The Day After Israel’s 2019 National Election Part 2: Everything Is Clear as Mud

With 91% of the votes counted, we still have no really good or clear idea of what the actual election outcomes in Israel are going to be for the next government of Israel. Benny Gantz’s Kahol Lavan Party still has a one seat edge over Bibi’s Likud, with 32 to 31 projected seats. However, as night gave way to morning in Israel the potential coalition politics both got clearer and murkier at the same time. Both Ayelet Shaked who runs Yamina – basically what would happen if you gave Ann Coulter a political party – and the Joint Lists Ayman Odeh have both stated they’re headed to the opposition in the next Knesset. Shaked who is farther right than Bibi wants to present herself and Yamina as the new, better, younger, hipper, and more telegenic Likud against a potential national unity government. Odeh has stated that he wants to be the leader of the opposition. Avigdor Liberman, whose Yisrael Beytenu Party appears to have won 9 seats, is still calling for both a national unity government with Likud, Kahol Lavan, and Yisrael Beytenu.

Here’s the rub. If Shaked won’t support Bibi, then his potential coalition goes from 55 seats to 46 seats. But things get worse for Gantz. If Odeh won’t join or isn’t invited to join in a coalition with Kahol Lavan, Labor, and the Democratic Union, then Gantz’s potential 57 seat coalition drops down to 43 seats. This gives Bibi and his potential coalition more seats, which he’ll use to claim he should be given the opportunity to try to form the next government. Liberman has also said that he will not allow a third election to happen, but his non-negotiable demands, which include both excluding Odeh’s Joint List and that Bibi has to go, may be non-negotiable, but they may also be non-starters. Likud said last night that they were sticking with Bibi, though pressure will build to both keep him and pitch him over the side. It is unclear right now, how much control Bibi can exert to save himself right now, but he has just concluded a meeting with the other right wing parties and the initial reporting is he has shored up support among them, and he has a 55 seat coalition ready to move forward and try to form the next government.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will make a press statement at 6 p.m., in about half an hour, following his meeting with the senior leadership of the Jewish Home, New Right, United Torah Judaism and Shas parties at his office.

The factions agreed to function as a “bloc” and conduct coalition negotiations together, Likud says.

A Likud source tells The Times of Israel that he is expected to announce the support of all the parties, which will control some 55 Knesset seats according to preliminary election results.

While not enough to form a coalition on its own, Channel 12 reports Netanyahu is hoping that Rivlin will consider the 55-seat bloc as a single party and therefore agree to task the premier with forming the next government for having a bigger faction than the standalone Blue and White party.

Given that Ayelet Shaked’s Yamina Party isn’t mentioned, I don’t see how he gets to 55 seats, but that’s the reporting.

Everything is now clear as mud.

Open thread!






58 replies
  1. 1
    rikyrah says:

    Shoot, Silverman.
    I was coming to see how things had cleared up.
    So, we are still at muddled mess :(

  2. 2
    Yarrow says:

    Ayelet Shaked who runs Yamina – basically what would happen if you gave Ann Coulter a political party

    LOL. That made me laugh. I know it’s not funny but the image is funny.

  3. 3
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Yarrow: Shaked’s much more physically attractive than Coulter. At least until she starts talking.

  4. 4
    daveNYC says:

    The largest party gets to try and form a government, so Netanyahu is going to say that his group of four different parties should be considered a single party and get the nod.

    Seems legitimate.

  5. 5
    chopper says:

    @daveNYC:

    of course, if blue&white manages to do the same thing, bibi will say ‘no fair, they have some arabs!’

  6. 6
    Origuy says:

    And some people say that the US needs a third party.

  7. 7
    germy says:

    BREAKING: In first post elections speech Netanyahu refuses to concede. blames the media for biased coverage— Barak Ravid (@BarakRavid) September 18, 2019

    And somewhere, a little light goes on in Trump’s brain…

  8. 8
    MisterForkbeard says:

    I’m curious – what happens if NO ONE can clear the 60-seat minimum for a government? Redo the election? Just do nothing?

  9. 9

    Get a parliamentary government, they said, because it works so much better than what America has.

    I recognize that Israel has a few quirks that make pulling together a government more difficult than other parliamentary democracies, but we can also look at the UK.

  10. 10
    JPL says:

    Netanyahu will not be going to the UN and he canceled a meeting scheduled with trump. I view that as a good sign.

