Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.

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. Comments written in all caps will be deleted.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Food Jewish Identity Home of Freud and…Pita? Israelis Make Culinary Mark in Vienna

    Home of Freud and…Pita? Israelis Make Culinary Mark in Vienna

    JNS.org – Several Viennese Jews have made a lasting impact on the world. Sigmund Freud’s investigations changed the face of modern psychology. Composer Arnold Schoenberg’s innovations in atonal music changed the face of music. These days, even more Jews — in particular, Israeli Jews — are changing the face of Vienna’s culinary scene with innovations in…the art of the pita. Freudians may find a psychoanalytic motive for the local appeal of the Israeli eateries popping up in the Austrian capital. Walk […]

    Read more →
  • Features Opinion In Iraqi Kurdistan, a Genocide Before Our Very Eyes

    In Iraqi Kurdistan, a Genocide Before Our Very Eyes

    The two bullet casings are already beginning to rust. Sheikh Nasser Pasha plucks them from the ground. “Look, one is from an AK-47, one from an American M-4.” The casings are strewn on the ground atop a long mound of dirt with a few bits of white sticks on it. It would appear unremarkable if one were walking by it. A closer look, however, reveals the white objects are pieces of human bone: arms, legs, and a single human skull. […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Features Israel and the Apartheid Narrative: 2 South African Student Leaders Weigh In

    Israel and the Apartheid Narrative: 2 South African Student Leaders Weigh In

    JNS.org – About two-dozen people file into Dodd 175 at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) campus on a Thursday night, scouting out seats and picking at the kosher pizza in the back of the lecture hall. Miyelani Pinini knows the drill. A former student president of the University of Cape Town in South Africa, she’s attended and even organized her share of free-pizza events. But now she and a fellow South African student leader were the stars of this […]

    Read more →
  • Food Spirituality/Tradition The Brewish State: Israel Taps Into Growing Craft Beer Bazaar

    The Brewish State: Israel Taps Into Growing Craft Beer Bazaar

    JNS.org – It’s widely known that Israel has penetrated the wine market, with some of its sophisticated Israeli blends surpassing historically excellent wines from areas such as the Napa Valley or Bordeaux. But what about beer? For decades, Israel has offered solely the Maccabi and Nesher brands. Not anymore. “There is a huge push of people making beer at home. The country is approaching over 30 craft breweries in the last year or two, making nearly 200 beers,” says Avi Moskowitz, […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs Natalie Portman Says She Behaved Like ‘Average Everyday Jewish Mother’ on Set of Latest Movie

    Natalie Portman Says She Behaved Like ‘Average Everyday Jewish Mother’ on Set of Latest Movie

    Actress Natalie Portman acted like a typical “Jewish mother” on the set of her latest movie, Jane Got a Gun, the Israeli-born star told the New York Post‘s Page Six on Sunday. The 34-year-old, who also co-produced the western, said she made it her job to look out for everyone involved in the project, because the film has had to overcome “so many obstacles,” such as losing its director early on. She explained: “Actors changed. We suffered financial and legal challenges. We endured so many replacements. There were delays. […]

    Read more →
  • Israel Music Scorpions Lead Singer Sends Message to Israel Ahead of World Tour, Tel Aviv Performance (VIDEO)

    Scorpions Lead Singer Sends Message to Israel Ahead of World Tour, Tel Aviv Performance (VIDEO)

    “We’re looking very much forward to coming back to Israel this summer,” said the lead singer of the German rock band Scorpions in a video on Monday. “Make sure you don’t miss it because we rock you like a hurricane!” said a jovial Klaus Meine, quoting the band’s seminal 1984 anthem, “Rock You Like a Hurricane.” The hard rock band lands in Israel for a show at the Menorah Mivtachim Arena on July 14 as part of its 50th anniversary tour. It will be the band’s third time […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Book Reviews The Collected Works of Primo Levi, Edited by Ann Goldstein (REVIEW)

    The Collected Works of Primo Levi, Edited by Ann Goldstein (REVIEW)

    Primo Levi and Elie Wiesel were the two most immediate and authentic literary voices who gave witness to the Holocaust. Wiesel was an extrovert and a very public figure who wrote initially in French. Levi was a modest retiring chemist who wrote in Italian. Whereas Wiesel was rooted in the Eastern European Jewish Hassidic world, Levi was the product of an assimilated, secular Italian society that saw itself as Italian first and Jewish as an accident of birth. As Levi himself said, “At Auschwitz I […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Lifestyle Wine Brings Judea and Samaria to Tel Aviv

    Wine Brings Judea and Samaria to Tel Aviv

    JNS.org – Wine has long been considered a social lubricant, and it’s Nir Lavie’s hope that wine from his Har Bracha Winery in the Samarian hills will serve as a social lubricant between the city-goers of Tel Aviv and the Jewish communities of Judea and Samaria, two locales split geographically, and often politically, on the left and right of the country. The new flagship store of Har Bracha has recently popped its corks on 190 Ben Yehuda Street in Tel Aviv, […]

    Read more →