Ok…. I am an American. It’s not up to me to tell Israelis what to do, but, like any good Jew I have an opinion on Israeli politics.
My background comes from living in Israel for a year, blogging about Israel, following Israeli news (which my Israeli friends love to tease me about but then like to ask questions about what is going on), and holding a degree in International Relations with an emphasis in Middle Eastern Politics.
So, I have been following the election and coalition process with a great deal of interest. And while following the election I came across a test from the Israeli Democracy Institute which charts ones political compass. Turns out, my views on things match most closely to HaTanuah.
SO… Imagine my surprise when I saw that Tzipi was the first to sign up for Bibi’s new coalition only a few short months after insisting:
“These are the statements we heard in the negotiating room,” Livni told Channel 2. “It is unfortunate that for four years, the Israeli government is telling the public that there is no partner for peace… for four years there have been no trust between the two sides. In order to enter negotiations, there needs to be trust. Instead, the foreign minister is leading a campaign to oust Abu Mazen….
…”We must work together to bring down Netanyahu,” Livni told Channel 2.
In the interview, Livni called for the creation of a formidable centrist bloc that would make sure the next government isn’t a “radical, extremist and ultra-orthodox” one. She further promised to contact Yachimovich and Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid as soon as Saturday to discuss such an endeavor.
“Especially in light of the public’s despair, we, as leaders, cannot give up,” she said. “The fact that the Likud-Beiteinu is dropping in the polls poses an opportunity to join forces… I call on Yair Lapid and Shelly Yachimovich to work together to generate hope and create an effective political force that would replace Netanyahu.”
Apparently that lasted all of a few weeks after the election, when Tzipi running to the call of “I get to be Justice Minister and get to head negotiations with the Palestinians” abandoned all of her pre-election principles and entered onto the fast track to political irrelevancy blazed by Ehud Barak, and Shaul Mofaz when they entered into coalition.
But what will really happen…. no one knows, but here is my prediction when a friend of mine asked if Livni was being “duped”, I responded by saying
She’s being duped…. BUT only sort of… Apparently they are giving her this largely ceremonial (in my mind – leader of negotiations with the Palestinians) post along with the Justice Ministry, AND they are giving others decent posts. Bibi is giving them the Environmental Post AND Head of the Knesset House Committee.
Here is what I see happening (and I may be very wrong)…. I think the President is heading over there and planning something big. OK, that said…. It is my opinion that Netanyahu is putting Livni there to placate the U.S., who frankly is a bit pissed off at the Israelis for all of the building and other shenanigans (think the 2012 U.S. Elections). More than that – he is promising Livni a “Free Hand” without any talks, any specifics, OR any plans to stop construction in the Blocs or East J’Slem. SO… what will happen? The U.S. will demand a more proactive role from the Israelis, the Israelis in turn will say “Sure, Look we put Livni in” but not make any concrete proposals. Livni, will try to make the ultimate deal because Livni wants a place in History, BUT she will get shut down. THEN Livni will possibly quit the government citing the fact that Netanyahu is not serious. She will talk to Peretz and Mitzna and tell them… “Hey, give up your portfolio’s and come with me… let’s make a statement” and those two guys will say: “Go pound sand Tzipi, we’re not going anywhere.”
Then HaTanuah (like Kadima and Labor before – though THEY recovered) will cease to exist as anything meaningful and Bibi will have once again destroyed his opposition.
Now, I may be very wrong, but just today Likud took the following shot at rendering Livni’s role largely impotent. Apparently there is a new bill in the works sponsored by Ofir Akunis which has support from PM Netanyahu According to the bill:
“The government will not debate, nor will it vote, on any regional peace deal until such time that it has garnered a majority vote in a referendum,” the bill’s brief states.
Sources in the Likud said that the coalition deal struck between Netanyahu and Linvi – the first in the current round of coalition talks – has been “hard to swallow,” further expressing concern that in her new role as justice minister, Livni might “block and hinder rightist legislation.”
Welcome to the future Tzipi… Way to destroy your political career once and for all. Hey, it only took one day as well… That should be a new record. Well at least you will be Justice Minister. I guess there is that.