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It now appears that this week’s election in Israel has once again given Benjamin Netanyahu’s right wing coalition a strong enough majority to form the next Israeli government.
The right-wing bloc is predicted to have around 65 seats, compared with 55 for the centre and left, similar to the make up of the outgoing parliament.
Even before the election, all the smaller right-wing parties had pledged to back Netanyahu for prime minister, meaning his victory was always likely, Zalzberg said. “He demonstrated again his mastery of alliance-building among the different political tribes of Israel — he is unmatched in this.”
The problem for the strongest opposition party, dubbed Blue-and-White, is that though their leadership is moderate and pro-Israel, they cannot form a coalition with the religious parties in Israel, as Netanyahu can. Blue-and-White has forged alliances with the nation’s leftist parties, and Israel’s religious parties cannot participate in coalitions that include those parties.
What is interesting about this particular election is that it reduced the number of parties in the Knesset, Israel’s parliament. It appears the voters are now consolidating their support around fewer factions, which clarifies and simplifies the formation of the next government. It also suggests that Israelis feel more threatened, and are thus looking at larger issues in choosing the parties they support. They no longer feel the luxury of pushing side issues. Survival is becoming more paramount.