Effort to Build Israeli Government Appears Mired in Vows
In a word, the Israeli elections are proving to be unwieldy: too many parties, too many prime minister wannabees, too many vows about what not to do are making President Rivlin’s attempt to save the country from a third trip to the voting booth almost impossible. Whether intended to provide his party leader with cover or to remind his party that he’s a party leader, too, Blue and White head Benny Gantz’s number two, Yair Lapid, averred he won’t sit in a Netanyahu government – this while Gantz was negotiating a power share between himself and Netanyahu. With so many participants with egos in tow, Rivlin has exercised his powers of discretion delaying the naming of who he is handing the baton to first until the last minute the law allows, October 2. Meanwhile the ultimatums and horse-trading will continue unabated. Many believe Rivlin needs the time to find a way to tactfully replace Netanyahu as Likud’s prime minister-designee, a move that theoretically would open the door to unity and close the possibility of a third election. The final vote is in, and Likud picked up another seat at the expense of the religious parties cutting the final margin between the two top parties to one seat.