Yisrael Beitenu leader Avigdor Liberman is the only outright winner of the Israeli election which concluded tonight, Sept. 17th. Liberman’s party doubled its strength to 10 seats and is now the deciding factor between the two large left-wing and right-wing blocs. This is apparent from all of the exit polls which see the two blocs more or less equal but both a significant distance from the 61 MKs needed to form a government.
Liberman has stated in the past that he will not sit with Netanyahu if the Chareidi parties are part of his coalition. However even if he joins Benny Gantz’s Blue-And-White party they will not be able to muster the requisite 61 MKs without the Joint Arab List. Much as Liberman detests the Chareidi parties (although he is a close friend of Shas leader Aryeh Deri), he would not establish a government based on the Arab party.
What will Liberman do? Will he demand a unity government as he declared before the elections? The key to the next government lies in his hands.