In Israel, opposition seems to end Benjamin Netanhayu's era. Opposition leader Yair Lapid announced the deal just minutes before a midnight Wednesday deadline, prompting celebrations into the early hours by the premier's opponents and a defiant show of support by his fans. The new coalition would see the religious-nationalist Naftali Bennett serve as prime minister for two years before Lapid, a secular centrist, would take the helm. On paper, the prospective coalition commands a slender majority in parliament but a confidence vote is not expected for several days, giving Netanyahu time to woo potential defectors among the unlikely bedfellows ranged against him.
Netanyahu, the country's longest-serving prime minister, on Thursday,was on Twitter, seeking to play on any last-minute misgivings among right-wing lawmakers about allying with the left against him. "All lawmakers who were elected with votes from the right must oppose this dangerous left-wing government," he said. Netanyahu's Likud party called on former right-wing allies to "immediately withdraw" their signatures. For the first time in Israeli's history, the embryonic coalition also includes an Arab Israeli party, the Islamic conservative party Raam. Should last-minute defections scupper the "change" alliance, Israel would likely have to hold yet another election, the fifth in just over two years.