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Friday, October 24, 2008

Is she bluffing?

Kadima leader Tzippi Livni announced Thursday night that if the ultra-Orthodox Shas party does not agree by Sunday to join her new 'coalition,' she will go to President Shimon Peres and say that she cannot form a government and therefore Israel must go to new elections.

Let's go to the videotape and then I will have some comments.

Livni's bluffing. Shas is the only party in the current coalition that does not stand to lose if there are new elections. According to all polls, Kadima and Labor will both face heavy losses if there are Knesset elections. The 'pensioners party' will disappear from the election map altogether.

My view is that Livni will form a 'coalition' of 60 members (out of 120) without caving in to Shas' financial demands. But that coalition - which will not be able to accomplish anything without support from the outside - will be paralyzed as long as it remains in power. It will not be able to advance the 'peace process' because its members will know that they will wipe permanently themselves off the political map if the only way they can advance the 'peace process' is with the help of the Arab parties. And if we're lucky, they won't be able to pass a budget either - which would force new elections in June 2009. Livni will try to make a hero out of herself for not caving in to Shas' financial demands. She will attempt to vilify the ultra-Orthodox generally as money grubbers.

She has learned well from her soon-to-be-former boss - the master of political survival for its own sake.

And the country will continue to face existential decisions without a real government in power.

Awful, isn't it?


At 6:29 AM, Blogger Naftali2 said...

Carl, you can't be orthodox and say no one is in charge of Israel. That being said, the Who who is actually in charge is under no obligation to explain things to us.

At 8:58 PM, Blogger J. Lichty said...

contentions blog is reporting that Shas has said that its final - it will not join a livni government.

Zips hasn't spoken to the Arabs, but including them and Meretz is sure to destroy Kadima for good (good riddance and say hi to Shinui on yer way down).

I am sure there will be someway that this turns lemonade into lemons, but this is first good political development in Israel or the US in a long time.


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