Zionist Union Warns: Opposition Lacks Cohesion

Zionist Union sources say divide between Yisrael Beytenu and Joint Arab List may be too deep for opposition to make any real traction.

Cynthia Blank ,

Yair Lapid, Yitzhak Herzog, Zehava Galon
Yair Lapid, Yitzhak Herzog, Zehava Galon
Miriam Alster/Flash 90

Even the narrowest of coalitions won't ensure that the disparate parties of the opposition will be able to work together, a senior Zionist Union official asserted Sunday. 

“There is no common denominator between [Yisrael Beytenu chairman Avigdor] Liberman and the Joint Arab List,” the official told Haaretz, noting that “the connection between Meretz and Yesh Atid is not strong enough.”

According to the official, while there are signs former coalition partners Liberman and Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid are already cooperating, "Meretz and the Arab parties have a completely different agenda.”

This disunity, the official suggested, could help strengthen Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's latest government. 

Haaretz reported Sunday that Zionist Union members believed the narrow gap between coalition members to opposition members (61 to 59) would only play a factor in major policy votes. 

“In the less dramatic votes, the coalition will buy quite a few MKs by promising that they will advance legislation or projects for them if they disappear from the Knesset session at the right moment,” they said.

In related news, Zionist Union is scheduled to vote this week for its faction chairman - the MK who coordinates the opposition's struggles against the government and also wades through the factions that make up the coalition. 

"The person appointed can decide the fate of the opposition for good or for bad," a party source told Haaretz.

"A talented MK will be able to turn the opposition into a synchronized, energetic and combative body. A less successful MK could lose the reins to Lapid, who is trying to become the de facto head of the opposition.”

Another Zionist Union source took a different tactic, suggesting "[Chairman Yitzhak] Herzog will want someone next to him who won’t make trouble if he decides to join Netanyahu in the future.”