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Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Israel's election committee has published the results of Monday's election showing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's right-wing bloc with 58 seats — three short of the parliamentary majority needed to form a government.

Why it matters: Worse still for Netanyahu, particularly in the wake of what looked like a remarkable victory, a majority might now be uniting behind an effort to effectively end his political career. His corruption trial, meanwhile, is set to begin in just 12 days.

Breaking it down: Netanyahu's Likud Party won the most seats in Monday's election, with 36. Allied right-wing parties won an additional 22.

  • The Blue and White Party, led by Netanyahu's centrist rival Benny Gantz, won 33 seats. The liberal Labor Party won another 7 seats.
  • The Joint List of predominantly Arab Parties had its best-ever showing, winning 15 seats.
  • Former Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman's party, which split from Netanyahu in 2018 and had been refusing to align with either major party, won 7.

The big picture: Israeli politics have been deadlocked for nearly a year, with Netanyahu and Gantz both failing to form majority governments after the two previous elections.

Driving the news: But this time could be different. Lieberman, who previously pushed for a Netanyahu-Gantz unity government, now says he will recommend Gantz to form the next government.

  • If the Joint List does the same, that will put 62 seats behind Gantz, at least temporarily, and make it likely that President Reuven Rivlin will offer him a mandate to form a government.
  • For now, the Joint List has said it's open to supporting Gantz but only if he makes "a change truly in the direction of peace and equality."
  • If he does get the first crack at forming a government, Gantz will also control the parliamentary agenda during that process.

Between the lines: That's crucial because Lieberman has also said he'd support a bill to prevent anyone under criminal indictment from forming a government. That's clearly targeted at Netanyahu.

  • If an anti-Netanyahu coalition does come together in the coming days, it will be deeply unstable.
  • Lieberman's party and the Joint List are bitter rivals, and it's unclear whether they'd be willing to unite behind a Gantz government.
  • But even a temporary alliance could be enough to ensure that if Israel is forced to hold an unprecedented fourth election, Netanyahu won't be a candidate for prime minister.
  • Netanyahu has no clear path to the majority needed to form a government, though he's pulled rabbits out of his hat before.

The bottom line: It's still far too early to declare the end of Netanyahu's reign as Israel's longest-serving prime minister. But it's becoming increasingly clear what the end might look like.

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release."
  2. Politics: McConnell temporarily halts in-person lunches for GOP caucus.
  3. Economy: Safety nets to disappear in DecemberAmazon hires 1,400 workers a day throughout pandemic.
  4. Education: U.S. public school enrollment drops as pandemic persists.
  5. Cities: Surge in cases forces San Francisco to impose curfew — Los Angeles County issues stay-at-home order, limits gatherings.
  6. Sports: NFL bans in-person team activities Monday, Tuesday due to COVID-19 surge — NBA announces new coronavirus protocols.
  7. World: London police arrest more than 150 during anti-lockdown protests — Thailand, Philippines sign deal with AstraZeneca for vaccine.

Tony Hsieh, longtime Zappos CEO, dies at 46

Tony Hsieh. Photo: FilmMagic/FilmMagic

Tony Hsieh, the longtime ex-chief executive of Zappos, died on Friday after being injured in a house fire, his lawyer told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. He was 46.

The big picture: Hsieh was known for his unique approach to management, and following the 2008 recession his ongoing investment and efforts to revitalize the downtown Las Vegas area.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
15 hours ago - Economy & Business

The unicorn stampede is coming

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Airbnb and DoorDash plan to go public in the next few weeks, capping off a very busy year for IPOs.

What's next: You ain't seen nothing yet.