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In the wake of tight legislations, Israel faces the puzzle of alliances


Counting is still ongoing in Israel in the aftermath of the parliamentary elections. White Blue, the formation of Benny Gantz, has an early seat on Benyamin Netanyahu's Likud. The United Arab List comes third. And...

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Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu at the Likud Headquarters on the evening of September 18, 2019. REUTERS / Ammar Awad

Counting is still ongoing in Israel in the aftermath of the parliamentary elections. White Blue, Benny Gantz's formation, has a seat ahead of Benyamin Netanyahu's Likud. The United Arab List comes third. And Avigdor Liberman and Israel Beytenou pose as the referee of the duel between the two main candidates.

With our correspondent in Jerusalem, Guilhem Delteil

One of the important elements that will be played in the coming hours will be the allocation of the first place of the vote: who Likud or "Blue White" will finish in the lead? Even if the advance is small, the leader of this formation will have a stronger legitimacy to claim the task of forming a government.

The challenge is to know what is the name that Avigdor Liberman will give to the president when he begins his consultations for the appointment of a prime minister. Israeli leader Beytenou wants to force the Likud and "Blue White" to join forces in a so-called national unity government. But even in this scenario, when the time comes to choose the leader of this union, Liberman should recommend who has come first.

Towards a government of national unity ?

On the ideological level, the Likud and "Blue White" seem compatible. But an alliance would need to answer a thorny question: who will lead this government? Benyamin Netanyahu reaffirmed that night that it was out of the question for him to give way. " It will not go away on its own, that's quite obvious," confirms Alain Dieckhoff, researcher at Sciences Po and specialist in Israel. But for his part, Benny Gantz repeated many times during the campaign that he would not enter a government led by Benyamin Netanyahu. His training also calls for the departure of a prime minister at the heart of three corruption cases.

Another obstacle: the option of a government of national unity is not that favored by Benyamin Netanyahu. He did not use the term that night, preferring to speak of a " Zionist government ". " It's not going to be easy that said and it's pretty clear that if he could do it, it would inevitably be with Liberman," says Alain Dieckhoff . But it will ask a very high price to enter a coalition led by Netanyahu. "

One of the Likud's strategies might be to try to blow up the "Blue White" coalition by luring some of Benny Gantz's MPs into a right-wing government. At the risk of provoking a new impasse and third elections: this strategy failed in May.

The strategy of the United Arab League

Another element of uncertainty: what will be the attitude of the United Arab List? His leader did not rule out recommending Benny Gantz as Prime Minister, but he set conditions.

One thing is certain: if Avigdor Liberman and Ayman Odeh both support the "Blue White" leader, Benyamin Netanyahu will be outvoted.

Source: rfi

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