Eretz Yisrael Time

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Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Things are still too close to call, but there are some interesting things to consider.

Bibi shot himself in the foot twice. First by obsessing over Feiglin, and then by saying he would prefer a National Unity government. He lost all those Right Wing votes to Yisrael Beiteinu as a result. Likud did not lose any seats to or because of Ichud Leumi or Bayit Yehudi.

Lieberman is holding out on declaring he will support Bibi, but I highly doubt that Uzi Landau would consider joining Kadima no matter how much he dislikes Bibi.

If Lieberman doesn’t want a custom tailored ministerial position, then most likely Lieberman will want to be Minister of Interior Security (that way he can give his loyalty tests and block the police investigations as the head of Israel’s version of the KGB).

Of course he may not be able to have that position (or any position) with all those criminal investigations over his head.

Bibi's people are probably sitting down and trying to figure out Ministerial constellations. This is probably one chart they came up with:

Deputy Prime Minister: Lieberman/Yisrael Beiteinu
Defense: Boogie Ya'alon/Likud
Finance: Bennie Begin/Likud
Foreign: Silvan Shalom/Likud
Building and Construction: Katzaleh/Ichud Leumi
Education: Hershowitz/Bayit Yehudi or Shas
Interior Minister: Eli Yisha/Shas
Absorption Minister: Danny Ayalon/Yisrael Beiteinu
Justice Minister: Dan Meridor/Likud
Religious Affairs: Shas
Social Affairs: UTJ
Communications: Shas
Transportation (or Interior Security): Uzi Landau/Yisrael Beiteinu
Interior Security or Special Minsiter for SuperStrategic Issues which sounds important: Lieberman/Yisrael Beiteinu

Your thoughts?


Anonymous said...

Just curious, but why is the media even talking about a Kadima victory? Based on your and other analyses, there is no way that Leib's party will join Kadima, so Livni's best hope is a 55 seat coalition vs at least 65 or so for Bibi? Based on that, why would Peres even consider asking her to form a government?

Anonymous said...

...also (needed to get a coffee), what is the timeline in all this? Does Peres give the nod at his leisure based on what he sees happening?

Jerusalemcop said...

Dont forget that Effie eitam is suppose to also get a ministry

where do u think he will be put?


Anonymous said...

I would bet that Lieberman will insist on Justice. He can't hold that ministry, but Uzi Landau can. And the last person he wants to hold that portfolio is Meridor!

Anonymous said...

One simple reason, Lieberman hasn't come out and outright said he won't join a Kadima government. And as I warned before the elections, he's sat with Kadima in the past. Now he is in an even stronger negotiating position with them.

What might prevent that from happening is Uzi Landau and Danny Ayalon.

If I recall correctly they have up to 6 weeks to form a government. Until then Ehud Olmert is still the Prime Minister.

Anonymous said...

Eitam might get Deputy Defense Minister.

Uzi Landau could get Justice. That makes sense, but then whither Meridor?

Anonymous said...

"Until then Ehud Olmert is still the Prime Minister."

Oh. My. God.


(check one)

Anonymous said...

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Democracy simply doesn't work

bluke said...

I don't see how Livni can make a government. Just do the math, how does she get from 28 to 61.

Labor it seems, will really go to the opposition. if so she has 0 chance. Even if she convinces Lieberman to join her she is way short:

28 (Kadima)
15 (Lieberman)

Where does she get another 18 seats from.

Even with Labor she is still 5 seats short.

For more see this post of mine Post election analysis

JoeSettler said...

Bluke: Labor doesn't want to be in the opposition. No one does. You don't accomplish anything in the opposition.

Kadima 28, Labor: 13 Shas: 11 Lieberman: 14

Total = 66.

This is the exact configuration of parties we just suffered through, but they all managed to sit together.

JoeSettler said...

KB: Democracy works, the way Israel's is organized is problematic.

Anonymous said...

