After presenting his “government for change” to the president on Wednesday night, based on eight parties with a majority total of 61 lawmakers, Yair Lapid discovered early Thursday that his majority had not survived the night. Before Thursday morning, Yamina MK Nir Aurbach pulled his support from the new Knesset Speaker from Lapid’s Party who was to have replaced Likud’s Yariv Levin. Lapid had counted on his man, MK Micky Levi, pushing forward the new government’s swearing-in. His overriding goal of ending Binyamin Netanyahu’s long rule would then have been accomplished within days. But Aurbach refused to budge in his objection to the new government, even after Yamina leader Naftali Bennett, who is due to head the new government in its first two years, took him to task.
This eight-cornered government was widely predicted to be volatile, but not to slip quite so quickly – so to speak, between cup and lip.