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Friday, October 22, 2010

Kadima to join government?

Haaretz is reporting on contacts between Prime Minister Netanyahu and opposition leader Tzipi Livni to bring Kadima into the government so that Netanyahu can reimplement a 'settlement freeze.'
The premier reportedly called Livni on Tuesday, urging her to meet with him in the coming days. No date has yet been set for the planned meeting.

Officials believe that Netanyahu was considering the option of joining forces with Kadima as a possible scenario ahead of a potential renewed moratorium on Israeli construction in West Bank settlements.

Palestinian negotiators have recently put the brakes on freshly renewed direct peace negotiations with Israel over the resumption of settlement construction at the end of September.

Meanwhile, senior Kadima officials have claimed that the premier had been incessantly attempting to break up the largest opposition party, vying for the possibility that breakaway Kadima MKs would join the coalition in the eventuality of a withdrawal by the Labor party.

Kadima officials and Netanyahu aides attempted to downplay the importance of the planned meeting, the second such meeting in recent weeks, indicating the fact that a date for the gathering had not even been set.

The Prime Minister's Office responded to the reported contacts between Netanyahu and Livni, saying that the PM was "currently not engaged in any talks to expand the coalition."
I have my doubts about this one - it might be wishful thinking by Haaretz.

First, the fear is that Labor withdraws from the government and leaves Netanyahu with a narrow coalition. That won't happen so fast because Labor can't risk precipitating elections (current polls show them going from 12 seats to six if there are new elections!). Even if it did happen, Netanyahu would remain in power, and Boogie Yaalon would become Defense Minister. A lot of Israelis would be pleased with that outcome at this point.

Second, if Netanyahu were to try to substitute Kadima for Avigdor Lieberman's Yisrael Beiteinu, he would risk a revolt in his own party. The young MK's - like Danny Danon and Tzipi Hotovely - would probably bolt. Yaalon and Benny Begin might bolt as well, and there would probably be others. I don't see him taking that risk.

Third, Livni's conditions for entering the coalition are likely unchanged from what they were a year and a half ago. At the time, she wanted to be Prime Minister for half the term. Would Netanyahu give her that? I doubt it.

So no, I don't see this happening.


At 9:04 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Carl - agreed. And unless the Palestinians are going to be flexible, its hard to see even an expanded government making any progress. Unilateral Israeli concessions will only show Jewish weakness and lay the seeds for the next war.

Israel has done all it can with the "peace process" and the reality whether or not Kadima joins the government in the future, is that Israel has no true peace partner on the other side. All the Israeli goodwill in the world won't change it.

At 12:03 PM, Blogger trumpeldor said...

And Boogie Yaalon would become Defense Minister. A lot of Israelis would be pleased with that outcome at this point."

+1 !!!


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