Hauser and Hendel: The matchmakers behind the Netanyahu-Gantz unity deal

How two neophyte MKs punched far above their weight and played a key role in bringing the unity government together.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Blue and White leader Benny Gantz – who, if things go as planned, will be premier in a year and a half – and their negotiating teams spent weeks hammering out a deal to establish a unity government.
Again and again, talks broke down, but they always restarted because there were only two choices available to Gantz and Netanyahu: Either figure out a way to work together, or there will be a fourth election.
Neither side had a majority without the other: Netanyahu had only 59 supporters out of 120 Knesset seats, and Gantz had 59, as well, before Blue and White split apart.
Who were the two holdouts who kept the candidates from going it alone? MKs Yoaz Hendel and Zvi Hauser, now known as the Derech Eretz faction. These two political neophytes held far more sway than the numbers would have one think.

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