After the March 23 vote, Rivlin initially charged Netanyahu with forming a government. Its Likud emerged from the election as the strongest force. However, the 71-year-old did not succeed in forming the alliance of right-wing and religious parties he was striving for. Netanyahu should have brought together the Religious Zionist Party around Bezalel Smotrich and the Arab Raam party behind him. The far-right Jewish party, however, refused to cooperate with the Arab MPs. Naftali Bennett’s ultra-right Jamina party also avoided making a clear commitment to Netanyahu.
After the election, Netanyahu received the highest number of recommendations for the formation of a government during discussions between the party leaders and President Rivlin. 52 MPs expressed their support for him. Lapid from the Future Party, which is located in the political center, received the second most recommendations with 45 votes. Observers therefore assume that Rivlin will now give him the mandate to form a government.
Lapid’s problem is that his camp, which consists mainly of opponents of Netanyahu, does not get a majority in parliament either. For a majority, the 57-year-old would also have to involve a number of parties that are far apart in the political spectrum. The Lapid camp needs the support of the Jamina party as well as an Arab party or the Religious Zionist Party.
The situation in Israel is so tricky because the party landscape is very fragmented. Both the right and left camps are made up of several parties. At the margins there are other divisions such as the ultra-right. The election at the end of March was not, as is so often the case in Israel, about a decision between right or left, but rather the question of whether one is for or against Netanyahu. Even if they belong to a camp, some parties are not compatible with alliances. In addition to programmatic differences, this is also due to personal animosities. Netanyahu’s relationship with other right-wing main characters such as Bennett, Gideon Saar and Avigdor Lieberman is considered to be very difficult.
© dpa-infocom, dpa: 210505-99-469787 / 4