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...

  • Music Personalities Recycling His Roots

    Recycling His Roots

    JNS.org – Having started his career playing on his family’s pots and pans, Jewish musician Billy Jonas has maintained this homemade performance ethic while spreading his messages of simple living and environmentalism to a shared home throughout the world. After beginning in the kitchen, Jonas soon moved to the music room, where he picked up the piano, guitar, and trombone. These days, the multi-talented multi-instrumentalist plays on with pretty much anything he can find, including cans, bottles buckets, and other recycled-object [...]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Personalities Jewish Renewal Movement Founder’s Insights Form a New Guide for Senior Living

    Jewish Renewal Movement Founder’s Insights Form a New Guide for Senior Living

    JNS.org – Sara Davidson’s The December Project is a new book that should be read by all senior citizens, and by those who hope to live a long life, for it raises a question that most of us have not been taught how to answer: What should we do in that final stage of our lives? Many of us continue working past the traditional retirement age of 65, not because we need the money and not because we find the [...]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Jewish History Why the Holocaust Occurred in Germany, and Why So Few Resisted (REVIEW)

    Why the Holocaust Occurred in Germany, and Why So Few Resisted (REVIEW)

    It’s hard to make a new contribution to the field of Holocaust studies,  but German historian Götz Aly accomplishes just that in Why the Germans, Why the Jews? His premise is that the origins of the Holocaust were rooted in the specific anti-Semitism found in Germany in the decades and centuries before World War II. Aly (who is not Jewish) seeks to prove his theory by studying only pre-Holocaust history, and tracing how the German people’s envy and hatred of [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs Looking at Anti-Israel Celebrities and Their Brands

    Looking at Anti-Israel Celebrities and Their Brands

    JNS.org – During the current conflict in Gaza a number of celebrities have voiced their opinions in support of either the Israeli or Palestinian positions. But others—be it during Operation Protective Edge or at other times—have gone further than simply supporting the Palestinians by actively supporting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, making false accusations about the Jewish state, ignoring Israel’s position on the conflict, or justifying the actions of the terrorist group Hamas. Many of these [...]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Sports Israeli UFC Fighter Returns to Jewish State to Rejoin IDF

    Israeli UFC Fighter Returns to Jewish State to Rejoin IDF

    JNS.org – Days after winning his Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) featherweight bout against Steven Siler on July 26, Israeli-born mixed martial arts competitor Noad Lahat boarded a plane for his native country, choosing to temporarily exit UFC’s octagonal cage to rejoin the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) as a paratrooper for its operation against Hamas in Gaza. Except he didn’t actually consider it a choice. “When [our] home is in danger, there is no other way for us [but to serve [...]

    Read more →
  • Education Why We Should Invest in Jewish Children

    Why We Should Invest in Jewish Children

    JNS.org – My wife Suzy and I will never forget our wedding day. It was not just the uplifting ceremony and beautiful party that left an indelible mark. Some life-altering advice that we received from one of our guests informed and shaped our lives from that day forward. My high school teacher, Rabbi Moshe Yagid, pulled us aside just before the chuppah and challenged us to choose one mitzvah that would be the foundation of our marriage and our lives. He explained [...]

    Read more →
  • Jewish Identity Sports LeBron James’ New Coach Shaped by Summer on Kibbutz and Jewish ‘Life Lessons’

    LeBron James’ New Coach Shaped by Summer on Kibbutz and Jewish ‘Life Lessons’

    JNS.org – Influenced by his Jewish upbringing and a summer on a kibbutz, basketball coach David Blatt is embarking on his highest-profile challenge yet: coaching LeBron James, the four-time National Basketball Association (NBA) Most Valuable Player who has made waves for returning to his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers. After guiding Israel’s storied Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball franchise to its 51st Israeli league championship and 6th Euroleague title this past season, Blatt landed the Cavaliers head-coaching job in June. Just weeks later, [...]

    Read more →
  • Food Jewish Identity Young Syrian Jewish Restauranteur Continues a Family Legacy

    Young Syrian Jewish Restauranteur Continues a Family Legacy

    JNS.org – At the turn of the century, a young Jewish immigrant arrived in New York. So begins the history of many American Jewish families. It is 27-year-old Albert Allaham’s story, too, with a few unusual twists. Albert’s “century” is the 21st—he arrived almost 100 years after the massive waves of European Jewish immigration. Rather than coming from a small town along the Danube river, his shtetl was Damascus. His first American business was not a pushcart on the Lower East [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.