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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Haaretz seethes: Netanyahu tried to get National Union to join coalition

Over at Israel's Hebrew 'Palestinian' daily, the denizens are seething: Prime Minister Netanyahu tried to get the National Union party to join his coalition.
Netanyahu has been engaged in talks recently with National Union faction chief Yaakov Katz over the prospect of Katz joining the coalition along with party colleagues Uri Ariel and perhaps Aryeh Eldad.

The prime minister did not ask the National Union's fourth MK, Michael Ben Ari, who is identified with the late Meir Kahane's extremist Kach movement, to join the coalition.

At this time, the discussions have run aground because the prime minister has refused Katz's demand that Netanyahu publicly declare an intention to carry out large-scale building in Jerusalem and in the West Bank settlement of Ma'aleh Adumim just outside the city.

In the course of the talks, there was discussion of Katz being appointed a cabinet portfolio, either as social affairs minister or as minister for the development of the Negev and Galilee.

The social affairs portfolio is temporarily being filled by Communications Minister Moshe Kahlon, while Vice Prime Minister Silvan Shalom is serving as minister for the development of the Negev and Galilee.

A source close to the prime minister said no agreement had yet been struck with the members of the National Union because "Netanyahu is a man of principles."

Nonetheless the effort has been met with surprise in the political establishment in light of the prime minister's intention to announce a far-reaching diplomatic initiative while in the United States, to include the transfer of additional West Bank territory to the Palestinian Authority's control.

The overture to National Union MKs is seen as a reflection of Netanyahu's view that there is no chance of having Kadima or a portion of the centrist faction join the coalition.
I can see why the Likud would want to do this - they want to make up the seats they lost when Labor split and half the MK's left. But why would National Union want to do this? Ketzaleh selling his soul for a ministry? Say it isn't so....

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At 8:38 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

National Union isn't going to join the government unless it commits to ending the de-facto freeze and starting a large scale construction project in Jerusalem and Yesha.

Haaretz shouldn't worry. The chances of that happening are as good as the chances of Ehud Barak quitting the government before the next election.


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