Sunday, March 15, 2020

Israel's Shocking (potential) Breakthrough

President Reuven Rivlin announced today that he is giving Ganz the first chance to form a coalition government of 61 seats in the new Knesset.  In a shocking development, both the Arab Joint List and the Lieberman-led Yisrael Beitenu party have joined the left wing Meretz/Labor/Gesher party and Kahol Lavan to support a Ganz government.  Theoretically, that would give them a majority of 62 seats.  Likkud, Shas, UTJ and Yamima have only 58 among them.

This is a shocking and potential permanent change in the political landscape.  Here's why:

1)  No government since the Rabin, z"l, days has had the support of the Arab Parties.
2)  Lieberman had vowed not to service with Arabs or the Ultra Orthodox, and the Arabs had vowed not to serve with him.
3)  Netanyahu is under active indictment, and required a favorable government to pursue legislative immunity.

Will the Arab Parties and Lieberman find common ground in their desire to avoid another Netanyahu government?  If they do, will it end the Trump peace plan, and anticipate a Biden White House and a negotiated solution?

Or will the Corona Virus create an emergency circumstance and convince Ganz and Netanyahu to form a "Unity Government" between them.

The boring deadlock has suddenly become interesting again.

Stay tuned.

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