Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Breaking: A Compromise On Israel's Coalition Appears to Be A Done Deal
The circus appears to be finally coming to an end:
A compromise was reached toward the final coalition deal on Wednesday evening, when Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid agreed to give up his demand for the Interior Ministry in return for the Education Ministry.
Yesh Atid also gave up its demand to have no more than 20 ministers in the new government, a move which will allow Likud to honor its coalition agreement with Tzipi Livni's Hatnua party and give MK Amir Peretz the Environment Protection Ministry.
In the accepted compromised deal, Yesh Atid MK Shai Piron will receive the post of Education Minister, while Bayit Yehudi MK Nissan Slomiansky will head the Knesset Finance Committee. The Interior Ministry will remain in Likud's hands, and will likely be given to outgoing Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar.
Bayit Yehudi head Naftali Bennett, who has been working to mediate between Yesh Atid and Likud, will be made Deputy Prime Minister and receive the Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry, and responsibility over Religious Affairs and Diaspora. Bayit Yehudi MK Uri Ariel will receive the Construction Ministry, and Eliahu Ben-Dahan is set to be appointed Deputy Minister of Religious Services, but will serve as an acting minister.
Bayit Yehudi will get another ministry and another deputy ministry.
That means a numerically strong coalition of Likud/Yirael Beiteinu, Hatnua, Yesh Atid and Bayit Yehudi of 67 seats (it takes 61 seats to form a government) if my math's right. As an ideological coalition..well, that's something else again. The election results showed that the Israeli public voted for a center Right government. That could have been acheived,although it would have been a somewhat slimmer majority. What they're getting is something else entirely.
The religious parties (Shas, UTJ, etc.) have been left out entirely in favor of Lapid's Yesh Atid, which was what Lapid wanted, Tzipi Livni is back in government which is a disaster waiting to happen, and the entire mess is unstable.
I don't predict this particular shotgun wedding is going to last too long, but we'll see.
Zay ma yesh as the locals say..it is what it is.