  11. 11

    @Origuy: It would be even worse in the US. At least in parliamentary systems, they have to form a coalition that reaches the majority status. In the US, you’d get what they had in Maine–minority rule

  12. 12
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @chopper:
    https://www.timesofisrael.com/liveblog_entry/netanyahu-vows-to-form-next-government-warns-of-dangerous-dependence-on-arabs/

    6:46 pm
    Netanyahu vows to form next government, warns of ‘dangerous’ dependence on Arabs
    In a “special announcement” at the Knesset, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insists he will be the one to lead the next government.

    He notes he’d just met with right-wing and Haredi party leaders from Shas, UTJ, National Union, Jewish Home and New Right.

    “We decided unanimously that we’re going forward together to negotiations that will establish a government led by me,” he declares.

    “Our [coalition] negotiations will be through a single [shared] representation. Minister Yariv Levin will lead, alongside representatives from all the parties.”

    He adds: “Now there are only two possibilities — a government led by me, or a dangerous government that depends on the Arabs. Now more than ever, with the vast security challenges that lie ahead for the country, a government must not be established that depends on anti-Zionist Arab parties. That’s our commitment to the country and to our voters.”

    He thanks his fellow Likud lawmakers, “without exception, for your support for me and for Likud,” amid speculation he could be forced out by the party in order to make way for a unity government with Blue and White.

    “We’re moving forward together, and the nationalist camp is moving forward together.”

  13. 13
    Shalimar says:

    @daveNYC: Is it really any more bullshit than a dozen others things Bibi has gotten away with in the past?

  14. 14
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @MisterForkbeard: Yep, threepeat!

  15. 15
    Jeffro says:

    As soon as we’re done talking about this, can we get a post on the DNI refusing Schiff’s subpoaena for the IC whistleblower case? That is some crazy stuff there.

  16. 16
    Jager says:

    One of my classmates (RIP), a jazz musician, a successful baker, candy maker, and an incredibly good amateur photographer was a lifelong cafeteria Jew. A couple of years ago we were talking about Israel and he said he hated that greasy bastard, Netanyahu, I asked him “Why?” Tom replied, “Remember that old butcher, with the shop on 4th street when we were kids?” I said, “The one who used to put his thumb on the scale?” Tom said, “You got it.”

  17. 17
    germy says:

    If Netanyahu actually cared about the common good of Israel and really wanted to bring peace to the region, he would step down from being Prime Minister today and fade away into the private sector.— Matthew Dowd (@matthewjdowd) September 18, 2019

  18. 18
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Third time’s the charm, right?

    Or maybe it’s just the third catastrophe.

  19. 19
    Baud says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    A case can be made for a parliamentary system, but I think most people obsessed with that simply do so as a form of “both sides.”

  20. 20
    Kent says:

    Ayelet Shaked who runs Yamina – basically what would happen if you gave Ann Coulter a political party

    Which, of course, is basically what we’ve done with today’s GOP.

  21. 21
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Baud:
    I think it’s not so much parliamentary system vs. the American system, as the level of commitment to playing by the rules. Either system works okay when parties abide by the spirit of the rules, and either could be broken by persistent rule violators.

  22. 22
    zzyzx says:

    @Baud:
    I think that most people who really want that have a mental image where the Greens and Socialists get a lot of seats and don’t think about the flip of that where outright racist parties would also get votes.

  23. 23
    Another Scott says:

    @Origuy: Ding, ding, ding.

    More than 2 parties sounds great, until 2-3 really outlandish people are king-makers.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  24. 24
    Baud says:

    Besides the political and constitutional hurdles that a switch to a parliamentary system would entail, a parliamentary system would require a completely different political culture and mindset than what Americans are used to. Think about how hard it is to persuade Americans to switch to the metric system. Changing governmental design would be so much more of a lift.

  25. 25
    Another Scott says:

    In other news, BBC:

    “Data recovered from the computers [on the UAV] shows it’s Iranian,” he said.

    He said that 18 UAVs had been fired at the Abqaiq oil facility and seven cruise missiles had been launched at both targets. Four cruise missiles struck the Khurais oilfield and the other three fell short of Abqaiq.

    Col Malki said the missiles that struck all hit from a northerly direction. He showed video of one UAV hitting Abqaiq, along with maps and photographs of the damage.

    He said of the Khurais attack that the “precision impact of the cruise missiles indicate advanced capability beyond the Iran proxy’s capacity”.

    [image]

    Col Malki said details of the launch points could not yet be given but once they had been determined they would be announced at another conference.

    Emphasis added.

    What does “Iranian data” look like, exactly? Coordinates of the route (with places in Iran) would make sense as “Iranian data”. Otherwise, do Iranians use a unique programming language or something??

    Still an awful lot of unanswered questions.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  26. 26
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Amir Khalid: bingo

    @zzyzx: ayup. The KKK would actually win seats!

