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Bennett Gov't Teeters On Brink Of Collapse Following MK Defection


The resignation of Yamina party Knesset member (MK) Nir Orbach from the governing coalition on 13 June leaves the distinct possibility that Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's broad anti-Netanyahu gov't could collapse in the coming days or weeks. Bennett admitted as much following Orbach's resignation from the coalition (blaming 'extremist anti-Zionist elements' referring to the Islamist Ra'am party and leftist green Meretz), which leaves the gov't with 59 MKs to the opposition's 61.

  • Crucially, Orbach has stated that he will not seek to vote for the dissolution of the Knesset in any confidence vote, but would seek to support a new coalition with a “patriotic spirit”. However, putting together a new majority coalition looks a very difficult task given the staunch opposition of the gov't to work with the right-wing Likud party and its leader, former PM Benjamin Netanyahu.
  • Head of the Islamist Ra'am party Mansour Abbas has refused to rule out working in a Netanyahu-led gov't, a formulation that could potentially secure a majority in the Knesset if other parties or independents joined in. However, it would involve Ra'am working with the hardline far-right Religious Zionist party.
  • There remains a notable prospect of snap elections taking place. Opinion polls at present show little chance of a stable majority gov't emerging from any new election, which would be the fifth election in just over three years if no new governing coalition can be formed.
Chart 1. Current Knesset, Seats

Source:, MNI

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