Political sources increasingly believe that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cannot forego bringing the Habayit Hayehudi (Jewish Home) party, headed by Naftali Bennett, into the coalition. Netanyahu would have preferred forming a coalition without Habayit Hayehudi, but because of the size of Yesh Atid, he will prefer to accept the conditions set by Yair Lapid for joining the coalition - equal sharing of the military service burden - even at the price of foregoing bringing haredi (ultra-orthodox) parties, which are considered the Likud's natural partners.
Netanyahu's senior partner, Avigdor Liberman, whose voters are secular, will not be able to give up the chance of exploiting Lapid's momentum to form a government without haredim, and will choose loyalty to his constituents and opt for a government without Shas and United Torah Judaism.
Even though the coalition negotiations have not yet officially begun, behind the scenes the parties are in contact with each other ahead of the formation of a government. The focus of the talks is the equality in the draft.
Political sources believe that the haredi attempts to create a block against Yesh Atid have no chance of success.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on January 28, 2013
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