Having rejected the idea out of hand almost immediately after the election, Israel’ Likud Party is once again talking up the possibility of coalition talks with the Center-Left Zionist Union bloc, making a centrist coalition a possibility.
It seems a long shot, after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shifted dramatically rightward before the elections, and accused the Zionist Union outright of being a US-backed plot against his continued rule. That it is being floated at all is noteworthy.
It also reflects the growing acrimony between Likud and its potential far-right partners, including Jewish Home, which is accusing them of reneging on a promise to give Neftali Bennett the Defense portfolio.
It’s likely that the possibility of a unity government is just a threat to try to bring the far-right in line for a coalition, allowing Likud to keep most of the top portfolio positions for itself. That Likud is even willing to admit that the unity government would be more palatable internationally, however, is tantamount to admitting that their far-right coalition isn’t going to sit well with the US and others, a big admission.