Late on Friday, it was announced that the New Right Party joined Likud to create a 35-MK strong party (32 for Likud plus 3 from the New Right), with Naftali Bennett being appointed as Defense Minister.
On Motzai Shabbos, Avigdor Liberman, leader of the Yisrael Beytenu Party, was interviewed by “Weekend News” where he issued an ultimatum: Gantz must agree to President’s Rivlin compromise and form a government with Netanyahu, and Netanyahu must let go of the “haredi and messianic parties” – a reference to United Torah Judaism, Shas, and the Jewish Home-National Union parties.
Liberman further stated that if one side didn’t compromise then he would support the other side. He did no texplain what that fully meant.
With these weekend developments where has that left us? What possible coalitions are still possible?
Let us start with what can’t happen. Blue and White (33) cannot make a coalition with Yisrael Beytenu (8), Labor-Gesher (6), New Right (3) with the support of the Arab Joint List (13) as the New Right party has dissolved into Likud. So, too, Netanyahu has no possibility of creating a minority government, as he must produce 61 mandates which he doesn’t have in his 55-MK right wing bloc.
So what can happen?
Gantz can still make a coalition with Yisrael Beytenu, the Joint List (supporting from outside the government), Labor-Gesher, the Democratic Union (5). Gantz can also create a 68-MK strong unity government coalition by pulling in Likud, plus its extra 3 mandates from New Right. This possible coalition can even grow larger by pulling in Liberman or Labor-Gesher.
Netanyahu can also create a government with Liberman, adding his 8 seats to their 55 bloc, however after Liberman’s interview that seems unlikely.
Lastly, the final and worst option is that Israel goes to another election. The last possible day for creating a coalition is on the 11th of November and elections will be held 90 days later. The stalemate continues.