While Israel analysts await news of an Israeli coalition agreement, there are two items of interest taking place within the Likud party.
First, Prime Minister Netanyahu will likely support
MK Yuli Edelstein to be the Knesset speaker, ousting Reuven Rivlin.
Likud MKs speaking off the record have been very upset by the news,
accusing the Prime Minister of caving to the more extreme Yisrael
Beiteinu party and threatening an internal intifada in the Likud. Rivlin is conservative but more centrist than other wings of the Likud. In 2010, he ignored a committee's advice
to withdraw parliamentary privileges for MK Hanin Zoabi after her
participation in the Gaza flotilla. In 2012, he sparred with Prime
Minister Netanyahu over the terms of a migrant workers bill, citing international public opinion as a concern.
From the other side of the Likud, the Prime Minister has received criticism from MK Tzipi Hotovely over
his choice of the more centrist MK Limor Livnat for a ministerial
position. Many of the far-right MKs in Likud placed higher in the
primaries than MK Livnat, and resent their lack of ministerial
representation. This wing of the Likud is already feeling the heat from
the all-but-certain coalition between Likud and Yesh Atid. Since Yesh
Atid is a centrist party, right-wing MKs like Hotovely, Danny Danon, and
Miri Regev stand to be marginalized - depending on how haBayit haYehudi
plays its cards. They will likely do whatever they can to spoil any
policy making that takes Israel in a more centrist direction.
bigger picture is that the Prime Minister faces a tough balancing act
within his own party upon his announcement of the new coalition.
Aligning with Yesh Atid will bolster his policy leverage and standing
among the Israeli public. However, Prime Minister Netanyahu has paid
for this alignment with Likud party unity. In the first few months of
the new coalition's tenure, he will have to manage this split in the
party to prevent a far-right insurrection which could seriously
destabilize the government.