Most important – the decision on who does and doesn’t get recruited is left to the IDF, not the politicians. It’s a sensible proposal, if you ask me, and could mean the decline of the Haredi parties, who would no longer be able to tell their voters they’re the only wedge between them and service.
That means that Lapid and the Haredim—all 18 of them—are not going to be easy to wed together.
In fact, on the same day Bibi and Yair met last week, the yet uncrowned Shas leader Ayeh Deri told the press that the “Lpaid route will not happen.”
Instead, the Haredim have indicated that they prefer the Moshe Ya’alon route, which was in discussion last summer, when Shaul Mofaz and his 28-member Kadima (they’re down to 2 at the moment) were looking for substitutes for the Tal law that Supreme Court had killed.
The Ya’alon idea does not set quotas for general recruitment, but only recruitment “targets” for each yeshiva, and a fine imposed on the yeashivas that fail to comply. It’s basically a way for the Haredim to buy their exemptions from service, and they like it better than the uncompromising Lapid version.
But these are only the most elementary, relatively humdrum scenarios.
Remember the “Beitenu” part of Likud-Beitenu? They have not been very happy at Israel Beitenu with the electoral price they had pay to make sure Bibi Netanyahu remains the unquestionable candidate for Prime Minister. Out of the 31 Likud-Beitenu seats, 11 belong to the Beitenu crowd—down from 15 (Likud is down to 20 from 27, ouch).
What if Liberman and his people ask for a divorce? What if they go with Lapid and Bennett, possibly with Shelly Yachimovich who is chomping at the bit to get into government, but can’t because she declared she and Bibi will never sit in the same government.
The math is almost there – Lapid’s 19, plus Liberman’s 11, plus Shelly’s 15, plus Bennett’s 12. What Lapid is planning to do ASAP, say the rumor mongers, is offer Shaul Mofaz and Kadima to merge with his own party, and so he, Yair Lapid, would have 21 seats – one seat more than Bibi’s.
Which is why the same rumor mongers are saying Bibi is now trying to absorb Mofaz into Likud, to make it a 22-seat party, again the largest, even if only by a squeeze and a shove.
Incidentally, over at Labor, the short knives have been pulled out already, and Shelly Yachimovich’s rule is being challenged by at least one colleague, Eitan Kabel. After all, this was their big chance at Labor, they were supposed to be the second largest party after this election – but were taken down by Tzipi Livni whose six seats clearly came from Shelly’s voters.
In my humble opinion, the information in this article is getting old while you’re reading it. So we’ll try to come up with new stuff on a daily basis. Please come watch with us how friends become foes, allies enemies, mortal enemies jump into bed together, and everybody and their uncle sell their voters down the river and for pennies at that.
We call it democracy, and on occasion we actually mean it…
About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.
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