New Hope leader Gideon Sa’ar was caught on camera winking from behind Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s back during Monday night’s votes on the proposed makeup of the Knesset’s powerful Arrangements Committee, which runs the parliament until a government is formed.He was clearly winking at one of the ministers sitting near Netanyahu. But Sa’ar’s associates politely declined to reveal the recipient of the wink, and Finance Minister Israel Katz vehemently denied a report that it was him.
Knesset.Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid, by contrast, held a high-profile meeting with Abbas and met with all the other leaders of the parties in the “change camp” on Monday. He has internalized Abbas’s desire to hold the balance of power and use it to help his constituency.Following his success in the votes, Lapid was seen in the Knesset corridor laughing with Ra’am MK Saeed Alharomi, who is not a household name or well-known face in the Knesset. That Lapid has made a point of getting to know the No. 4 candidate in Ra’am shows he did his homework.“They are taking us to school,” Yamina MK Ayelet Shaked was caught on camera complaining to Coalition Chairman Miki Zohar (Likud).Shaked, who is the main force in Yamina aiming to join a Netanyahu-led coalition, did not hide her disappointment at the results of the votes. She blames Religious Zionist Party leader Bezalel Smotrich’s refusal to compromise for preventing Netanyahu from building a government in which she would have likely been the foreign minister.Netanyahu told confidants late Monday night that he, too, blamed Smotrich. Had Smotrich not been so nasty in his attacks on Abbas, he told them, he might not have pushed him away toward the rival camp. Had the Likud won Monday’s votes, Netanyahu could have used the Arrangements Committee to pass a bill for direct elections for prime minister or other creative ideas his associates said were still up his sleeve.Now, it will be even harder for Netanyahu to find a way to remain in power.He will have to have his eyes open, watching from behind his back, and also keep his eyes peeled, looking straight ahead of him during the final two weeks of his mandate to form a government.If not, the back view through the rear window will be all that Netanyahu will see, following what could be the end of his political career.