  27. 27
    rikyrah says:

    @Jeffro:

    As soon as we’re done talking about this, can we get a post on the DNI refusing Schiff’s subpoaena for the IC whistleblower case? That is some crazy stuff there.

    NEVER BEFORE has a DNI done this

  28. 28
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Another Scott: Saudi and the Republicans both have zero credibility so I assume we will never have a more credible explanation than the Houthis’ claims of responsibility.

  29. 29
    TenguPhule says:

    Everything Is Clear as Mud

    That good is it? //

  30. 30
    Kelly says:

    My understanding of other nations politics is very superficial. Keeping up with US politics takes enough time and causes enough stress anyway. But Joint List wants to be in the opposition rather than a coalition that kicks Bibi out of power? WTF?

  31. 31
    Doug R says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    Get a parliamentary government, they said, because it works so much better than what America has.

    I recognize that Israel has a few quirks that make pulling together a government more difficult than other parliamentary democracies, but we can also look at the UK.

    We managed to flip our government here in BC after our last election, it just took an extra month or two:

    As no single party won a majority of seats, the Green Party was approached by both the BC Liberals and BC NDP to determine whether they would support a minority government or a coalition government headed by either party.[10] No grand coalition or agreement between the two large parties, excluding the Greens, was seriously considered. On May 29, Horgan and Weaver announced that the Greens would provide confidence and supply to an NDP minority government, a position which was endorsed the following day by the members of both caucuses.[11] In response, Clark indicated that she would have the legislature sit in the coming weeks and seek its confidence in a Liberal minority government, while acknowledging that she would likely be unsuccessful.[12] The legislature convened on June 22.[13] On June 29, the Liberals were defeated in a confidence vote; Clark then resigned and asked Guichon to dissolve the Legislature and call a new election. Guichon refused, and invited Horgan to form an NDP minority government.[13][4][14]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2017_British_Columbia_general_election

  32. 32
    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Shaked’s much more physically attractive than Coulter. At least until she starts talking.

    I’d wager that still holds true if you compare both of them talking at the same time.

  33. 33
    TenguPhule says:

    @Baud:

    Think about how hard it is to persuade Americans to switch to the metric system.

    We have never switched to the metric….oh.

  34. 34
    TenguPhule says:

    @Another Scott:

    What does “Iranian data” look like, exactly?

    wordpad file on the computer which says. “We dunnit, gov.” in Persian.

  35. 35
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @TenguPhule:
    Real talk: in nursing/medicine and really science in general we use the metric system all the time. It’s so much similar than the hodgepodge of the imperial system we still use.

    It’s simple to convert a liter to milliliters for example. Just multiply or divide by 1000 and you get your answer. No memorization neccessary. Screw quarts, gallons, and ounces. Though tbf, US industry has pretty much converted to metric already. Bottles of pop are measured in liters

  36. 36
    TenguPhule says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷:

    Screw quarts, gallons, and ounces

    I take it you don’t cook for yourself yet regularly? Be prepared for a nasty shock.

  37. 37
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Another Scott:
    That BBC piece is interesting and does ask questions/cast some doubt. Here’s another:

    Saudi Arabia has unveiled new “evidence” of who is behind the strike on its oil refinery as Trump threatens to “substantially increase” sanctions.
    (Victoria Craw and wires, September 19, 2019)
    These are very weak claims, e.g. “sponsored by Iran”, and are coming from the Saudi government which has proven liars. (e.g. recall their dramatically shifting stories about the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, which cannot all be true.)

    Colonel Turki al-Maliki said the collection, combined with analysis of the precision and direction of the attack showed it was “unquestionably sponsored by Iran.”
    He described the attack as “an assault on international humanity, a deliberate attempt to disrupt the global economy” and said the range of missiles showed it could “never be launched from Yemen”.
    Showing the wing of a drone, he claimed data recovered from the computers show “it’s Iranian,” he said.

    They should not be accepted without independent forensics by people who don’t have an obvious agenda. Like you, I have no idea what they mean by “data recovered from the drone”. Is it open source drone software that was once downloaded from a Iranian IP address? This seems a little quick for a proper reverse engineering, unless they got lucky and found a table of waypoint coordinates or similar.

  38. 38
    Yutsano says:

    @Another Scott: @TenguPhule: Only thing I can think of is Farsi script looks decidedly different from Arabic script. The presence of a ton of vowels (which Farsi has a bunch but Arabic has at most 5) is a big giveaway. Other than that, I got nothin’.

  39. 39
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @TenguPhule:
    Haha. I know how to convert them and use gallons/quarts etc. I just think the imperial system is stupid because it’s arbitrary and unintuitive.

