The world can be a strange place sometimes. When you look at the last four weeks of coalition negotiations you find ideologically-motivated right-wingers, settlers who wear large kippot, and certainly the haredi (ultra-Orthodox) parties, yearning for the left-wing Shelly Yachimovich and her Labor party, of all parties, to save them.
These rightists feel that the one party that should have been their closest ally, whose views, as they were presented during the elections campaign, were closest to theirs, has completely changed its tune after the elections and has begun heading in the opposite direction. Our word is our bond, Habayit Hayehudi Chairman Naftali Bennett said this weekend about his alliance with Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid. Well, that is a subjective matter.
If this is the coalition that will ultimately come to be, the day this government is sworn in will be the day that the nationalist camp dies. Habayit Hayehudi, which was supposed to be the Right-most party in the right-wing bloc, may turn out to be the very party that ends up signing the bloc's death certificate, now that they have decided to push out the haredi parties, which have so far been an integral part of the bloc (certainly in recent years).
The coalition that appears to be taking shape, the one that includes Lapid and Bennett and not the haredim, is the worst possible coalition that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu could have come up with. This coalition, and the option of calling fresh elections, are competing for the title of worst possible option. There is no clear winner yet. In this fight, barring any last minute surprises, the prime minister may end up the loser.
Lapid and Bennett aren't satisfied with just kicking the haredim out of the coalition. They are also starting to divide the spoils between them: Lapid wants to be foreign minister and Bennett wants to be finance minister. If that's how the government's term starts, who knows where it will end up. Every little legislative proposal will launch an exhausting round of negotiations between the sides. Every initiative will face mountains of obstacles that will ultimately stymie everything.
It looks like Yachimovich has already decided that she won't step in and join the coalition. But if she hasn't, then she faces a very serious dilemma. She could gain so much if she were to join the coalition, but sometimes the position of leader of the opposition seems more appealing. Many have gone on from that job directly to the prime minister's seat, but sometimes the opposition leader can go nowhere but down. Just ask Tzipi Livni, she will be happy to expand on the topic.
It is safe to assume that Yachimovich believes that she can avoid being voted out as party leader in the next primary election, which will be held in a year in accordance with party bylaws. It would be interesting to see whether her conviction is based on a careful plan or false hopes and fantasies. History, at least in this case, is not on her side.