Sunday, February 10, 2013

Chaos in The Meantime From Bibi's Lame Duck Governemnt

No doubt the betters are taking bets on how long Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's next coalition will last; that is if he actually succeeds in forming one. 

The fact that he must make a deal with political newbie Yair Lapid, who isn't experienced and jaded enough to understand that compromise is the name of the game, is making things difficult.  His supporters want him as Foreign Minister, because they think of it as a social photo-op position, just perfect for the media star.
It is this ugly state of affairs that explains the meteoric rise of Yair Lapid to "kingmaker" in this Knesset. His TV-star looks, stage presence, and confidence in the spotlight were far more important to the throngs who cast their votes for him than his political ideas. Hardly anybody bothered to read his past op-eds, many of which directly contradicted the platform on which he eventually ran. But even if they had, it wouldn't have mattered; his campaign was based on his pretty face and promises of "hope" for the "equal distribution of societal responsibilities" — which means having the ultra-Orthodox serve in the military.  (more from Ruthie Blum)
Powerful political positions require more than a good haircut and dentist.  Netanyahu has stayed in power (and returned to it after his loss) because of his intelligence and growing political savvy.  Even if he strikes out this time, I wouldn't consider him finished, out of the game.

Avigdor Lieberman, also, has shown his staying power and shouldn't be ignored.  I do have my problems with him, but I agree with his recent statements:
“Anyone who thinks that in the center of the diplomatic, political and social tsunami that is shaking the Arab world it is possible to get a magical solution of comprehensive peace with the Palestinians does not understand,” he said.
“I am saying clearly that it is impossible to reach a comprehensive agreement with the Palestinians,” said Liberman, who has not hidden his desire to return to the helm at the Foreign Ministry after his upcoming trial. “It is impossible to solve the conflict, it needs to be managed.” (Jerusalem Post article)
I certainly prefer him as Foreign Minister over the other candidates/wannabes, especially Lapid.

Lapid isn't Netanyahu's only problem.  Shas and its Rabbi Ovadia Yosef don't want to play ball with Lapid.
During his weekly Torah lesson, Rabbi Yosef said Lapid “hates yeshivas” and said he is “contemptible”. Lapid has demanded that hareidi yeshiva students be drafted into the army as a condition for his entering the coalition.

The only way that Bibi can fashion another government coalition is if Shas and Lapid will agree to sit together.  From what I've read, NRP-Jewish Home's Naftali Bennett understands that simple fact of life.
Politics makes strange bedfellows.

If you're too fussy, you may lose it all.  Can Israel afford new elections so soon?


Dov Bar-Leib said...

There are only two possible coalitions, and both of them must include Bayit Yehudi. The math is pretty basic. Either with Bayit Yehudi is the Chareidim or Ya'ir Lapid. Lapid and Shas will not sit in the same government at least in this epoch of world history unless there is a grand compromise that will take months if not years to negotiate. The math is pretty simple. With the Chareidim and BY Bibi has 61 seats. With Ya'ir Lapid and BY Bibi has 62 seats. He can then throw in a giveaway like Livni or Kadima to make him look pretty to Obozo, but neither of them provide him with a majority. And Livni hates Bennett so much, she will take her temper tantrum and leave as soon and Bennett enters the room. So as much as Bibi might dislike Bennett or Sara might dislike Bennett, if Bibi wants a government by the 7th of Nisan, it will include Bennett. Hide him, fight him, hate him. It matters not. Bibi can ill-afford new elections. best to go with the Chareidim to avoid Civil War and to guarantee that Matmidim remain Matmidim, but eventually over time Lapid will negotiate his way in. Yet at this crucial hour, Bibi will choose the safe route for a narrow majority of 61 seats (BY and the Chareidim) even if he brings them in at the last minute. In the end before Obozo gets here, we will p.o. the entire world and watch meteorites fly!

Batya said...

Dov, I think that Bibi is trying to get them all in, especially Lapid and Bennett. He and they like to label themselves as "center."