May 8, 2012
The unity government backed by a majority of 94 (out of 120) which Binyamin Netanyahu formed Tuesday May 8, is not just the broadest coalition ever to govern Israel, but also the first with three former chiefs of staff at the helm.
Two are also present (Ehud Barak) and former (Shaul Mofaz) defense ministers. It was this feature which drew the most attention in Washington as the first reports of Netanyahu’s stunning U-turn away from an early election filtered through.
“He has pulled off another term in office without standing for election,” said one senior administration source, “and he’s done it seven months before Barack Obama faces the American voter.” A re-elected Obama will find the same Netanyahu sitting in the prime minister’s chair in Jerusalem as before – after reinventing himself as a long-life premier.
If he and his new senior partner, former opposition Kadima’s Shaul Mofaz, achieve the targets they have set themselves – especially electoral and government reforms by the end of 2012 – those reforms will enhance Netanyahu’s chances of winning the October 2013 elections.
So that when Obama ends his second presidential term in late 2017, Netanyahu will be ending his third as prime minister or as head of state, depending on whether reform legislation merges the two functions.
This article was posted: Tuesday, May 8, 2012 at 8:33 am