Coalition talks have begun in Israel after near-complete general election results gave right-wing and centre-left blocs 60 seats each in parliament.In 3rd place again is labor, and Kadima, formerly the leading opposition party, is down to just two seats.
President Shimon Peres is expected to ask Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to attempt to form a new government.
His Likud-Beitenu alliance lost a quarter of its seats in the Knesset but remains the largest grouping with 31.
He has offered to work with the newly-formed Yesh Atid party, which shocked observers by coming second with 19.
However, its leader, popular former TV presenter Yair Lapid, has demanded reform of a law under which ultra-Orthodox Jewish seminary students can defer their military service. Religious parties in the current governing coalition are strongly opposed to any changes.
Mr Lapid has also said he would only join a government that was committed to reviving the peace process with the Palestinians.
I'm hoping that Yesh Atid gets into the coalition (does not look likely), because it has a strongly secular platform, and ending the draft exemption and subsidies to the Ultra-Orthodox would be a very good thing.
As to figuring out what this all means, I'm not sure that anyone knows what it means.
Certainly, I cannot figure out how this will all sort out.