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Friday, February 20, 2009

Livni's new bogeyman

President Shimon Peres has two meetings scheduled for this morning: Binyamin Netanyahu at 10:00 and Tzipora Livni at 11:30. The goal of both meetings is the same: To convince the two rivals to sit together in a unity government before Peres does the inevitable on Sunday and assigns the task of forming a new government to Binyamin Netanyahu.

Contrary to the impression she gave us all yesterday, there is nothing Livni fears more than being in the opposition. Despite her protests to the contrary, Kadima has no principles, and if it is shut out of the cabinet by being in opposition, Livni risks the disintegration of her party, with the more right-leaning members like Shaul Mofaz (whom she barely defeated for the party leadership in September) heading back to Likud. The Kadima 'spokespeople' you heard yesterday were all from Livni's camp - Mofaz's camp was silent (yes, Livni would claim that there are no 'camps' in Kadima and they are all 'united,' but the lady certainly doth protest too much on that score). The only person who started to say anything different than 'rotation or nothing' - Zev Boim, who is from Mofaz's camp - was quickly silenced.

But apparently someone in the Mofaz camp whispered to Livni what the likely consequences of being in opposition would be for her and party. This morning, in an interview with Haaretz, Livni is starting to crack. Maybe. She now says she's willing to join a government headed by Netanyahu. But she has a new bogeyman to replace Avigdor Lieberman (I can't wait to hear what Labor and Meretz have to say about her willingness to be in a cabinet with Lieberman), whom she may now be willing to accept as the third partner in a coalition. He's pictured above. His name is Eli Yishai, his party is called Shas (11 seats in the incoming Knesset) and he has done more than anyone to keep Kadima in power for the last two years.
Kadima chairwoman Tzipi Livni will not join a government headed by Benjamin Netanyahu that would include Shas, Habayit Hayehudi and National Union, but she would be willing to consider a Likud-Kadima-Yisrael Beiteinu coalition, she told Haaretz on Thursday.
That's the sum total of what's new in this article. The rest of it is the same tantrum as yesterday. Is something afoot? Other than this paragraph, I haven't heard anything. Yet.


At 9:18 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

If people wonder why Ehud Barak didn't recommend her, that's why. You can bet he's not the one going to be left slowly twisting in the wind while Tizipi Livni still keeps her party's portfolios in the government. Both Kadima and Labor say they are prepared to head for the opposition but that's the stuff people expect them to say before the real horse-trading begins next week.

Stay tuned.


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