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AFP
May 7, 2021

Israel’s Lapid faces daunting path to anti-Netanyahu govt

AFP
May 7, 2021

OCCUPIED-AL-QUDS: Israeli opposition leader Yair Lapid, who has been given 28 days to form a government, has said his goal is to forge a coalition that ends Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s divisive rule.

But doing so will require walking a tightrope unrivalled in Israeli political history. Lapid will have to build a coalition united primarily by opposition to Netanyahu from disparate groups ranging from right-wing Jewish nationalists to Arab lawmakers who have never before sat in an Israeli government.

And, in an unprecedented twist, the centrist former television anchor will probably have to sacrifice his own prime ministerial ambitions at least in the short term. Israel’s fourth inconclusive election in less than two years produced a fractured parliament.

Lapid can likely count on the support of centrist and left-wing lawmakers as well as two right-wing parties firmly committed to removing Netanyahu.

The New Hope party is made up of defectors from Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud, while Yisrael Beitenu is backed by many immigrants from the former Soviet Union. Barring defections, those parties would give a Lapid colaition 51 of the 61 seats in pariament it needs for majority. Netanyahu’s Likud, two ultra-Orthodox Jewish parties and the far-right Religious Zionism alliance collectively hold 52 seats and would almost certainly rebuff any outreach from Lapid.