As the stomach turns: Netanyahu could, in theory, ignore Yesh Atid's 19 mandates and form a narrow coalition of 61 MKs: 31 from Likud-Beiteinu, 12 from HaBayit HaYehudi, 11 from Shas and 7 from Yahadut HaTorah. However, such a coalition would likely be quite unstable, as it would only take 2 disgruntled MKs to take the government down. Therefore, Bibi is going to great lengths to please Ya'ir Lapid and his cohorts. Lapid better watch his step! For if Yesh Atid continues to grandstand, Bibi could very well leave them out of the coalition at the beginning. In such an event, wallowing in the opposition may very well cause the Yesh Atid party to disintegrate, with some of them forming a faction that will run on all fours in order to join the government.
With the expected change in the status quo regarding religion and state, one would expect that the religious parties would find a way to cooperate. Unfortunately, the distrust among them is very, very deep. In addition to this deep distrust is an equally deep enmity, fed by mutual disrespect. Everybody thinks that their way of life is the way of life, that their rabbis are the rabbis, and that anyone else just does not make the grade. The situation brings to mind the words of the Netziv, in his introduction to the book of Genesis:
Because of the groundless hatred in their hearts, they suspected anyone with a different religious practice of being a Sadducee or heretic. Due to this, they came to extreme bloodshed and to other evils until the Temple was destroyed. Regarding this came the justification of the divine judgment, because the Holy One, blessed be He, is a yashar, and He cannot tolerate righteous people like this unless they also function with decency in their dealings with the world.
The religious parties are now faced with a great task: to strive for unity! This unity must not be a unity of "lets grit our teeth and bear them". It must be a unity of mutual respect, founded on humbleness and the ability to see beyond one's own shteeble.
HaBayit HaYehudi went a long way on the road to unity before the elections, and it payed off in the polling booth. Now they, along with Shas and Yahadut HaTorah, must bury the hatchet, and find the way to sanctify God's name in the public sphere. The public will not forgive them if they fail.