Frankly speaking, there’s a number of more than likely scenarios as to what could happen now that Netanyahu has returned the mandate to form the government and Gantz is getting his chance (to fail?).
Blue&White already invited the Arab parties to coalition talks, while Avigdor Liberman’s deputy Oded Forer made it very clear that Liberman will not necessarily have a problem cooperating with the Arab party.
All three factions have one thing that truly unites them – they hate Netanyahu so much they are all willing to throw away all their supposed values and ideals in order to get rid of Bibi (after they succeed their coalition of convenience then falls apart).
So unfortunately, we are most likely facing a Gantz led minority government, supported by an external Liberman-Arab coalition.
But, if that scenario doesn’t work out, Gantz will obviously try to co-opt the religious parties, though that seems unlikely to happen.
It’s not impossible, but first Lapid’s hatred of Netanyahu will have to overcome his hatred of the Chareidim and the demands they will make for their cooperation. The Chareidim will need to decide if this political break and realignment is good for them in the long term.
The other likely option is that everyone (except Gantz) is waiting for Gantz to fail, and then it goes into a free-for-all, where everyone in the Knesset gets to compete as to who will lead the coalition.
This could be Netanyahu’s chance, or it could be someone else who takes over.
It could be this is when we’ll see all the artificial faction/parties fall apart as everyone looks out for number one.
But at this point, I want a third election.
Everyone has seen what’s happened, and I suspect we’ll see very different voting patterns next time around – especially if Liberman cooperates with the Arab party.
In the meantime, unless he’s forced to step down, Netanyahu and company remain as the heads of the government until a new coalition is formed.