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Bibi in Overtime, but Is a Coalition any Closer?

One thing that Netanyahu does understand is that a Prime Minister should have as broad a coalition as possible to represent all sectors in Israeli society.
President Shimon Peres granted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu two more weeks to form Israel's next government, March 2, 2013.

President Shimon Peres granted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu two more weeks to form Israel's next government, March 2, 2013.
Photo Credit: Kobi Gideon/GPO/Flash90

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I know someone whose tax dealings would make my CPA father very nervous; that friend says that his accountant uses “creative bookkeeping.”  That phrase ”creative bookkeeping” keeps popping into my head when I read all of the articles about how Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu can make a government coalition with various incompatible political parties.

Many of the same people also claim that the same Arabs who want to totally destroy us, men, women and children, (as Haman from the Purim Holiday’s Megillat Scroll of Esther unabashedly had planned) also claim they can be placated with the gift of land and then make peace with us.  You really need a creative, unrealistic imagination to believe that.  To put it simply, it would go against the laws of nature.  Maybe they want to keep a grown tiger as a pet, thinking it’s a tabby on steroids…

Last night, I popped into the living room and checked what was on the news.  I saw the news clip official meeting of the Prime Minister with President Shimon Peres.  Netanyahu had just formally requested another two weeks to form his coalition.

The big question would be: Is it possible for Bibi to form a viable and stable coalition?

The pundits claim it can be done.  Times of Israel’s Yoel Goldman shows that Netanyahu does not need the thirty-one seats Lapid and Bennett could give him:

If Labor, with its 15 Knesset seats were to unexpectedly join Likud-Beytenu (31), Netanyahu could then turn to Shas (11) and United Torah Judaism (7) to complete a 70-seat Knesset majority.

Bennett and Lapid, two newbies, inexperienced first-time MK’s and party leaders have been “negotiating” under the premise that Bibi will buckle and give into their demands.  One of their demands is that the hareidi, aka ultra-Orthodox parties be kept out of the coalition.  Being so adamantly “anti” any sector is Israeli society is a bad sign for ambitious politicians who dream of being Prime Minister some day.  Actually it reminds me of Yitzchak Rabin, who as Prime Minister said he was the Prime Minister for those who supported him, not for the “settlers” — people like me, who opposed his Oslo Accords.

One thing that Netanyahu does understand is that a Prime Minister should have as broad a coalition as possible to represent all sectors in Israeli society.

Bennett and Lapid have been concentrating on the simple arithmetic.

31+31=62
Likud + Lapid + Bennett = 62

Sixty-two are a majority, more than half of one-hundred-twenty.  They have been counting on Netanyahu needing them so desperately that he’d let them write the deal.  At this point, Tzipi Livni is the only party leader to have already signed and she got a great deal.

I wouldn’t bet on this one.  Netanyahu is one wily politician, and he may shock us all, which is what he likes to do.  Considering that the polls are showing Lapid leading Bibi if there were to be new elections, maybe that’s why Lapid isn’t wiling to compromise.  But he should remember that when Netanyahu called for elections a few months ago, the polls predicted that Bibi’s Likud, even with Yisrael Beitenu, should expect at least 50% more seats, so early polls should not necessarily be relied on.  And I highly doubt that your average NRP aka Bayit Yehudi voter approves of Bennett’s fanatically anti-chareidi stand.

Stay tuned….

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About the Author: Batya Medad blogs at Shiloh Musings.


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4 Responses to “Bibi in Overtime, but Is a Coalition any Closer?”

  1. "It is no secret that President Obama dislikes the prime minister and does not want a Likud Party in office.

    The two parties Netanyahu most needs to form his government—the Labor Party, and the Yesh Atid Party—control 34 seats between them. Both have presently refused to join the Netanyahu government.

    My friends in diplomatic circles in Jerusalem have told me what is happening is that President Obama’s advance team is in the city meeting with those party leaders and encouraging them to dig in their heels.

    My contacts believe that if Netanyahu is prohibited from forming a government, new elections will be forced on the Israeli people, and the prime minister will not be given a necessary mandate.

    This would give President Obama a Leftist party with which he could work to divide Jerusalem and quickly create a Palestinian state.

    President Obama’s new secretary of defense Chuck Hagel is without question no friend to Israel, and the newly confirmed secretary of state, John Kerry, is not far behind.

    The president will visit Jerusalem the very week Netanyahu is faced with meeting his deadline to form a government. Mr. Obama will speak to the Knesset, meet with Palestinian leaders, Jordanians, and present his peace plan—not one that the prime minister can or will support.

    This is a huge crossroads moment for Israel’s future…and for the rest of the world (Dr. Mike Evans).

  2. "It is no secret that President Obama dislikes the prime minister and does not want a Likud Party in office.

    The two parties Netanyahu most needs to form his government—the Labor Party, and the Yesh Atid Party—control 34 seats between them. Both have presently refused to join the Netanyahu government.

    My friends in diplomatic circles in Jerusalem have told me what is happening is that President Obama’s advance team is in the city meeting with those party leaders and encouraging them to dig in their heels.

    My contacts believe that if Netanyahu is prohibited from forming a government, new elections will be forced on the Israeli people, and the prime minister will not be given a necessary mandate.

    This would give President Obama a Leftist party with which he could work to divide Jerusalem and quickly create a Palestinian state.

    President Obama’s new secretary of defense Chuck Hagel is without question no friend to Israel, and the newly confirmed secretary of state, John Kerry, is not far behind.

    The president will visit Jerusalem the very week Netanyahu is faced with meeting his deadline to form a government. Mr. Obama will speak to the Knesset, meet with Palestinian leaders, Jordanians, and present his peace plan—not one that the prime minister can or will support.

    This is a huge crossroads moment for Israel’s future…and for the rest of the world (Dr. Mike Evans).

  3. Charlie Hall says:

    This is nonsense. Likud-Beteinu, Hatnua, and the charedi parties are much more willing to go for a quick peace agreement than are Yesh Atid and Habayit HaYehudi. There have been reports that United Torah Judaism is staking out a position on settlements to the left of Meretz. And the White House has categorically denied that it plans to present a new peace plan.

  4. Creed Pogue says:

    It is likely that Netanyahu would have made a quick 61 seat coalition with Shas, UTJ and Jewish Home if anyone other than Bennett was the party leader. But, Netanyahu has allowed his personal animus to run policy for too long. His decision to meet with Bennett last created the opportunity for Lapid and Bennett to form a bloc. Now, he is reaping the whirlwind that he sowed. He would probably be smart to form a three-party coalition with Bennett and Lapid to take care of sharing the burden and reforming the electoral system with something like single transferable vote then going for an election in two years.

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