The debate whether Lieberman went on his overseas trip (to Eastern Europe?) in the middle of coalition negotiations was to oversee one of his alleged private business ventures (which rumor says is part of what he is under investigation for) or just to strong-arm Netanyahu and show him who’s boss, may very well now be irrelevant.
Likud and Kadima are holding serious talks, and you can bet the one common denominating factor that joins them is the desire to not be held captive to the games and extortionist tactics of Avigdor Lieberman.
It would appear that Lieberman overplayed his hand in the presumption that he and he alone held the keys to the government in his pocket.
Taking his vacation while rockets fall on Israel may have been too much for everyone to stomach.
It is has become clear that both Likud and Kadima have realized that any government Lieberman enters on Lieberman’s terms will be inherently unstable and under a permanently loaded gun to the head.
And even if a unity government doesn’t form from these negotiations, Lieberman has been significantly weakened, as it’s now recognized that a coalition can be formed without him if needed.
The most likely constellation in this case would be Likud (27), with Bibi as Prime Minister, Kadima (28) with Livni as Deputy Prime Minister and many senior positions, Aguda (5) (giving them 60), and Bayit Yehudi (3) for good luck.
Shas (11) may be invited in immediately afterwards but it will be for further stability and not because they are needed.
Ichud Leumi (4) may be out, as per the demands of Kadima, but Lieberman will be out in the cold for sure.
In the long term would such a government be viable or accomplish anything? Perhaps, perhaps not. And even if it did, what would it accomplish? Whose agenda would it follow?
One thing is clear. Lieberman, with his loaded gun, shot himself in the foot, as well as the rest of the right-wing/religious electorate that actually won this election.
Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד
Lieberman sent himself packing.
Hi Joe Settler,
I'm not so sure... Kadima may decide to sit in opposition, then Bibi will have to include Lieberman...while I am definintely NOT a Lieberman fan, I think his demands have been misrepresented and are not as extreme as the media reports. However the corruption stuff hanging over his head is a real mess...Remember tho, the media HATES BIBI, HATES LIEBERMAN AND HATES ICHUD LEUMI...ANYTHING NOT LEFT LEFT LEFT. Nachon???
Israel's chattering classes hate any one who is not one of them. I agree with Avigdor Lieberman about the Arab threat.
That is why the establishment hates him. He got it down cold.
There is smoke, there is fire.
Jerusalem Post on police evidence of money laundering by Lieberman, also fraud and bribery.
FROM CAROL HERMAN
I can remember when Arik Sharon's first government began to totter. And, Avigdor Lieberman, full of himself, bet cards he didn't have.
After Arik's first government then fell, Arik was back with KADIMA. And, Avigdor Lieberman hasn't really seen a minister's chair since then.
That the russians voted for him? They'd have voted for putin, if they could. And, for comparison's sake, Lieberman's Betanyu comes close to equalling the chairs the arabs have. They've got "opposition" written all over themselves.
Plus? There seems to be some sort of "romance" in Israel, to look for a "new-new" label. Be it Shinui. Came and went. Or Gil, where only Efie Eitem held onto his seat.
Anyway, why assume that Lieberman actually gets anywhere?
For here, (in the USA), it looks to me that Livni can't seem to get a leg up on her coverage. (So, she looks haggard.) As if "28 is more than 27," ... but less than you need to make a majority ... Leaves me wondering why she's so desperate?
To get to elections, she needed, at some point, to knife Olmert in the back. So? I don't see much difference between her and Avigdor; who also overplays every hand he's ever dealt.
Given that Livni doesn't speak English, perhaps you can explain to me why it would make sense to put her in a room, let's say, with Hillary Clinton? Where Condi Rice has been known to eat Livni's lunch on more than one occasion; by the way "translations" are done. And, then? Livni finds out what she signed only "afta."
Perhaps the political maneuvering looks straight forward to you? But to me? I think Olmert HATES Livni's guts. And, I think Olmert would love to see Livni tossed out the door. (Just as he got to see Gal-On tossed out the door.)
You think I'm kidding?
In any case, Lieberman will get stronger - maybe even more quickly from the opposition.
However, rumors are now that Livni refuses to sit in a Bibi-led coalition (which is actually a smart move on her part), so this might all be moot, if Bibi wants any coalition.
If you divide the parties/the results into Right, Left and Center, you'll see that a Likud-Kadima shiddach is the only one that makes sense.
FROM CAROL HERMAN
V.O. Kay seems to be the doiyin of Israeli politics. He looks into the future (in a Jerusalem Post article by Dov Herzog?) ... and he says:
"HE SEES AVIGDOR LIEBERMAN AS DEFENSE MINISTER." This means Livni pulls him in.
And, Bibi is then "left out there" to decide if he wants to be 2nd fiddle to Livni. Or not.
Whatever Avigdor Lieberman did by traveling to Kiev; he seems to hold some "Labor" cards in his hand. Just as does Livni. You can count them. Because Labor has been trounced.
V.O. Kay (the political maven), says this election isn't one where the electorate's "cleavages" remain with new entities in place.
In the American system, Bibi's win of 50.9% of the electorate would, in fact, give him WINNAH TAKE ALL STATUS. It's not how the Knesset fabric works. Nor do you have 4 years worth of stability, ahead. Since all the clowns that pushed for these elections (Bibi, through Talansky; and Livni stabbing Olmert in the back. And, including how Ehud Barak has been playing behind the scenes) ... still has one mess that appears "apparent." But not fatal.
Up ahead, Bibi and Livni could accept "revolving rotations" on the prime minister's chair. But then? Bibi would be a fool to accept "going second."
Going first? He'd get a two year government. At some point the 88 year old Shimon Peres really has to retire!
And, who is to say that Livni would be in the prime minister's chair, IF Olmert beats the charges against him in a court of law?
Ditto for Avigdor Lieberman. At some point, he's gonna want those accusations against him made in a court of law! Or withdrawn.
Poor Katsav. Raped no one. But all he's got is the goody bag of retirement.
All other players are still in play.
Who has Buyer's Remorse, yet?
Does anyone believe Bibi gets Shimon Peres' nod?
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