I need to point out a basic fact about the election results which the US media, in particular, is missing.
By forming a unified political bloc of 55 Knesset members with the Likud’s satellite parties, Netanyahu has created a situation where he is the only possible prime minister. Either the Blue and White Party — or one of its factions — joins him, or Amir Peretz and Orly Levy bring the Labor party in, or Israel goes to new elections. Those are the only options.
In other words, it’s either going to be Netanyahu or elections. It’s up to Gantz, and Peretz.
I’ll say more. The balance of power is still very much on the Right. The Right has 55 seats. The Left has 44. Liberman is nothing but a Bibi hater. And the Arab parties are so extreme that they cannot be considered for any governing coalition.
A word about the exclusion of the Arab party from the coalition math.
Lest anyone be tempted to believe the Washington Post’s attempt to claim Israel is racist because Israelis don’t want to share power with the Arab parties, the fact is that there is not one Arab party that accepts Israel’s right to exist. There were Arab politicians elected yesterday that have written odes to terrorist murderers on the Facebook pages. Arab lawmakers were elected that have met with terror kingpins. Arab lawmakers routinely support the Palestinian war against Israel and express support for Hamas.
It is not racist for Israelis not to want Hamas supporters and champions of terrorist murderers in the Israeli government or receiving security briefings from the military and intelligence services. It is rational.
The deadlock in Israel is electoral, not ideological. Liberman’s defection from the Right has denied it a governing majority. But it is still very much the majority in Israel. And the vast majority of Jewish lawmakers in the Knesset support applying Israeli law over the Jordan Valley as Netanyahu suggested. A large majority (55-44) of Jewish lawmakers also support applying Israeli law to other parts of Judea and Samaria.
Netanyahu is the only person capable of forming a government. It remains to be seen if that will happen, but Gantz cannot form a government. And he is slowly coming to terms with this unalterable reality.