Unnamed senior officials from the Likud party told Kan news on Monday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has given up on the possibility of persuading the Religious Zionism party to join a coalition supported in any way by the Islamist Ra’am party.
According to the report, Netanyahu is now convinced that party chairman Bezalel Smotrich has no intention of changing his mind and agreeing to join a government that would have even the outside backing of Ra’am. The prime minister will instead turn his attention to persuading New Hope’s Gideon Sa’ar to join his government.
A central plank of Sa’ar’s electoral campaign was the formation of a right-wing government, but not under Netanyahu. Sa’ar has repeatedly vowed since the election that he will not join Netanyahu.
To reach a majority, Netanyahu needs the active support or outside backing of the right-wing Yamina, Religious Zionism, and at least two additional MKs. At this point it feels like the parties involved are going through the motions with no end in sight.