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Will Liberman crown Israel’s next prime minister?

Going by the latest poll results, Yisrael Beitenu head Avigdor Liberman will be the deciding factor in the Sept. 17 elections and will determine the identity of Israel’s next leader.
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If results of the upcoming Sept. 17 elections indeed resemble current public opinion polls, then Yisrael Beitenu head Avigdor Liberman will be the kingmaker who determines the identity of Israel’s next prime minister and is able to tip the balance in one direction or the other.

In the April elections to the 21st Knesset, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party, along with the ultra-Orthodox and religious right-wing parties, won 60 Knesset seats — one less than the majority required to form a governing coalition. When Liberman refused to support him with his five Knesset seats, Netanyahu made last-ditch efforts to mobilize renegades from the political center-left. These included Gadi Yevarkan from Blue and White (originally from the Likud) and Omer Yankelevich, an ultra-Orthodox woman also representing Blue and White. When that failed, Netanyahu was so desperate that he turned to then-Labor Chair Avi Gabbay on the left side of the political map (Labor refused to join him).

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