Israeli prospective prime minister Tzipi Livni has thrown in the towel on trying to form a coalition government in Israel.
Shas declined to join her coalition over two issues..her refusal to accept their demands for increased government subsidies for families with children and her refusal to commit to not engaging in any negotiations that would involve redividing Jerusalem.
Livni informed Israeli president Shimon Peres and advised elections.
According to Israeli law, Peres has the option of taking three days going to another member of the Knesset to see if they are capable of forming a government. Otherwise, the country will finally get the chance to pick new leadership, most likely by February 9th.
The polls all show Likud ahead, which most likely points to a Center/Right coalition with Bibi Netanyahu as prime minister.
Meanwhile the odious Ehud Olmert is still part of a caretaker government, at least until he either flees the country or they drag him and Aliza off to jail. But he essentially has no power to negotiate any of the country away to the Arabs, and he'd be unwise to try.
It's taken awhile, but it looks like the beginning of the end of Israel's long nightmare.