Netanyahu’s Negotiations with Would-be Coalition Underway; Unity Idea Floating About
In Israel’s parliamentary democracy with proportional representation, winning the most seats in parliament is just the first step to leading the nation. Once the results are in long hours and fierce horse trading follows, in which ministry portfolios, deputy minister positions and parliamentary committee chairmanships are all forms of currency – the legal tender that will ultimately determine the make-up of the next government. Binyamin Netanyahu has begun the process for the fifth time in his political career, and again faces options that are being debated inside his office and out on the street corner. That Netanyahu can no doubt bargain his way into a close replica of his last narrow, right wing coalition all of whose members are in position to hold the prime minister hostage with threats to resign is a given. But the longshot bettors are speaking of something of a unity government that includes Netanyahu’s confidants joined by this election’s flash-phenomenon: members of the vanquished novice alliance “Blue and White”. Speculation that Benny Gantz himself would enter the government was being bantered about even before the vote had been taken. Pundits argue that for a man with no governing experience but is obviously capable of attracting some impressive names – albeit many equally inexperienced – a few years under Netanyahu’s tutelage is a perfect fit. The same applies to individuals from the Blue and White list. Concerned about Gantz’s vow not to join a Netanyahu government? Not to worry. Such utterings are rarely taken seriously.