Monday, March 11, 2013

Netanyahu's Coalition Negotiations

It sounds like Benjamin Netanyahu is nearing a coalition agreement for a 70-MK government composed of Likud, Yisrael Beiteinu, Yesh Atid, Jewish Home, Tzipi Livni's "Movement," and Kadima:
Attorney David Shomron said following the negotiations at the Prime Minister's Office, "All the issues are behind us, apart from the issue related to the allocation of ministerial portfolios."
Likud wants to keep the education portfolio in the hands of Minister Gideon Sa'ar. Sources within the ruling party claim handing it over to Yesh Atid would create a problem vis-à-vis the haredi education system...
The sides recently reached a deal according to which Lapid will get the finance portfolio, while Bennett will be named Israel's next Labor, Trade and Industry minister.
Lapid, of course, leads the secular centrist Yesh Atid, while Bennett the hardline nationalist Jewish Home.  Those three parties together control 62 seats, and are the core of the new coalition.  Livni will handle negotiations with the Palestinians, though I'm guessing that will just be a fig leaf for as long as is convenient for both her and Netanyahu.  I think Kadima is just around for the ride.  The toughest issue in negotiations has been national service for religious students, with Netanyahu needing to thread an agreement between Bennett and Lapid.



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