By bringing the largest party into his coalition, he prime minister has made himself politically untouchable, writes Yossi Verter in Haaretz.
After getting over initial feelings of disgust and nausea, you have to admit that Netanyahu, again, taught us all a lesson. He is the number one politician, no doubt - by a mile. He bought Kadima, with its 28 MKs for a nothing, for two and a half coins, thus ensuring himself another 18 months in power, headed by a coalition of 94 MKs. No party can topple him. The new Netanyahu government is made of one hundred tons of solid concrete.
Jeffrey Goldberg speculates in the Atlantic that the new massive Israeli coalition government gives Netanyahu more freedom when it comes to dealing with Iran’s atomic aspirations.
t means that Netanyahu can proceed apace with whatever he’s thinking about doing re: Iran’s nuclear sites. This is not to say that he brought Kadima into his coalition to clear the way for an attack; Mofaz—Iranian-born, by the way—is on record as opposing an Iran strike, though people I speak to say he would back such a strike in a crunch (namely, if he saw proof Iran was rapidly approaching the “zone of immunity,” in which it could enrich uranium in impregnable bunkers).
Amir Mizroch of Israel Hayom speculates as to how Netanyahu will utilize his new political capital with regards to the pressing issues of Iran, the Haredi draft, election reform and the peace process.
Netanyahu now leads a centrist government of 94 MKs, a wide and stable coalition. Foreign news organizations can no longer call his government a “narrow right-wing coalition government.” As his new coalition partner Mofaz said Tuesday, there is now a golden opportunity to make some deep, historic structural changes to Israeli society and politics. To change the system of government, to address the imbalance in the burden of military and national service, and to attempt a territorial compromise with the Palestinians.
PM’s political masterstroke buys him room for maneuver. How will he use it?
David Horovitz of the Times of Israel believes that in one move, Netanyahu has neutralized his opponents on the left and the right – at least for now.
Netanyahu has now avoided the early elections that would have seen Labor likely soaring from the 13 seats it won last time to 17 or 18 — the second largest party in the Knesset, and led by a credible champion of social justice in Shelly Yachimovich. And Lapid, the ex-TV news anchor, will have to cool his heels a while now; Netanyahu will hope the Lapid bubble will burst long before the old-new scheduled election date in late 2013.
Writing for Arutz Sheva, Lenny Ben-David sees the good in the new coalition agreement.
Reason 1. Saves a huge sum for economy, maybe 1b shekel, by avoiding election costs. Better spent for social, defense uses.
Reason 2. Puts another ex-general, ex Chief of Staff, into government, a Persian no less, who counters Iran-doubters like former head of ISA Diskin & former head of Mossa Dagan.
Attila Somfalvi of Ynet takes a look at Mofaz’s repeated condemnation of the Netanyahu government, which went on almost until the minute he joined the coalition.
Just three months ago, and prior to winning the Kadima primaries, Mofaz had declared on his Facebook page that he will not join Netanyahu’s government under any circumstance. “Listen up: I won’t join Bibi’s government,” he wrote on March 3. “Not today, not tomorrow and not after I head Kadima on March 28. This is a bad and failed government and Kadima under my leadership will replace it in the next elections. Is that clear enough?”