In analyzing the results of the recent Israeli election, it is common to speak of certain parties belonging to a “right-wing bloc” and others to a “left” or “center-left” bloc, with perhaps one or two parties not fitting into either category. Notably, neither bloc has the 61 Knesset seats necessary to form a coalition, although the Likud has an indisputable plurality of 30 seats. Michael Koplow argues that, in fact, there are no blocs at all:
Looking at the deadlocked results of the fourth election [since 2019], which come on the heels of the deadlocked results of the first two elections and the wholly predictable collapse of the unwieldy compromise following the third election, demonstrates that there are no sustainable Israeli political blocs. . . . There are no black boundary lines in Israeli politics in the current era, only a muddled haze where any combination is theoretically conceivable.
If you knew nothing about Israeli politics beyond where parties stand on actual issues and had none of the background context, you would think that the most logical government would be composed of Likud, Yesh Atid, Blue and White, New Hope, and Yisrael Beytenu. That is a 70-seat coalition that is hawkish on security but short of being fully annexationist, centrist on social issues, and secular but respectful of religious observance. [But the hostility of the leaders of the latter four parties to Likud’s Benjamin Netanyahu] makes a coalition like this, and coalitions similar to ones that he himself constructed in the past, impossible today.
The theoretical anti-Netanyahu coalition is even more unwieldy. . . . While none of [the many possibilities] can be definitively ruled out, particularly not after some of the head-spinning reversals we have seen in recent years, they do make everything far more complicated than would otherwise be necessary.