Will President Rivlin Push for a National Unity Government?


rivAccording to Channel 2 News correspondent Amit Segal, President Reuven Rivlin is preparing himself for the possibility that on the morning after elections, lacking a definitive decision, he will have to pressure the parties to work towards forming a national unity coalition government.

The Sunday evening 17 Adar report stated that the president was asked what will occur if the person wishing to serve as the next prime minister does not receive a definitive number of votes that would signal that party leader should receive the mandate to form a coalition and if the various party leaders are silent, not recommending one candidate over the other to form the coalition. The president would then summon both Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Yitzchak Herzog and pressure them to work together to form a national unity government.

The rational explained is that if the left and right cannot reach a decision on social and political issues, at the very least an effort must be made to build a unity coalition to avoid “becoming Italy” which has elections every year and a half.

That said, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has recently stated on a number of occasions that he will not enter into a national unity government with Herzog, citing Herzog and Livni wish to make concessions regarding Yerushalayim while he does not and they are anxious to uproot residents of yishuvim, while he does not.

Nevertheless, Rivlin feels that if the situation warrants it, he may be able to pressure Labor and Likud to work together to form a national unity coalition.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)


  1. The Hareidim will not join a government that plans to go ahead with the plan, currently enacted as a basic law (constitutional amendment), to arrest all hareidim who refuse to serve in the army, and to put their yeshivos out of business. If neither the right wing nor the left wing are will to compromise in order to include hareidim in the government, they will be forced to have a Left-Right coalition. What it will come down is whether the parties feel that the “War on Hareidim” is more important than the rest of their agenda (e.g. the settlement policies of the different camps). In the last Knesset, the “nationalist” parties made it clear that smashing the hareidim was critical, and keeping the settlements was tefel – but that may change.