One thing I have no doubt about. These recent Knesset Elections here in Israel have been the elections from Hell for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. Nothing has gone as planned. His pact with Avigdor Lieberman-Yisrael Beiteinu ended up costing him a comfy plurality. And instead of the usual one surprise strong showing of newcomers, there were two,Yair Lapid-Yesh Atid and Naftali Bennett-NRP aka Bayit Yehudi, who have a combined MK total which matches his Likud-Beitenu one. And even worse, those two newbie party leaders have joined forces against him making outrageous demands. They’re making the normally wily Bibi look a stodgy political klutz.
While his two hurry up clocks, the legal time limit he has to form a government and United States Presidents Obama’s badly timed visit, have been ticking coalition negotiations have been unprecedentedly difficult. Bibi pulled one surprise by getting Tzippi Livni to join him, even though her entire campaign was based on saying she preferred the opposition because Bibi shouldn’t be Prime Minister. She had claimed that she would be best, although the public didn’t buy her spiel.
And now, to make matters worse, there are rumours that super-loser, with a bare minimum vote to get into Knesset, Kadima’s Shaul Mofaz may be joining with Lapid and Bennett to make coalition demands. Could that just be a Purim joke? Here in Israel, it’s Purim and depending on where, there can be two days of it. Purim jokes are like “April Fool’s Day.”
In the meantime, Bibi’s staff is playing Beat the Clock and trying to make deals. If we can believe the headlines, they’ve decided rather wisely IMHO to speak simultaneously with both Yesh Atid and NRP.
Whatever… I just hope it’s going to be good for the Jewish People and the State of Israel.
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