Netanyahu’s coalition options seen to be closing

Put another way, Bibi is losing control. Apparently Lapid and Bennett have agreed to join the government or not, together. Between them they have 31 seats to Bibi’s 32 seats. They are both putting the squeeze on Shas and Bibi. This pact prevents Bibi from creating a right wing coalition of 61 seats.

From my point of view, it is good that Shas be cut down to size. I want the religious Zionists to have more power and I want the Hereidi to go to work. But I don’t think that the focus on equal service is the right focus. Instead, I think the focus should be to getting them out of the Yeshivas, save for the brightest, and into the work force.

Yet, Arutz Sheva reports, Bayit Yehudi ‘will be Netanyahu’s First Coalition Partner’

    Sources close to Bennett said that Bayit Yehudi is the right party for bridging the gaps between the hareidim and Yesh Atid on hareidi enlistment, “because of our familiarity with both the military world and the Torah world.”

Ted Belman


Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s efforts to build a broad national unity government suffered multiple setbacks on Monday when his potential coalition partners refused to compromise on key issues.

The first setback occurred when Netanyahu met Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett at the Prime Minister’s Office in Tel Aviv. While both sides declined to reveal what was discussed at the meeting, both said afterward that Bayit Yehudi would continue coordinating coalition strategy with Yesh Atid.

Netanyahu had wanted to break the unwritten understanding between Bayit Yehudi and Yesh Atid, in which neither party would join the coalition without the other.

But Likud officials said Bayit Yehudi and Yesh Atid were fully coordinating their negotiation strategy on every issue.

Due to that deal, Netanyahu cannot threaten Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid that he will build a coalition without him. The prime minister cannot even build a cohesive coalition of the 61 MKs on the Center-Right.

A statement released after the Netanyahu-Bennett meeting said only that they had discussed the “issues of the day” and planned to meet again. Unlike official statements released following the prime minister’s previous meetings with party leaders, this statement did not mention a “good atmosphere.”

But the Likud spokeswoman who issued the statement said it was not dictated by Netanyahu and that she actually had no idea how the meeting went.

The negotiating teams of Likud and Bayit Yehudi will meet in Ramat Gan on Tuesday, after the Likud met Monday with a team from Yesh Atid.

In the meeting with Yesh Atid, Prof. Eugene Kandel, who heads the National Economic Council, presented the Likud’s plan for equalizing the burden of military and civilian national service. The plan calls for the IDF to set gradually rising targets for drafting haredim. If the targets are not met, the yeshivas will be fined.

But Yesh Atid wants to see limits placed on the number of ultra-Orthodox men who avoid the army rather than the institution of manpower targets for the draft.

Although the party’s negotiators did not reject the Likud’s plan outright, they did give an impression that there was little chance they would accept the plan.

One issue Likud and Yesh Atid negotiators did not discuss was portfolios. Lapid wants that issue kept for the very end of the talks because he fears that otherwise he will lose leverage on key issues that are important to his party.

“About 99.9 percent of what you read in the papers about the negotiations is not actually happening,” Lapid told his Knesset faction. “There are no discussions on portfolios. No one spoke to our negotiating team on that. Whatever you are reading is mere speculation that is not connected to us.”

Shas co-chairman Eli Yishai attacked Lapid at a meeting of the Shas faction. He said Lapid was working to ensure that the government would lack haredi parties, even though Lapid has never said that he wants a coalition without Shas and United Torah Judaism.

MK Tzipi Livni told her Knesset faction that Netanyahu cannot take for granted that her Tzipi Livni Party would join the government. She said her negotiators were conducting talks with Likud quietly, “without press briefings and political spin.”

Labor leader Shelly Yacimovich started preparing for the possibility that Yesh Atid would not be part of the government on Monday. She met Arab MKs and asked for their support if there is a race in the Knesset for head of the opposition between her and Lapid.

Yacimovich took pains to deny a rumor that she would agree to bring Labor into the government if she was offered the Finance Ministry.

“There is no truth to the rumors that if I am given the Finance portfolio, we will sit in the government,” Yacimovich wrote on Facebook.

“We will not return to being the contractors of Netanyahu. It will not happen.

Whoever insists on making this a debate on portfolios is making a mistake ethically and politically,” she said.

“It is not about portfolios,” she added.

“It is about our path. The portfolios that are most dear to our hearts are the ones that someone intends to use to bankrupt our economy, with dangerous policies that are being crafted as we speak.” •

February 12, 2013 | 5 Comments »

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  1. There’s one born every second. TOKYO restaurant sells expensive dish of DIRT. No kidding.

    But the dirt is not your average gunk. The chefs at the restaurant use a special soil from dirt manufacturer Protoleaf, Shine. This dirt is called kuro tsuchi and it’s made of volcanic ashes, soil and plants from the Kanto District of Japan.,0,5896901.story

    Phew! I was almost worried there.

    Fukushima contamination all over Japan, particularly in its soil –

    The fearless Israeli govt fighting terror – By erecting new road signs in Samaria warning residents of Arabs lobbing rocks and firebombs.

    Just look at the pathetic size of this anti-terror protest in Yesha a few days ago:

    Suggestions for Jews’ own road signs all over Yesha:


    DANGER, INDIFFERENT POLICE – YOU’RE ON YOUR OWN. Shooting Arab terrorists prohibited by law.

    DANGER, INDIFFERENT CITIZENRY EVERYWHERE – New state of Palestine soon in this area. Start packing.

  3. Dan Meridor and Daniel Ayalon seemed focused on their post-government careers with Israel’s leftist media. Not every in the Likud though is a complete moron. If you listen to new Likud MK Yair Shamir, he is right the “peace process” will lead to nothing good for Israel:

    “Newly elected Member of Knesset Yair Shamir (Likud – Yisrael Beiteinu) stated that he was not in favor of the Two-State-Solution which ostensibly would divide people based on ethnicity. Speaking on Jerusalem on Tuesday at the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish organizations, MK Shamir stated “I do not believe in the idea,” calling it “impossible” and “not applicable.”

    “Priorities for Israel needs to change,” Shamir added, explaining that he felt that too much time was invested on the issues of Judea and Samaria and Israel’s relations to the Palestinian Authority “ignoring internal and social issues,” he said.”

    Peace talks with the Arabs will never end the conflict and are a complete waste of time. Peace is not a favor Israel owes the Arabs. What Israel needs is a complete change in priorities. Israel’s next government can strengthen Israel or it can beg the Arabs to give it what every one in the country knows by definition is impossible. Both Bennett and Lapid want to reorient Israel’s agenda inwards and some influential figures in the Likud appear to share the same view.

  4. We also need to save Judea and Samaria.

    Putting Religious Zionism back on the national agenda is the first step in preventing the establishment of an Arab state in Israel’s heartland.