Netanyahu Forms New Israel GovernmentPosted: May 6, 2015
61-seat majority leaves Netanyahu little margin for error
TEL AVIV— Nicholas Casey and Joshua Mitnick report: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu finalized a deal late Wednesday to establish a new governing coalition, concluding weeks of negotiations after his March 17 election landslide victory.
“The present government is going to be even more dysfunctional than the last government given how narrow it is. Something has got to give.”
— Sam LehmanWilzig, a political-science professor at Bar Ilan University
At a joint news conference with Naftali Bennett, the leader of the pro-settler Jewish Home party and the last hold out in the coalition haggling, Mr. Netanyahu said he planned to immediately inform Israel’s president as required by law that he had successfully formed a majority coalition.
“No one was surprised that the negotiations were drawn out with all the parties, but no one was surprised that it ended on time.”
— Benjamin Netanyahu
Mr. Netanyahu’s struggle to form a coalition was a turn of fortune for the Israeli leader after his Likud party won a decisive mandate for a fourth term in the March vote. He opted to dissolve parliament and call early elections with the hope of forming a more cohesive and stable coalition. Now, he faces the prospect of more instability instead.
Mr. Netanyahu’s new majority numbers just 61 seats held by right-wing and religious factions, leaving Mr. Netanyahu with little margin for error in the 120-seat parliament, called the Knesset.
Analysts say that while such a government might be hard to topple from the outside—it will be solidly right-wing—such a narrow majority could leave it vulnerable to pressure from demands from individual lawmakers within his coalition that could endanger his government.
“The present government is going to be even more dysfunctional than the last government given how narrow it is,” said Sam LehmanWilzig, a political-science professor at Bar Ilan University. “Something has got to give.”
The difficulties Mr. Netanyahu faces were on display this week the Israeli leader struggled to sign final deals with the parties who had backed him after the March vote….(read more)
- Why more American Jews are voting Republican (blogs.timesofisrael.com)
- World › Kerry tries to pacify Israeli worries over Iran nuclear deal (japantoday.com)
- Russia infuriated after Israel snubs ceremony marking 70th anniversary of victory in Second World War (news.nationalpost.com)
- Netanyahu reportedly rejects John Kerry’s request to visit Israel until after new government formation (punditfromanotherplanet.com)
- VIDEO: Here’s the Sick Way Palestinians Wished Israel a Happy Birthday (conservativetribune.com)
- Last-Minute Deal Allows Netanyahu to Keep Power (newser.com)