Friday, February 20, 2009

Hello Bibi

So it's official. Benjamin Netanyahu will be given first crack at forming the next Israeli government coalition under his leadership. It certainly seems that, should he succeed, Avigdor Lieberman's Israel Beyteinu party will be at his side. Israel's three religious parties joined in the recommendation to President Peres to give Bibi the nod. And that coalition would give him 65 seats, enough to form a small, solidly right-wing, majority. Except on religious issues, that is, where the solidarity would take a hit.

Will Kadima join the Labor, Meretz and Arab parties in the opposition? Or will Livni cave and agree to join the 65 already in Bibi's camp? Will the religious parties and Lieberman be able to reconcile their differences? Or will the religious parties bolt, which could open the door for a 70 seat Likud-Israel Beyteinu-Kadima coalition?

However it turns out, it appears that Israel has learned the lessons the U.S. has not. Maybe that's because of the rockets' red glare, which we seem to forget, ignore or dismiss. Good for Israel. Too bad for us.

Shabbat Shalom.