Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (2nd L) arrives for a Likud party meeting at parliament in Jerusalem July 20, 2015. REUTERS/Nir Elias
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When Benjamin Netanyahu called early elections last year, he said his unwieldy coalition was untenable and that Israel needed a more stable government to carry out vital reforms.But two months into his new term in office, Netanyahu finds himself depending on an even narrower majority, susceptible to the extortion of practically any lawmaker.The fact that Netanyahu is still standing is an impressive feat itself given his situation in the days leading up to the March 17 election.Former Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman's ultranationalist party then abruptly chose to join the opposition, leaving Netanyahu's government with the smallest of majorities, just 61 out of parliament's 120 members.To ensure the votes of his shaky majority, Netanyahu barred coalition members from traveling abroad without his approval. Netanyahu has already met with opposition leader Isaac Herzog following the nuclear deal, raising speculation that a unity government could be in the works.Regardless, Netanyahu says he is confident he can govern effectively – and his associates point to precedents in which previous narrow Israeli majority governments managed to thrive.
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