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The new Israeli coalition will continue the settlement policy
Article added on May 8. 2012 at 14:19 Paris time
  
The Israeli government canceled the early elections scheduled for September 4, 2012 because Prime Minister Netanyahu managed to get the oppositional Kadima party to join the ruling coalition. New elections will only take place during the originally planed period in October or November 2013.

As reported in the German edition in April, Kadima is now led by Shaul Mofaz (*1948). The former general chief of staff of the Israeli army and former minister of defense and minister of transport was born in Iran and is known as a hardliner. Shaul Mofaz moved Kadima further to the right. With him and Kadima joining the ruling coalition, the center-right course of the government will be accentuated.

Shaul Mofaz is no fan of the famous
Road Map. In the past, the hawk favored the killing of the Palestinian leader Arafat. He oversaw the withdrawal of Israeli troops and Jewish settlements from the Gaza Strip in 2005, but he consequently opposes the autonomy status for the Palestinian territories. He claimed that the recognition of the Oslo Accords was “Israel's worst mistake”. Obviously. Shaul Mofaz is politically close to the right-wingers in Netanyahu's cabinet. Therefore, Kadima joining the Israeli coalition comes as no surprise.

Some call Shaul Mofaz a pragmatist. In reality, he is an opportunist. He is only a steady right-wing hardliner when it comes to Israeli-Palestinian affairs and defense. Together with Netanjahu, he is an obstacle to a durable peace with Palestine. With Netanyahu, Mofaz and Lieberman, Israel's settlement policy will not change. Israel will continue to occupy territories that should be part of a future Palestinian state. They will even continue - as all previous governments from right to left - to build new settlements on Palestinian territory. A final peace treaty remains an unrealistic goal as long as those men govern.

Klezmer sheet music and Jewish sheet music.

Books about Israel from Amazon.comAmazon.co.ukAmazon.deAmazon.fr.

The move by Netanyahu and Mofaz to join forces increases the coalition's majority in the 120-member Knesset. Now controlling 94 instead of just 66 seats in parliament makes the Netanyahu government more stable than ever. Many observers consider the current coalition nothing else than a unity government, with only the Labor Party remaining as a “major” oppositional force, with major meaning the control over just 8 Knesset seats. Already when Mofaz took over Kadima, Labor's leader Shelly Yacimovich considered herself the only alternative to Netanyahu's coalition. With Kadima joining the government, this impression is truer than ever.

The only positive aspect of this shrewd political move may be that the coalition no longer depends on the support of religious  parties within the government. The orthodox movements and parties, who do not contribute anything substantial to Israel's army and economy, but who heavily rely on the welfare state and the defense of settlements in illegal outposts, have become more and more an economic, social, political and military liability. Will Prime Minister Netanyahu seize the occasion and cut them down to a minor influence?

Shas and United Torah Judaism have tried to hijack Israel's political agenda. Netanyahu and other previous governments have made them far too many concessions. In February 2012, an Israeli court has invalidated the Tal Law, which allowed ultraorthodox students to avoid being drafted for military service.

Some analysts hope that Netanyahu's government will now have the necessary strength to push threw an agenda of economic reform, of more liberalism and competition, breaking up long established corporate monopolies in the Israeli economy.

On the downside is that men with a military background continue to dominate Israeli politics. This is extremely unhealthy. A diversity of views is needed. Leaders with different backgrounds and careers enrich a country's political approaches and options.

What will the three-page agreement between Netanyahu and Moraz, signed early on May 8, 2012 bring apart the fact that the Kadima leader will become deputy prime minister?

As the leading opposition leader, Mofaz had been a vocal opponent of Netanyahu's hard-line approach towards Iran's nuclear ambitions. Will he change now or force or convince the prime minister to a more
“moderate” stand, which could simply lead to Iran acquiring nuclear weapons?

Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu is the winner of Kadima's move to join the ruling coalition. During the next elections, Shaul Mofaz may have to pay a price for his vanity to join the government now. Initially, he had said that he intended to replace Netanyahu, not to join his government. So much about Mofaz' backbone.

One victim is already clear: The peace process. The enlarged or new Israeli coalition will continue the infamous settlement policy. In a NYT interview in April 2012, Shaul Mofaz had asked for an interim Palestinian state on 60% of the West Bank as a start to a peace deal. My educated guess is that Mofaz' backbone on that matter won't last either. That deal would have been far from acceptable for the Palestinians anyway. Once again, the only winner from this charade is Netanyahu.

Klezmer sheet music and Jewish sheet music.

Books about Israel from Amazon.comAmazon.co.ukAmazon.deAmazon.fr.







Deutsch Politik Geschichte Kunst Film Musik Lebensart Reisen
English Politics History Art Film Music Lifestyle Travel
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© Copyright www.cosmopolis.ch  Louis Gerber  All rights reserved.