Israel’s Lapid Claims to Have Formed a Government But He May Be Celebrating too Soon, Here’s Why

For the chairman of Yesh Atid to forge a coalition, he needs 61 signatures. But Naftali Bennett, who is supposed to bring six much-needed seats, is struggling to convince members of his own bloc that an alliance with Lapid is the right way forward.

On Wednesday, the chairman of the Yesh Atid party, Yair Lapid, informed Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin that he was able to forge a coalition after the chief of the hawkish Yamina party gave his okay to the formation of a joint government.

But it turns out that the race to the prime ministership is far from over.

For Lapid to succeed at this task, he needs the agreement of 61 members of the potential coalition. Before Bennett gave his greenlight, the chairman of Yesh Atid only had 55 approvals and the head of the Yamina party was supposed to become the missing link that would bring along five more lawmakers.

Split Within the Ranks

However, the catch is that Bennett is struggling to make that happen. His primary problem is the number-two on the Yamina party list – Ayelet Shaked. Known for her hawkish views, including on the issue of Jerusalem, Palestinian prisoners, and settlement activity, she found it hard to enter a coalition that would rely on Raam, an Islamic party believed to have ties with the Muslim Brotherhood, considered a terrorist organisation by a number of countries.

The mounting pressure from hawkish members of the parliament hasn’t made it easier for her either, and that pressure is expected to be applied with…

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