Israel news summary

Israel News for 9-20-2019

Election Results
With around 99% of the votes counted, the results seem to be finalized, with the only change being an extra mandate for Blue and White and one less for Yisrael Beytenu.

Here are the current results (according to News 12):
Blue and White – 33
Likud – 31
Joint Arab List – 13
Shas – 9 (ultra-Orthodox)
Yisrael Beytenu – 8
UTJ – 8 (ultra-Orthodox)
Yamina – 7
Labor-Gesher – 6
Democracy Camp – 5

There is no clear path for either the major block to form a government independently. That leaves the only option being a national unity government between Likud and Blue and White, either with other parties or without them.

PM Netanyahu released a video inviting Benny Gantz and Blue and White to join a unity government. Of course, that government would apparently be led by Netanyahu. Blue and White have apparently rejected the offer, with Gantz saying that he will form a broad, liberal unity government — apparently with himself at the head. But a unity government with Likud would require Netanyahu to step down as leader, and no one expects that to happen.

Without a partnership with Likud, there doesn’t seem to be any path for Gantz to form a coalition. Even if he includes the Arab parties, it would only get him 57 votes, 4 short of the majority. Lieberman will not sit in a government with the Arabs, nor will he sit with the religious parties unless they agree to his requirement, which they have categorically refused to do under any circumstances.

On the other side, Netanyahu can only garner 55 seats with the religious parties and Yamina. He reportedly offered Labor leader Peretz the finance ministry in order to bring his 6 seats into the coalition, but Peretz refused.

What will happen now?

Will either Gantz or Netanyahu manage to make magic and pull together a coalition?

Will Netanyahu step aside for the sake of unity?

Will there be another election?