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Issue Brief February 1, 2023

Netanyahu’s coalition isn’t built to last: Expect high sparks within and fragile prospects for Israel’s incoming government

By Shalom Lipner

Four years and five elections since the dissolution of the last Knesset to survive two years, returning Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu holds a sixty-four seat coalition, which he maintains will serve out a full term. His supporters are heralding the establishment of a durable and homogenous leadership to pilot the country’s ship of state. The fine print suggests otherwise.

A new Issue Brief by Atlantic Council Nonresident Senior Fellow Shalom Lipner examines the conventional wisdom predicting the new ruling cohort will operate as a unified, conservative bloc, arguing instead that such a prognosis denies sufficient attention to the nuanced differences between the various players in the governing bloc. Rather, Lipner’s new Issue Brief contends that the coalition’s divergent priorities reveal an underestimated fragility that will threaten the government’s prospects. Pundits should expect a contest between Netanyahu’s coalition partners over the direction and soul of the government.

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Image: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and members of his new right-wing government look on as the government is sworn in at the Knesset, Israel's parliament in Jerusalem December 29, 2022. REUTERS/Amir Cohen/Pool