Politics are complicated in Israel! Final vote tallies are in following last Tuesday’s election, and Right and Center-wing parties garnered 97 seats. The liberal left won only 23 seats.
So, why is it so difficult for Benjamin Netanyahu, head of the largest party, to put together a majority coalition of 61 or more seats? Most on the right agree with Netanyahu policies and positions, but have personal dislike for the current Prime Minister. Many have served as cabinet members or high-ranking officials in Netanyahu governments, but oppose his management style.
Perhaps it is time to get over personal dislikes and build a strong coalition that works, that protects Israel’s best interests, and that saves Israelis for heading to the polls a fifth time. Others would argue it is time for Netanyahu to go, and they may never agree to serve with him.
It is even possible that creative coalition-building may occur, or a deal might be struck that enables Netanyahu to serve one more term before agreeing to retire from political life. Those, and other potential solutions, are being batted around. Netanyahu will have 6 weeks to persuade right-wing parties to join him in coalition. If he is unable to do so, it is likely no one else can either. In that case, Israelis could be headed back to the polls in the fall.
Read more about election results and possible coalition scenarios in Joel Rosenberg’s article, Can Netanyahu Finally Build a Stable Government?