If Gideon Sa’ar’s New Hope endorses Yair Lapid for prime minister, Arab politicians may follow, Hebrew media reports. That could result in Lapid receiving more endorsements than Benjamin Netanyahu, likely giving him first shot at forming a government.
Netanyahu currently has 52 backers, while Lapid has 39. The left-wing Meretz has said it will back Lapid, bringing him up to 45. New Hope’s six seats could bring him up to 51, and some members of the Joint List are reportedly considering backing Lapid to tip the balance if New Hope backs him.
New Hope has said it won’t back Lapid or Netanyahu for premier. It remains unclear whether leader Gideon Sa’ar will change his mind, endorse Yamina leader Bennett, or abstain.