Israeli Coalition Talks Stall
Negotiations between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Blue and White chief Benny Gantz on the formation of Israel’s next governing coalition appear to have reached a minor – for now – snag. Following marathon talks over the weekend, the two canceled a follow-up meeting scheduled for Sunday night. Netanyahu attributed the time-out to leaks about the prospective distribution of key posts, which he described as “fake news.” It is believed that Blue and White and Netanyahu’s Likud will hold an equal number of ministerial portfolios, although the sides are reportedly divided on who should serve as parliament speaker, justice minister and public security minister. Other ministerial positions will be filled by top figures of the additional parties that are expected to join the coalition, including the right-wing Yamina, ultra-Orthodox Shas and United Torah Judaism, and center-left Labor. While Netanyahu and Gantz are expected to overcome the impasse, the delay means that a new government is unlikely to be sworn in before next week.