A groundbreaking alliance

The Bennet-Lapid axis could help bring different segments of Israeli society closer

By AMIEL UNGAR
March 20, 2013 13:35
3 minute read.
Dynamic Duo521

Dynamic Duo. (photo credit: MIRIAM ALSTER)

The surprising alliance between Yair Lapid’s secular Yesh Atid party and Naftali Bennett’s mainly Orthodox Bayit Yehudi dominated the negotiations leading to the formation of the government. After using every trick in the book to dismantle the alliance or circumvent it by wooing Labor, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was forced to bite the bullet and accept Israel’s dynamic duo as his main coalition partners.

Realists might argue that the Lapid-Bennett alliance was no more than a marriage of political convenience. Fearing that Netanyahu would freeze them out, the two united, denying the prime minister a Knesset majority without them, as long as their alliance held firm and Labor party leader Shelly Yacimovich preferred to lead a fighting opposition. In the realist view, this mutual survival pact will probably prove unstable, given the obvious differences between the two parties over territorial issues with the Palestinians and religious issues on the domestic front.

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