Prime Minister Netanyahu was able to form a government, but with just a bare bones, slim and minimum sixty-one Ministers. The numbers break down as such; Likud is the predominant party by a mile with their thirty Ministers followed by Kulanu, a new party with ten Ministers along with Shas with seven Ministers and United Torah Judaism with six Ministers and the last party joining at the eleventh hour, Jewish Home with their eight Ministers. Tallied up that is
30 + 10 + 7 + 6 + 8 = 61
The minimum number necessary to hold a majority of the one-hundred-twenty seat Knesset. Having the minimum numbers Netanyahu will likely make some deals to secure three or four additional Ministers who will agree to bolster the coalition though unspoken as their Party did not accept joining the coalition for whatever reasons, some strictly political and others purely tactical and still others a combination of reasons including posturing. There are some still waiting for Yisrael Beiteinu headed by Avigdor Lieberman to potentially join or offer to be the saving cushion with its six Ministers able to make-up for some wayward coalition members on certain votes thus threatening the coalition. Needless to point out, Prime Minister Netanyahu has cobbled together a coalition which as it stands cannot govern for very long before any single party or even an internal faction within Likud could force a crisis and bring down the government. Should the coalition fail then President Reuven Rivlin could call for snap elections to be held again giving an even shorter campaign cycle bringing Israelis back to the polls yet another time so quickly. The turnout for another government would likely have a lower turnout potentially changing the mix of parties as Israelis would measure their votes against the results of the recently past elections where many Israelis were less than thrilled with the results.
Still, do not expect overt changes but rather a refining of the vote with the potential for increases in the portions for Jewish Home, Kulanu and Yisrael Beiteinu. On the other hand, the protestations and self-important tantrums thrown by Yair Lapid could affect the numbers received by his Yesh Atid Party placing some of his eleven Ministers vulnerable to lost support. New elections might bring into play the joint parties of Yachad and Otzma Yehudit which missed making Knesset by the slimmest of margins. New elections could produce a far stronger Jewish Home which was on the mend in the final days of the election but never did quite make it all the way back to the high-points it had hit earlier in many polls. Additionally, one might expect to see Yachad and Otzma Yehudit make it past threshold which would bring a change in the end total results as Yachad and Otzma Yehudit would easily reach four and potentially higher as they would be able to prevent some of the rumored destruction of their ballots and also such simple things as swapping out their ballots with others and other such tricks and deceptions. It could also be predicted that the Zionist Union Party would split back to their two parties, the Labor Party and Tzipi Livni’s Hatnuah Party. While Hatnuah Party would likely not come even remotely close to breaking the minimum and would not make the Knesset, the split might make the Labor Party cleaner and without Tzipi Livni it would potentially garner two or three additional seats. Meretz and the Joint Arab List would each remain the same of gain or lose a single seat.
The question of the hour is how long the slender coalition can hold together when all it would take is a protest by the single Minister protesting to bring down the coalition. There have already been some rumblings of discontent within Likud by some of the Ministers who had their hearts set on gaining some of the Ministerships which ended up being given to the joining coalition members as they demanded those Ministerial positions from which they could wield the power of the department which would have the greatest and most direct influence in addressing their promises from the elections. The coalition coming out of the gate will likely be tested potentially by opposition members. Yair Lapid has already threatened to take the current coalition to court as it has more Ministerial positions which is one item which always seems to grow and is fortunately cut back every so often; after all, do we really want these politicians thinking they are more important than they actually are? This government is inherently unstable which will make for a wild ride while watching for what will be the defining moment when it becomes obviously impossible to hold the coalition together any longer. Sometimes it is the most fragile of coalitions which end up holding together for the longest amount of time as the members realize exactly how fragile their rule is and treat it as the vital but fragile thing as it really is. Still, there are going to be a good number of members of the opposition who see this tight race where the Prime Minister was only capable forming the most delicate of beast of a coalition.
The one item such a coalition, constantly under threat of collapsing, gives the Prime Minister a perfect reason to state that this is not the time to rock the boat and press through any peace initiatives from the outside world. All it would take to shoot down any demands for Israel to make additional sacrifices for peace is a single person threatening to leave the coalition should such a proposition even be introduced, let alone actually forced through the Knesset. This is already understood by even the most ignorant and blind fool, yet I might bet that such a proposition will not prevent the Europeans and President Obama from making just such demands as it does not cost them any lost sleep if the Israeli government should collapse as the sole purpose there is an Israeli government, according to too many people both within and outside of Israel, is to make sacrifices before the Arab Palestinian Authority as such sacrifices are the sole item expected from Israel and thus from her government no matter the size or opposition to such demands. The simple and obvious fact that there are members of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s own Likud Party who have threatened to vote against or resign from their positions, not to mention the entirety of the Jewish Home delegation would hopefully bolt from the coalition if such a vote in favor of such were demanded from them.
Hopefully this slim coalition can hold its own against all assaults from the entire spectrum starting from within the government and reaching as far as Turtle Bay in New York where the United Nations is located, and is just barely further than Washington D. C. and the White House. Perhaps the knowledge that the coalition is so fragile will force the Ministers within the majority to work together for the betterment of Israel. May such a government prove fortified against Israel making any sacrifices to entice the Arab representatives to come and grace us with their presence for as long as they are comfortable and then bolt from any further meetings where it is again demanded of Israel to sweeten the pot to get the Arab representatives to grace us with their presence for as long as they are comfortable and then bolt from any further meetings where it is again … No more climbing aboard the flight to the destruction of Israel and time for a new approach, annexing lands until Arabs honestly decide to enter into talks designed to end the conflict and make an agreement satisfactory with Israel otherwise Israel is satisfied with the terms and accepts granting the Arabs some adequate areas for them to have semiautonomous controls while remaining under Israeli security control and remain an integral part of Israel. There is no need or necessity which requires Israel to surrender any of the lands promised her in the San Remo Agreement and the fact Israel will permit a semi-autonomous defined region within the whole State of Israel living with in and with peace with Israel should be accepted and satisfy the world which can then go address real problems in the world. That is a stance for which this narrow coalition can unify and stand united demanding that their aspirations be included as integral to any final agreements.
Beyond the Cusp