Israel/Palestine: The Politics of a Two-State Solution

  • Israel/Palestine and the Politics of a Two-State Solution
  • When Peace Fails: Lessons from Belfast for the Middle East

Friday, May 18, 2012

The New Israeli National Unity Government

About two weeks ago I was getting ready to do a post about the upcoming early Israeli elections in Israel. All the pundits had decided that Netanyahu would go to the polls in September--some even mentioning September 4 as the date. Several even attributed this to a decision by Bibi and Barak to strike Iran before the American election in early November. But then a funny thing happened on the way to the election...As a bill to dissolve the Knesset and set a date for new elections had passed its first of three mandatory "readings" or votes in the Knesset, things suddenly began to slow down as Kadima members began to delay. Behind the scenes new Kadima leader Shaul Mofaz was negotiating a new coalition government with Netanyahu that would delay elections possibly until they were required by law in mid-2013. The new government was announced as ostensibly being motivated by the need to pass a new law on national service for the ultra-Orthodox and by the need to pass electoral reform. But what really motivated the two main protagonists and what are the chances of their proclaimed agenda being enacted?