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Israel's midsized parties create unstable coalition

Ever since the late Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's decision to create the Kadima Party, Israeli politics has been suffering from an ongoing trend of big parties splitting into small and medium-sized parties, leading to dysfunctional coalitions.
Israel's dismissed Finance Minister Yair Lapid and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni talk after a vote to dissolve parliament of the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, in Jerusalem December 3, 2014. Israeli legislators agreed in a preliminary vote on Wednesday to dissolve parliament, and they set March 17 as the date for a new parliamentary election after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fired two centrist cabinet members and declared an early national ballot. According to opinion polls, Netanyahu, whose current
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The 1992 elections were the last time an Israeli party crossed the threshold of 40 Knesset seats. It was the Labor Party, led by the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, which won 44 Knesset seats. The Likud Party, headed by the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, received 32 seats, while Meretz, the third-largest party at the time, emerged from the elections with 12 seats.

The second Rabin government, made up of Labor, Meretz and Shas, which garnered 62 Knesset seats, was a small government. Yet, it was a homogeneous and active government with regard to Israel's diplomatic approach and socioeconomic agenda. The Oslo Accord, the massive government investment in education and transportation, as well as the advanced civil legislation — as reflected in the Basic Law, Freedom of Occupation — were all the result of the clear-cut agenda of that left-wing government.

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