The national camp includes Yisrael Beyteinu.
Therefore, it has more than 61 seats.
PM Netanyahu so far has been unable to form a ruling coalition because Yisrael Beyteinu leader Liberman believes that religion-state issues take precedence over nationalist issues.
Thanks to the hard line taken by Mahmoud Abbas et. al. Liberman does not see the threat of the creation of a sovereign Palestinian state, which he opposes, in the foreseeable future.
At the same time, it appears that a Netanyahu administration won't engage in truly dramatic action on the national front.
Two indications of this were decisions by Mr. Netanyahu in the days up to the elections:
- - During a high profile election campaign visit to Hebron he declined, as DM, to sign a letter to the mayor of Hebron ending the municipality's lease on the Jewish owned "old market", a move that would have opened the area to Jewish construction.
- -He announced applying Israeli sovereignty to the Jordan and the northern Dead Sea on 15 September but indefinitely postponed it by appointing a working team led by the director general of his ministry, Ronen Peretz, to formulate an outline for carrying out the move - this when he already had a final map for the decision and only needed to carry out a Government vote approving the map (or alternatively submit the legislation he also had already prepared for submission to the Knesset).
This in contrast to the religion-state issues as Liberman sees them: The prospects of possibly slowing development of the country by banning infrastructure work on the Sabbath and allowing the growing Haredi sector to continue to decline to give their children the educational tools critical to equip them to make a significant contribute to the economy (English and math - he sees no problem in dictating to parents) as well as the draft are his burning issues.
History though, has shown, that it is difficult to predict what may happen in the coming period. Suffice it to say that even in the absence of the creation of a sovereign Palestinian Arab state, Palestinian Arabs are still a burning issue. There are many ways for almost all of Area C to undergo a transformation that will prevent future significant Israeli construction beyond the area of the current communities.
Appeared on IMRA - Independent Media Review and Analysis