By Caroline Glick, Jpost—
Israel is a multi-party parliamentary democracy. No one party has ever won an outright majority of seats in Israel’s 120-seat parliament, the Knesset. And so, since the first Knesset was elected in 1949, all of Israel’s governments have been coalition governments comprised of one or two major parties and several minor sectoral parties.
Liberman is the head of a small party called Israel Beitenu. When he resigned, he pulled his party out of Netanyahu’s governing coalition and brought its governing majority down from a healthy 67 seats to the bare minimum of 61 seats.
In the ensuing days, various coalition partners, jockeying to improve their positions vis-à-vis one another and vis-à-vis Netanhyahu’s Likud party (the largest party by far in his governing coalition), threatened to bolt the government and so precipitate its downfall.
By Tuesday afternoon Netanyahu had fended off their efforts while taking over the Defense Ministry from Liberman. Before Netanyahu quelled the unrest, it appeared that the Knesset elections, scheduled to take place next November would be pushed up to March 2019. But now, with his coalition partners’ challenges fended off, there is a fairly good chance that Netanyahu’s government will live out its days until next November, or, at a minimum, until the end of May.
The most interesting aspect of the political drama that gripped Israel for the better part of the week isn’t what was discussed in the news. The most interesting aspect of Netanyahu’s political storm is who wasn’t involved in it and indeed, who had nothing to say about it.
Left and center-left parties had nothing to contribute to the drama. No one looked to their leaders as possible successors to Netanyahu. All of the media commentaries and day-to-day instant polls showed that if the government were to have fallen and new elections held, at the end of a prolonged campaign, Israeli voters would return election results very similar to the results of the last election in 2015.
The polls are unanimous in their assessment that Netanyahu will maintain his position as prime minister. His Likud party will win the largest number of seats in the Knesset by far. His current coalition partners will return to the next Knesset with more or less the same number of seats they have in the current Knesset.