  40. 40
    NotMax says:

    @TenguPhule

    Remember back when gasoline pumps in Hawaii were calibrated in liters?

    @Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)

    Bring back fifths!

    ;)

  41. 41
    Yutsano says:

    @TenguPhule: @TenguPhule: If you really want to make American brains hurt, tell them all Imperial metrics used in the US are based on the metric system already. Just be prepared for explosions.

    And soda companies have been using liter measurements for decades now. It’s almost like no one noticed.

  42. 42
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @Yutsano:
    Huh. And here I thought the British were the ones who developed the mile, feet, etc

  43. 43
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @NotMax:
    Eh, the metric fifth, which is 750 ml, is the standard unit now used has only 7 mls less than the fifth. Hardly a difference, not even with hard liquor ; )

  44. 44
    TenguPhule says:

    @NotMax:

    Remember back when gasoline pumps in Hawaii were calibrated in liters?

    Before my time. Well before.

  45. 45
    TenguPhule says:

    @Yutsano:

    And soda companies have been using liter measurements for decades now. It’s almost like no one noticed.

    They sell internationally. Now milk containers…..

  46. 46
    Bill Arnold says:

    Adam, any comment on this (or a pointer if i missed any previous comment)?
    IDF troops in Afghanistan? What a US-Israel mutual defense treaty could mean – Netanyahu claims the pact he vows to advance after the election will guarantee Israel’s security ‘for generations.’ But successive Israeli governments have always rejected the idea (Raphael Ahren, 2019/09/18)
    In the US, Republicans would (probably?) use a (Trump-admin)-negotiated treaty as a power-wedge in domestic US politics.

  47. 47
    NotMax says:

    @TenguPhule

    Wasn’t all that long ago. Gasoline was dispensed in liters when I moved here in the early 80s.

  48. 48
    JPL says:

    Trump just now: I haven’t spoken with Netanyahu, but “our relations are with Israel, so we’ll see what happens.”

    hahah https://twitter.com/Yair_Rosenberg

  49. 49
    Steeplejack says:

    @Yutsano:

    [. . .] all Imperial metrics used in the US are based on the metric system already.

    Oh, bullshit. Imperial and metric units were “synchronized” by international agreement in 1959, but the imperial units—even the ones in the U.S.!—were around long before the metric system was invented.

  50. 50
    catclub says:

    @Bill Arnold: yeah. One would assume that Saudi radar installations would be pointed at Iran – lots of them.
    The fact that they are not showing the recordings showing the radar blips of the incoming missiles tells me that either:1) the Iranians have developed EXTREMELY good radar evading missile technology. or 2) Their radars are actually terrible – as well as all of the US Navy radars operating at the north end of the gulf – including on AWACS planes.

    Neither of these are a very good look.

  51. 51
    catclub says:

    @JPL: Trump has been known to pretty reliably drop a loser, rather than support a friend ( since he has no friends) This is actually a good sign for the US.

  52. 52
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷: Always thought an unacknowledged reason kids from other countries scored better on various science prowess tests was because they didn’t have to learn a whole new measurement system. They grow up using the one used in science!

    I remember it being a pain in chemistry and physics!

  53. 53
    trnc says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor:

    Origuy: It would be even worse in the US. At least in parliamentary systems, they have to form a coalition that reaches the majority status. In the US, you’d get what they had in Maine–minority rule

    We have that here now.

  54. 54
    Llelldorin says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷:

    I just think the imperial system is stupid because it’s arbitrary and unintuitive.

    Fortunately, we use English units, not Imperial ones!

    (Literally true—we broke off before the imperial system was formalized. The differences are mostly trivial—we use short tons in the US, for example, not imperial tons. It doesn’t make our system any less arbitrary and unintuitive.)

  55. 55
    Robert Harvey says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷:

    And yet I deal with lawyers — finance lawyers! — who can’t multiply by 10 without using a calculator. Obviously worse if not base 10. If financial clients knew how innumerate their legal talent was, they would vomit.

  56. 56
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Steeplejack: bad move, dude. You are going to get an IRS audit now.

  57. 57
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Bill Arnold: It would be a very, very, very, very, very bad idea and strategically stupid and pointless. The Israelis would never contribute troops to anything we’d need them too. They’d be a force protection risk. Unlike most of our major allies that assist us in coalition operations, the Israelis don’t have a professional NCO cohort. None of their stuff is to NATO standard or interchangeable with NATO stuff. NATO wouldn’t be willing to partner if we brought the Israelis along.

  58. 58
    debbie says:

    I was cheered to hear Bibi had canceled his trip to the U.N. No childish graphics of bombs this time around. Alas. //

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