Miriam Alster/Flash 90
I wonder if those betting places are also taking bets on how long Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's coalition will last. All I can say is that I wouldn't buy tickets to travel abroad too far in advance, or I may miss voting, since we don't have absentee voting here in Israel. Two of my recent trips trips were timed to allow me to vote. Two and a half years ago I left just after voting, and this past visit I arrived home the day before elections.
Ironically, the last/final coalition agreement signed was with Bayit Yehudi's (Jewish Home) Naftali Bennett, who in both his Knesset campaigns stressed his aim to be part of Netanyahu's government. It seems that is the way Netanyahu works. He first makes the most difficult of the potential partners sign. And lastly he signs with his most natural allies. Finally he divides whatever is left with his own Likud Party. In his previous coalition he started by pulling a shocker and signing up Likud-traitor Tsipi Livni as Justice Minister. That brought in her personal loyalists, but she ended up being the one to destroy his government from within.
This time, Bibi, again went for a former Likudnik with high ambitions, Moshe Kahlon, first and created an offer Kahlon couldn't resist. I wonder if Kahlon will pull a Livni... IMHO, the two parties that Netanyahu can rely on for loyalty are the chareidim and Bennett's. Chareidim won't sit with Yair Lapid, and the feeling is mutual. Last time he allowed Bennett to force him into accepting Lapid and persecuting the chareidim. That was a dual mistake for both Bibi and Bennett. Lapid worked in tandem with Livni, learning how to get away with disloyalty, until Bibi finally disbanded the coalition and declared new elections.
Another time bomb in this coalition is Aryeh Deri's Shas, which already has a track-record of disloyalty. Ex-con Deri was davka given Finance, which I blogged about before. It really turns my stomach.
Here's how it stands now:
- Jewish Home: Chairman Naftali will be Education Minister, while MKs Uri Ariel and Ayelet Shaked will be named Agricultural Minister and Justice Minister, respectively. Ariel will also control the Settlement Division and hold responsibility for implementing a program regulating in the Negev. In addition, the party will choose a candidate for deputy defense minister.
- Kulanu: Party chairman Moshe Kahlon will serve as Finance Minister as well as chairman of the Housing Cabinet. MK Yoav Galant will beappointed Housing Minister, while a third person, apparently Kahlon associate Avi Gabbay, will be appointed Environment Minister.
- Shas: Chairman Aryeh Deri will serve as Economy Minister, Negev and Galilee Development Minister, and possibly also Religious Affairs Minister, although this post may be given to another member of the party. In addition, Deri will appoint MK Yitzhak Cohen to head the Planning Administration within the Finance Ministry. Under Shas' agreement with Likud, which is subject to certain changes, Cohen may end up taking the post of Deputy Finance Minister.
- United Torah Judaism: MK Yaakov Litzman will serve as Deputy Health Minister, while MK Moshe Gafni will chair the Knesset's Finance Committee. (Arutz 7)
Nu, what do you think? Are you betting?