How to build an Israeli coalition: Mind-boggling maths

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How to build an Israeli coalition


The numbers favour Binyamin Netanyahu—but you never know



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THE late Yitzhak Rabin used to joke that every koalitsia (coalition) contains a bit of goalitsia—a play on the Hebrew word goal, meaning disgust. Israeli politics is so fractured that coalitions are hard to create and fissile once in office.
Still, the groups fall into two broad camps: the centre-left led by Labour (now part of the Zionist Union alliance), which favours territorial compromise with Palestinians; and a centre-right alliance led by Likud that resists it.

The prime minister needs at least 61 votes in the 120-seat Knesset. The latest polls have Zionist Union leading Likud by 24-21. But the arithmetic helps Likud’s Binyamin Netanyahu more than Zionist Union’s Yitzhak Herzog.
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