I will be posting later (after I sleep) after some obvious fixes that need to be done to the electoral system.

bluke said...

I don't see a Kadima, Labor, Shas, Lieberman coalition happening for a number of reasons:
1. What can Livni offer Lieberman? They clearly are at odds over security issues and with Shas in the mix there is no chance of civil marriage or election reform. Whatever ministerial post Livni offers, Netanyahu can match.
2. Labor has finally realized that you can't rehabilitate a party from within the government. If they want to have a chance at ever running the country again they need to sit in the opposition. Shelly Yechimovitch, Pines, and Herzog all understand this and therefore I don't see them joining a Kadima led coalition.
3. What will Shas get from Kadima? This election Shas lost votes to the right, I don't think they will risk joining a Kadima government again and being perceived as a left leaning party.

Anonymous said...

I wonder when Feiglin actually gets tired of messing with Likud? As the party leadership election showed not so long ago, that about a third of the Likud preferred Feiglin at the helm. So when does he finally decide to either form his own party (instead of a faction within a party) or join a more like-minded party such as Ichud Leumi?

Anonymous said...


Once the elections are over, sadly, the voters don't count, anymore. And, the "horse-trading" begins. Yet, I can still remember how Avigdor Lieberman "horse-traded" away Arik Sharon's first government. So elections reoccurred in short order. And, Sharon ran with the new Kadima party, instead.

If I were Livni? I wouldn't horse trade. I'd go public. With exactly what I'd offer. That would let the horse-traders, inside the tent cobble together a lean-to, in a direction that won't be supported, still.

On the other hand? You have to be crazy, now, to talk about giving away any land. Because gaza was turned into a missile launching site. And, there's no "reciprocity" in that at all.

What can happen? Bibi might convince Livni to join his government. (Good luck to ya when there's a woman whose in the backseat, while you're trying to drive your car. And, you don't want to venture off a cliff.)

Labor? Ehud Barak's gotta go! He's saying he's now in the opposition, even if Livni chooses this spot, too? Or does Barak suddenly fly into Bibi's arms? What a farce!

I always think its a mistake to dissatisfy a majority of customers. (Fancy restaurants, of course, do this.) But here in America the businesses that are really hurting, happen to be fancy restaurants. While McDonalds is having their sales surging.)

Livni is also supposed to be "indecisive." Well? If you can't tell what she's doing, where would you want her? In your backseat? I don't think so.

And, rotating prime-ministerships won't work, either. I think of it this way. Peres gets to rape the whole country. While Katsav really didn't touch one unwilling female. (You'd be surprised what some women accept as sexual come-on's.) But the whole country? Katsav will be jealous.

On the other hand, does chutzpah win?

Anonymous said...

Lieberman will go over to Kadima only if they promise him civil marriages (the only thing they can promise and the Likud can't). In that case neither Shas nor Yahadut Hatora will join the coalition.

Kadima + Lieberman + Avodah + Meretz = 59

On top of that Avodah and Meretz have promised to sit in the opposition, and Shas has promised to join Netanyahu.

Kadima managed to get 28 mandates only by decimating all their coalition partners on the left. It's game over for the leftist agenda.

Jehoshaphat said...


After your post at Muqata, I think you should call this post, "Second First Thoughts."

Anonymous said...

Much of Kadima is former Likud
An agreement with Livni means only 3 parties in the goverment:
Likud,Kadima and Pick one.

Why wouldn't Netanyahu do this? It will give him more credibility with the US and Europe and make his life simpler. He will not even need Leiberman.

Anonymous said...

because if bibi does this, he'll lose all credibility with the nationalist camp for good.

he got a pass last time around because he didn't have the support in the knesset and the likud was swamped with leftists... he actually has the ability to form a right-wing government this time, so if he fails to do so, he's finished for good with the right-wing.

he might as well defect to kadima like the rest of the cowards in the old likud.

