Israelis carry flags during a march marking Jerusalem Day, May 17, 2015.
Baz Ratner / Reuters

Israel’s Knesset is in business—at least for now. After weeks of negotiations, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition has won the support of five parties, equal to 61 out of 120 members of the parliament, the minimum needed to form a government. Not surprisingly, many observers doubt the new administration’s durability. With the support of just over half of the Knesset, and given that the parties in the coalition have different legislative priorities, any party—or even any member of a party—could bring down the government over a minor policy dispute.

Still, although no one should expect this government to last its full four-year term—instabilities built into the political system itself preclude that—it may well limp along for longer than most assume. This is for two reasons: because a balance of fear exists between Netanyahu and his coalition partner-rivals, and because of the temptation for members

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  • BRENT E. SASLEY is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Texas at Arlington.
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