Monday, May 07, 2012

Israel's Netanyahu Pulls Off A Surprise Move..Brings Kadima Into His Coalition!

This has to be one of the wiliest moves in Israel's political history.

Israeli PM Benyamim Netanyahu and new Kadima leader and ex-Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz cut a deal early this morning to bring Kadima into Netanyahu's coalition. Israel now has a unity no elections.

This basically takes away any question of Netanyahu's center right coalition being deposed no matter what for some time, and it's quite possible that Netanyahu will be able to simply fold most of Kadima back into Likud, since that's where Mofaz and much of Kadima's leadership came from in the first place.

Kadima's Tzipi Livni was kicked out of her party's leadership and resigned from the Knesset a short time ago, removing a major obstacle.And I'm willing to bet that Netanyahu and Mofaz were discussing this almost as soon as the door slammed behind her.

Netanyahu went to elections mainly to end pressure from the religious parties in his coalition over the number of deferments from military service give to religious students under the Tal Law.With Kadima now in Netanyahu's coalition, he's assured of a strong majority that should be a lot more resistant to this pressure.This also has the effect of making the coalition more centrist.

Mofaz didn't want new elections because Kadima would have been marginalized severely, shrinking from 29 seats to 14 or less according to current polls.

Since all of the parties currently in Netanyahu's coalition appear to be staying in for now, the biggest losers are what left of the Labor Party and Yair Lapid's new party. Labor was set to gain 12-15 seats, while Lapid's new party might have garnered 10-12.

Where Netanyahu gains the most is on freedom of action with Iran.
President Obama isn't going to be able to do much to impede Netanyahu before November 6th if a strong coalition 90 plus MK's out of 120 votes for an attack.

What Bibi has done, plain and simple is to co-opt the opposition and bring them into the fold.