National Post | News

ANALYSIS

The next days and weeks will test Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s powers of persuasion and compromise like nothing he has confronted before during several decades in the hurly-burly of Israeli public life.

A dramatic rise in support for centre-left parties whose primary focus was on social and economic issues resulted in what Israel Radio described Wednesday as a virtual dead heat between the right and the centre-left in Tuesday’s general election. This likely means that Mr. Netanyahu will have greater difficulty getting political backing to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities in the coming months. It will also seriously complicate his ambition to expand Jewish settlements in east Jerusalem and the West Bank.

The tricky process of forming a new coalition will begin Thursday when Bibi — as he is universally known in Israel — meets with the leaders of deeply religious parties such as Shas, who have been among his…

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