At the moment Bibi’s Likud has 27 Knesset seats and Avigdor Liberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu has 15 Knesset seats. So while a great deal of fuss is being made about the fact that these 2 parties are now to run on a joint ticket, the seperation of 2/3 to 1/3 of seats in favour of the Likud in the wake of the next election is actually to the advantage of Likud.
It looks like Bibi is gambling that Likud will actually do worse and Yisrael Beiteinu will gain in the next elections, should that happen and the Likud take a healthy slice of Yisrael Beiteinu’s votes for themselves, no one in Likud will be calling Bibi anything other than a consumate politician.
A joint ticket is not a merged party, once the elections are over and done with is there really anything to stop Bibi from dropping Liberman in the same way that he dropped Mofaz? That came after a coupling that was just long enough to pull the rug out from under Yair Lapid’s feet, perhaps this one will be just long enough to see Bibi through the next election.
If Bibi’s history says anything it’s that Avigdor is going to be in for a shock once the dust from the elections settles. Perhaps at first he will remain in the government and be Israel’s top diplomat for a while longer (how on earth he is our top diplomat I will never quite be able to fathom) but should the current Prime Minister feel that it is to his advantage to move leftwards or lift himself up towards Shas, the joint ticket will be consigned to history as yet another manoeuvre from a wily politician with the keenest of survival instincts.