Anonymous said...

Dear Joe,

I'm not sure if this has been pointed out. The election results - with Bibi trailing by just one seat could be a dream result.

It would be very hard for Bibi to forum a unity government and assuming he creates a right wing coalition, Ketzleh and Habyit Hayihudi will have a real say on the direction of this country (despite their poor showing.

What do you think?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous: Last night that thought crossed my mind.

The way it worked out (so far, final results to be in today), Bibi if he goes right, must stay right.

It will be hard for him to be the PM in a unity government with Kadima bigger than him.

LB said...

I really don't agree. I think you're underestimating Lieberman, and have placed Silvan Shalom back in the mix.

Lieberman is extremely powerful now. No news there. Bibi has already announced, before the elections, that he will give Lieberman an extremely senior ministry. Extremely senior means Defense (No way), Foreign (Maybe), or Finance (Very likely - he can be Bibi's puppet). I don't see Lieberman agreeing to a low post such as interior security. UNLESS Bibi gets Livni to join and Kadima gets 2 senior positions, as he said, leaving Lieberman with probably either Interior or Education.

Now, Silvan Shalom - not a friend of Bibi's at all. Big rivals - Bibi has managed to win and move past him - why would he give such power? I just don't see it. If Kadima doesn't join (most likely) I would make say - Finance/Foreign - Lieberman/Begin. Gilad Erdan and Gideon Saar can also be expected to receive positions (and Steinitz??).

Also, UTJ never accepts full ministerial positions, only deputy positions, leaving another job open (though it is sometimes left nominally in the hands of the pm).

Anonymous said...

LB: Very good points.

Anonymous said...


Your list is interesting; but it gives Bibi a "problem." There's no center. And, that means even with every right wing party on board; you can't fly the government successfully. It's so unstable that new elections appear on the horizon sooner. Rather than later. (To say nothing of the "hold up" Lieberman can invent.) (In Hebrew, Ha'aretz is running the segment of the show "Wonderful Country"). And, it's just one of the examples of what can happen to Bibi IF Livni "refuses to be a fig leaf."

Livni did decide, back in Nobember, when she was being held up by 70-kooks in the Knesset, to opt for elections. (And, in them? No one knocked her down. She came in ahead of Bibi, actually, by about 30,000 votes.)

How will Bibi deal with the fact that to be prime minister he's the horse that came in second?

While, as a side-light to these elections, Gal-0n is "out" at Meretz. Unless, "Oron" is unseated.

Then? What happens in Labor?

And, if? And, if there's a continuation of strife; where "forming a government" either looks extreme. Or "impossible," does that mean Olmert remains in charge of the "caretaker government?"

Isn't this the material for soap operas? Sometimes, a TV show can make reality seem dull. (See Wonderful Country.)

Meanwhile, I think Ehud Barak is kicking the furniture. (Because, yes, he can be a fig leaf. But can he get Labor to join him? Or is he out'ta luck?)

When you gamble on a horse race, and your horse doesn't even make it to 3rd place, you've got a problem trying to be "in the money."

Does Livni hold more keys in her hands than Lieberman? Can a government, ahead, be formed sans Lieberman?

What does "unity" mean?

Oh, and IF Olmert beats the charges against him (where he can prove he had free air miles, what happens then?) The police, it seems to me, are skating on thin ice.

While Katsav raped no one. But Peres is gonna foil Livni? How did a gonif like that get to be president?

By the way, Israelis can't vote "absentee." So, they have to be in-country. (All because the "boys from Brooklyn would vote absentee. That's why there are no foreign ballots.)

Then, there's a difference between winning campaigns, and then running a country.

And, I might add one reason for Arik Sharon's strokes was the pressure he was getting from Bush. So in effect? News stays hidden.

Batya said...

Bibi wants center not right. At the jblogger conference he said that he's courting Kadima turncoats, my term, not his. Nothing has changed since.

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