As Israel’s Kingmaker Gets Off the Fence, Gantz Gets a Boost
- David Makovksy
- Content Type
- Policy Brief
- The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
- Although Benny Gantz’s party lost the head-to-head battle, Avigdor Liberman’s favorable influence on the coalition
math has left the general in a stronger position—and taken some diplomatic weight off the Trump administration’s
Israel’s third round of elections last week seemed inconclusive at first, but the deadlock may now be broken.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu did better this time than in September’s round two, but his gains were
insufficient to form a new government. Potential kingmaker Avigdor Liberman jettisoned his previous idea of
getting the two top parties to join forces; instead, personal antipathy and policy differences have led him to
definitely state that he will not join any government Netanyahu leads. Thus, while centrist Blue and White Party
leader Benny Gantz may have options to shape a new government, Netanyahu has no pathway on his own.
In theory, the center-left bloc has the requisite number of seats for a bare majority in the 120-member Knesset,
since anti-Netanyahu forces won 62 seats. In reality, the situation is more complex.
- Foreign Policy, Government, Politics, Elections
- Political Geography
- Middle East, Israel, North America, United States of America