Israeli politicians are spinning the revolving door off its hinges and turning against friends and joining enemies faster than you can say “Bibi Netanyahu,” who far seems to be the only election issue.
You can’t tell the players without a scorecard.
Livni might join Herzog, or even Lapid. Mofaz might join Herzog
Saar might try to dump Netanyahu
Lieberman might join Lapid.
And we haven’t yet heard from the Green Leaf pro-marijuana party, which at least would give everyone an opportunity to say that the whole government is going to pot.
There are 104 excruciating days left until March 17, when Israelis go the polls to choose their favorite party, another way of saying which party they don’t want to lead the next coalition.
The polls make interesting reading but become quickly out of date due to the maneuvering before the Knesset next week puts an end to the torturous coalition that has plagued the country for 21 months, a coalition that was doomed from the start.
Two years ago, anyone even thinking that Yair Lapid, head of Yesh Atid party, and Likud leader Binyamin Netanyahu would sit in the same government with Naftali Bennett and his Jewish Home party would be hauled off to the insane asylum.
The adage of politics making strange bedfellow was true for a few weeks, maybe even a few months. Everyone can spend the next 104 days blaming Lapid or blaming Netanyahu, or more likely both of them, for even trying to get in the same bed.
They couldn’t even co-exist in the same house.
But everyone already is lining up against each other and with each other – maybe.
The “anyone but Bibi” crowd knows that it will have a hard time forming a majority in the next Knesset, unless it can come up with some sleight of hand to show the voters it is worthwhile voting for a center-left party. Every one of them, except for Meretz, is failing miserably in the polls.
Lapid, for hundreds of reasons, knows his party has no chance of returning the Knesset with much more than half its current number of 19 Knesset Members.
Tzipi Livni knows that her party’s measly six mandates in the Knesset will be cut to four, if she is lucky.
Labor, headed by the boring and smug Yitzchak Herozg, is stuck with its current 15 MKs, but a poll published by Globes on Thursday showed that if Livni were to join forces with Labor party, she would win nine seats, giving Labor-Livni 24 MKs.
They are natural political partners who are in desperate need of a gimmick to draw voters away from the other parties, most notably the new party headed by former Likud MK Moshe Kahlon.
Lapid also is courting Livni, but she would probably prefer to co-exist with Herzog rather than with Lapid, an egomaniac even by politicians’ standards.
The Kadima party, once headed by Ariel Sharon and then Israel’s former Prime Minster and current criminal Ehud Olmert, and then briefly by Livni, has only two seats in the Knesset. It is slated for oblivion, so Mofaz reportedly also has offered to join forces with Herzog.
Another report is that Avigdor Lieberman might take his Yisrael Beitenu party to run with Lapid, which seems as impossible as Netanyahu and Lapid being in the same government.
Even weirder is a report in Arutz Sheva that Uri Ariel, head of the Tekuma faction of the Jewish Home party, has talked with former Shas Sephardi Haredi party chairman Eli Yishai about hooking up. Someone is smoking the wrong stuff. If Shas, which will vote for or against Jews in living anywhere in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria depending on how much money it gets for its schools, teams up with a pure Ashkenazi and native kibbutznik like Ariel, then Hillary Clinton and Mitt Romney can run on the same ticket.Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu