The Israeli cabinet, sworn in this week, contains 25 ministers from four parties, with a parliamentary basis of 67 out of the Knesset’s 120 seats. This is a minimal winning coalition, and is thus narrower than I expected.
The parties, their parliamentary seats, and the number of ministers:
Kadima, 29, 12
Labor, 19, 7
Shas, 12, 4
Pensioners, 7, 2
As previously noted, the Pensioners and Kadima have already agreed to a not-quite-a-merger, so it may function almost as if it is a three-party cabinet. In any event, the government’s dependence upon Shas–which received concessions on civil marriage and the budget and would not sign the “convergence plan” on settlement evacuation, although it failed in its effort to have the plan removed from the coalition guidelines–could make it unstable.
If Shas and the UTJ would not agree to vote for settlement evacuation, Meretz’s five votes could be counted on to be in favor, even if the party remains out of the coalition, but that would still leave the plan at 60 votes and thus needing the votes of Arab parties to reach a majority. However, if Shas were to abstain, rather than vote against–as presumably it would do, as a government member–the opposition could not defeat the plan with a majority of its own.
The possibility of UTJ or Meretz later joining the coalition remains alive.
Much more analysis at The Head Heeb. I agree with Jonathan that some of the greatest sources of tension in the government will be intra-party; nonetheless, he expects the government to be “fairly stable.”