As Israel counted votes in its legislative election in January, your humble correspondent joined reporters at an election night event in Tel Aviv hosted by The Israel Project, where politicians and analysts from across the political spectrum either stopped by or (more often) called in to comment on the news. Among the most amusing was Tamar Zandberg of the far-left Meretz party, who urged the centrist and center-left parties to eschew a coalition with the right. She was only repeating a position her party had staked out in the campaign. But it rang especially hollow in light of the evening’s big news: Yesh Atid, a new centrist party founded by erstwhile journalist Yair Lapid, would hold the second largest number of seats in the Knesset after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud, which had merged for this election onto a joint list with the secular nationalist party, Yisrael Beiteinu. Netanyahu will again lead a governing coalition, and while negotiations over its exact shape are ongoing at press time, there’s little doubt that Lapid’s party will join.
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