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Who’s Running, Who’s Winning, Who’s Losing, in the 2013 Knesset Elections?

We owe Bibi a debt of gratitude, regardless of the final results: at least it will be over quickly.

Former GSS Chief Dichter to Lead Home Front Office

After feverish searches by the prime minister's office for some former senior IDF official to be appointed as Minister for the Defense of the Home Front, late Monday on night, following all-night meetings with the prime minister and the minister of defense, the appointment of MK Avi Dichter was finalized.

Barak Orders Haredi Conscription

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak ordered the Israeli Defense Forces to draft Haredi men as it does other Jewish Israelis. The order came as the...

Understanding Real Israeli Politics

To a remarkable extent—and this has nothing to do with his views or policies—Bibi Netanyahu is the only functioning politician in Israel today. No wonder he is prime minister, will finish his current term, and will almost certainly be reelected in 2013. Consider the alternatives.

The ‘Fleas’ Are Hopping off Kadima’s Carcass in Search of Better Fur

In quick succession, Sharon's first replacement, Ehud Olmert, got into criminal trouble and resigned in disgrace; his second replacement, Tzipi Livni, managed to yank defeat from the jaws of victory after her party became the first in Israel's history to win the largest number of seats in the Knesset and end up in the opposition; and, finally, the third Kadima leader Shaul Mofaz maneuvered his party into a 70-day session in Netanyahu's government, where the latter taught him how winning is done: up close and brutally.

Israeli Political Constellation Realigns As Kadima Quits Government

For the second time in just two months, the Israeli political universe was upended when Shaul Mofaz’s Kadima Party voted to quit Israel’s governing coalition.

70 days Later – Mofaz, Kadima, Quit Netanyahu’s Government over Haredi Draft

Following the collapse of negotiations over a new conscription law, Kadima chairman Shaul Mofaz decided to quit Netanyahu's coalition, leaving the premier once again with only 66 MKs. Mofaz told a Kadima faction emergency session: "It is with great sorrow that I say that there is no escape from taking a decision on quitting the government." Mofaz explained: "I went in on a principle, and when that failed, we must quit."

The Draft Controversy In Israel

A comment by Kadima leader Shaul Mofaz the other day set us thinking about an element in the draft debate that could only manifest itself in an Israeli context.

Thousands of Reservists Rally for Equal Share of Military Burden

Keynote speaker former GSS chief Yuval Diskin said: "I served this country for thirty-seven years with love and with hope, and throughout these long years I did not even once, even for one moment, feel that I was a sucker. When I joined, almost everyone enlisted, but when I got out I discovered that we are close to the point where almost no one is enlisting. And that's the whole story."

Mofaz to Netanyahu: You Must Accept Haredi Conscription

A few hours after a report by MK Plesner's committee on "equal share in burden" was made public Wednesday morning, coalition partner Kadima chairman Shaul Mofaz convened members of his faction to say that he expects Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to accept the committee's recommendations within a few days days. "The decision before us is a crucial decision for Israel," he stressed.

Israeli Vice PM: Syrian Assault is Genocide

Vice Prime Minister Shaul Mofaz, is calling Syrian President Bashar Assad’s war against opposition a “genocide”, and said Israeli support is behind efforts to overthrow him.

Political Party Or Empty Shell?

Is Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s politically “brilliant move” just the opening shot? Will his next move be an attempt to inject the Kadima Knesset members into the Likud? Or is the prime minister planning another Sharon-style bombshell, such as enticing Likud MKs to join him, Kadima and Ehud Barak’s party in forming a new balloon party?

Gideon Ezra, Former Deputy Head of Shin Bet, Cabinet Minister, and MK, Dies at...

Ezra, who was serving as a Kadima MK at the time of his death, was born in Jerusalem in 1937. He served in the IDF's Nahal Paratrooper brigade, and joined the Shin Bet in 1962. Over a career that spanned 33 years, he rose to become the Deputy head of Israel's domestic intelligence organization. Throughout his political career he variously served as Minister without Portfolio, Minister of Internal Security, Minister of Tourism, and Minister of Environmental Protection.

The New Challenge

Two weeks ago, in my weekly column on the NRG website, I wrote, “Nobody really understands why Israel is going to early elections.” So when I heard that the election merry-go-round had been cancelled, I was pleased.

Whither Israel’s New Government?

Prime Minister Netanyahu’s decision to form a coalition government with Kadima and cancel planned early elections has inspired endless speculation as to his motives. Some maintain he was seeking a unity government in order to bolster his position with regard to Iran. Others point to his desire to be better able to deal with certain domestic issues such as election reform and changes to the Tal Law.

Coalition Grumblings: Political Posturing or First Signs of Splintering?

The intensifying focus on legislating an alternative to the Tal Law has the ultra-Orthodox parties in the Likud-led coalition defensive yet intractable. Shas and UTJ - representing 15 seats in the government - have declared that they will not participate in the coalition committee on finding an alternative.

EU’s Ashton Briefs Netanyahu on Iran Talks, PM: ‘Iran Playing for Time’

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton that Iran must agree to halt all uranium enrichment in upcoming talks. Ashton...

Netanyahu Stuns Israel With Historic Coalition Government

JERUSALEM – Israelis went to sleep Monday night expecting early elections in September for the 19th Knesset. They woke up to the news that elections would take place as planned in October 2013.

Avigdor Liberman: Ulpana and Tal Law Replacement ‘Two Major Tests’ for New Coalition

Israel Beytenu Chairman: "The residents who have lived in Givat Ulpana for years are law-abiding citizens. This is not an illegal outpost. It is the state's mistake, and it must take responsibility. There are ways to regulate the matter with legislation."

Poll: 44% Support Kadima Entering the Coalition, But Only 5% Support Mofaz

More Israelis support the unexpected pact between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Kadima Chairman Shaul Mofaz than reject it, according to a News 10...

Israel’s Unity Government and Iran

A unity government, which would give Netanyahu a massive 96 Knesset seats out of 120, would certainly clear the decks for military action against Iran. Early elections in September, on the other hand, carry a burden of uncertainty, even though Netanyahu’s Likud party is leading by a large amount in the polls. In any event, they would be disruptive.

The Morning After: Israel’s Political System Shaken, Stirred, Realigned

The stealth move by Premier Benjamin Netanyahu and opposition leader Shaul Mofaz was a reunification of the 2005 Likud. Joining forces, they are close to realizing the dream of every Israeli premier, to rule without partners. But the new coalition deal means decidedly sobering news for Israel's two major religious camps - the Haredim and the settlement movement.

Netanyahu and Mofaz Announce Center-Right Coalition, Elections Cancelled

In an overnight drama worthy of a Hollywood thriller, the leaders of Likud and Kadima, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and opposition leader Shaul Mofaz concluded a deal for a broad coalition government led by their two factions, and the cancellation of the early, September 4 elections.

Rubin Reports: One Leader Who Will be Re-elected – Israel Goes to Elections

Israel is apparently going to have elections this autumn and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will almost certainly win by a big margin. Understanding why explains a lot about the country that people think they know the most about but in fact comprehend the least.

Netanyahu to Initiate End-of-Summer Elections

According to Ma'ariv's Mazal Mu'alem, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose father passed away this morning, will nevertheless start talks this week with the leaders...

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