James Forsyth

The post-election dynamics

The post-election dynamics
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Shmuel Rosner has an interesting post up at Commentary about the coalition negotiations in Israel following the elections. Rosner argues that there’s no point following then hour by hour developments during the next few days as all that is going to come out is spin and bluff and counter-bluff.  The key dynamics to watch, he says, are that Israeli voters want a unity government and that Netanyahu does not want to be on the left of his own coalition. As Rosner writes:

“Don’t buy the smiling faces of Netanyahu and the leaders of right wing parties that he is now courting. Sitting with them in a coalition — in which they will have the final say — is Netanyahu’s worst nightmare. He thinks some of them are real nut cases, and knows that they will surely bring about his demise. And by the way, it’s not Lieberman who worries him the most — it’s the National Union, a party so far to the right that serious people, even within Likud, think it would be much better for the new coalition to find a way to avoid their partnership. It’s not Lieberman holding the key, and it’s not President Shimon Peres, and it’s not Netanyahu. Livni lost the prime ministership, but she’s the one holding the key to the next government.”

What I would most like to see is Lieberman kept out of the government. His views are repellent and will provider fodder for those who are so keen to demonise Israel. I also worry that a Netanyahu-led government would have difficulties in getting along with the Obama administration which would make it more difficult to achieve the imperative goal of stopping Iran from going nuclear. Of all the coalition options, the one that would maximise US support for Israel on the Iran issue would be a Kadima-Likud-Labor coalition and principally for that reason it is the one that seems preferable to me.

Written byJames Forsyth

James Forsyth is Political Editor of the Spectator. He is also a columnist in The Sun.

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