. The head of the Palestinian Football Association is pushing for international soccer’s governing body, the Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA), to issue a ban on Israel competing internationally, claiming Israel’s restrictive travel for Palestinians is equivalent to a form of oppression. “It’s not only the athletes,” Jibril Rajoub explains. [...]

    Read more →
  • Beliefs and concepts Book Reviews Jewish Author of ‘Eat to Live’ Dishes on Health Care, Nutrition, Disease Prevention

    Jewish Author of ‘Eat to Live’ Dishes on Health Care, Nutrition, Disease Prevention

    JNS.org – While the national debate on “Obamacare” rages on past the recent March 31 sign-up deadline, bestselling Jewish author Dr. Joel Fuhrman says the “current disease care model of what we call ‘health care’ cannot possibly be sustained.” “There is simply not enough money available to support a system in which the lion’s share of expenditures is devoted to acute care, with virtually nothing being spent on preventive medicine, i.e. health care,” Fuhrman says in an interview. “To make [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Jewish Identity ‘Tears of Color’ Art Exhibit Shows Struggles of Israelis With Eating Disorders

    ‘Tears of Color’ Art Exhibit Shows Struggles of Israelis With Eating Disorders

    JNS.org – “This is how I want to be—without fear. Independent. I want to be like a bird. I want to spread my wings.” So reads part of the description beneath one of the 30 paintings on display until the end of May at the ZOA House in Tel Aviv. The collection represents the first-ever art exhibit of its kind: an exhibit created entirely by Israelis in treatment for eating disorders. Dubbed “Tears of Color,” based on one of the [...]

    Read more →
  • Beliefs and concepts Book Reviews Overprotective or Loving? Daughters Reflect on Jewish Mothers in New Anthology

    Overprotective or Loving? Daughters Reflect on Jewish Mothers in New Anthology

    JNS.org – Rachel Ament noticed that she and her friends often shared humorous anecdotes that were typically variations on a theme: overprotective, worrying Jewish moms who smothered them with love. That included Ament’s own mother. “My mom is probably every Jewish stereotype scrunched into one,” the Washington, DC, resident tells JNS.org. “At the root of all these stereotypical, worrying, overprotective moms, is love.” A social media writer for Capital One, as well as a freelance writer, Ament decided about three years [...]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Commentary ‎Kosher Lust: Love is Not the Answer (REVIEW)

    ‎Kosher Lust: Love is Not the Answer (REVIEW)

    Kosher Lust, by Shmuley Boteach (Gefen Publishing House, 2014). You really do want to find something positive to say about Shmuley Boteach. He is a phenomenon; very bright, an articulate bundle of energy and self-promotion. Anyone who has the chutzpah to describe himself as “America’s Rabbi” deserves ten out of ten for effort. I believe that along with most Chabad alumni, official and unofficial, he does a lot of good and is a sort of national treasure. In this world [...]

    Read more →
  • Jewish Identity Theater Hollywood’s Revisiting of Passover’s Exodus Story a Part of Throwback ‘Year of the Bible’

    Hollywood’s Revisiting of Passover’s Exodus Story a Part of Throwback ‘Year of the Bible’

    JNS.org – In a throwback to the golden age of cinema, Hollywood has declared 2014 the “Year of the Bible.” From Ridley Scott’s Exodus starring Christian Bale as Moses, to Russell Crowe playing Noah, Hollywood is gambling on new innovations in technology and star power to revisit some of the most popular stories ever told. “It’s definitely a throwback to the 1950s and early ’60s,” Dr. Stephen J. Whitfield, an American Studies professor at Brandeis University, told JNS.org. Starting with The [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture US & Canada ‘Jewish Giant’ Headlines New York Jewish Museum Exhibit

    ‘Jewish Giant’ Headlines New York Jewish Museum Exhibit

    Eddie Carmel, dubbed “The Jewish Giant” by American photographer Diane Arbus, is the centerpiece of a new exhibit opening April 11 at The Jewish Museum in New York. Arbus met Carmel, who was billed “The World’s Tallest Man,” at Hubert’s Dime Museum and Flea Circus in 1959 but waited until 1970 to photograph him at his parents’ home in the Bronx, according to the museum. The son of immigrants from Tel Aviv, Carmel posed for Arbus with his head bowed to [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.