Maariv analyst Ben Caspit on Friday warned that Israeli President Reuven Rivlin may not allow an extension for premiership candidates to form a government.
Speaking in an interview with 103 FM Radio, Caspit noted that Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu had tried to create two right-wing lists, the New Right and the United RIght, which would run separately. "He failed at that, and then his attempts to unite the Kahanists with the United Right also failed. But that's not the end of the story. In the last elections as well the right ran separately and two parties did not make it in. I'm going to guess that the fear campaign in the next two weeks will focus on not voting for Otzma Yehudit and Zehut. It will do everything to reduce the number of votes for parties which won't pass the electoral threshold."
Caspit added: "All Netanyahu has to do is keep his 35 Knesset seats, make sure the haredi parties keep their power, and make sure [United Right's Chairwoman Ayelet] Shaked and [leader Naftali] Bennett get in.
He added that Netanyahu always has more "rabbits in his hat" ready to be pulled out before the elections: "He's going to bring [Russian President Vladimir] Putin to try to pull some votes from [Yisrael Beytenu Chairman MK Avigdor] Liberman, but in my opinion he'll fail. He's also going to try to bring [US President] Donald Trump here. He's able to bring the messiah as well. Netanyahu us capable of doing anything prior to the elections, he'll make a circus of his campaign and let's face it - his opponent is a man who admitted yesterday that he's deaf."
But even if Netanyahu manages to bring the right-religious bloc 61 Knesset seats without Yisrael Beytenu, he still needs everyone's support in order to pass the Immunity Law and Override Clause.
"In any case, after the elections he's going to be desperate. He's running around trying to get things in order now. But I don't think we should mourn him. He's a political magician and he's capable of bringing in a large number of Knesset seats," Caspit said.
He added that Liberman is "the only one who dictates what the day will bring. He's truly reinventing himself. He's pulling out all the best rabbits. We were all convinced that Liberman is a political piece of junk, and he managed to reinvent himself. His greatest merit is that he's saying he'll force unity. That's what the public wants, and that's why he's continuing to rise."
Caspit also told 103 FM that he believes Labor leader MK Amir Peretz is "trying to swim not against the current but against a tsunami. He can go down in history as the person who forever buried the center-left's hope of returning to power. He loses me when he returns to the same business. But still, he took a huge gamble, there's no other word to describe it."
President Rivlin, meanwhile, plays a central role in the formation of Israel's next government: "Blue and White may find themselves trying to bring Peretz back so that he won't disappear. This time they'll try to be the largest party, so that they'll get a chance to form a government. And Rivlin is also a player this time. It's not certain that he'll give Netanyahu two options, including an extension, after he waste them last time. There's going to be a lot of drama here."