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The Unnatural Alliance Of Likud-Beiteinu

The merger of the Likud and Yisrael Beiteinu parties seems an uneasy fit, writes Lily Galili.
Likud-Yisrael Beitenu activists sit atop a wall surrounding Jerusalem's Old City after they hung a campaign banner depicting Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu January 20, 2013. Netanyahu said on Saturday a country with as many enemies as Israel cannot afford a weak ruling party, after polls ahead of Tuesday's parliamentary election showed a slide in his support. The banner reads "Only Netanyahu will protect Jerusalem". REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun (JERUSALEM - Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
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Yisrael Beiteinu activists gathered for the festive convention at the Vida reception hall in Ashdod, marking the conclusion of the election campaign. Addressing the audience, Yehiel Lasri (Likud), the mayor of the hosting city, ceremoniously declared: “Forging an alliance between the Likud and Yisrael Beiteinu, we have established a political superpower.” At precisely the same time, it was reported on the 8:00 p.m. news that according to an updated public-opinion poll, the “united power” was expected to garner 32 mandates — 10 fewer than the total number each of the two separate parties had in the outgoing Knesset — the 27 Likud mandates plus the 15 mandates of Yisrael Beiteinu.

So what’s wrong here? Or is there nothing really wrong, and everything is working fine for the merged party? To be sure, Likud-Beiteinu is still the largest party and it will be the one invited by the president and assigned the task of forming the government.

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