A U.S.-born Israeli author and former politician says Benjamin Netanyahu is poised to put together a small but manageable coalition in his bid for a fifth term as Israeli prime minister.
Despite criminal accusations and a close race with ex-military chief Benny Gantz, Netanyahu and his Likud Party, joining with other smaller parties, appear to give him a 65-55 majority in the Knesset.
David Rubin says the smaller parties are the key to Netanyahu's victory.
“There are more parties to the right of Netanyahu than there are to the left of Gantz,” Rubin says. “And for that reason Netanyahu, his Likud, together with the parties that are likely to be in his coalition to the right of him, makes up 65 seats out of the 120 seats in the Knesset.”
Rubin, a former Israeli mayor, calls that a “fairly stable” governing coalition.
It appears Israeli voters preferred the right-wing coalition's position regarding the ongoing Palestinian issue, Rubin says, over the more liberal coalition that favors compromising with Israel-owned land.
“So in this case,” he says of the election, “it's quite clear that Israel favors a more right-wing coalition.”
With this victory, Netanyahu captures a fourth consecutive term and fifth overall, which will make him Israel's longest-ever serving leader, surpassing founding father David Ben-Gurion.