Netanyahu Meets Deadline, Announcing Coalition Deal

Disputes Over Ministry Terms Still Leave Swearing In Uncertain

Two hours before the midnight deadline, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced a deal had been reached which will, theoretically, give him a majority coalition of 61 seats in the 120 seat Knesset.

The coalition will consist of Likud, Kulanu, Shas, United Torah Judaism, and Jewish Home. Jewish Home was the final group to come on board, and did so at the last minute with a promise for the Justice Ministry.

The exact makeup of the cabinet is still somewhat in the air, and Netanyahu has 7 days to hold a swearing in for his cabinet, which could still be derailed by any loss of two seats from any of the parties.

This could still happen, with Jewish Home angry about the limitations placed on the Justice Ministry appointment, the ultra-Orthodox parties angry at the Justice Ministry going to a non-Orthodox female MP, and a Jewish Home faction led by Uri Ariel trying to get the portfolio for him.

Though Likud officials are talking up trying to get more members into the coalition, they seem like they’ll have a hard enough time holding together what they had, and the fact that Likud leaders are openly talking about “getting even with” Jewish Home for extorting the Justice Ministry out of them underscores what a short-lived coalition this could end up being.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of