The Yisrael Beitenu leader is roundly pointed out as the one spoiling Netanyahu’s ability to form a rightwing government. Some praise him for that, calling it standing up to dictatorial Netanyahu or to the ultra-Orthodox bullies. Others say that he should show more flexibility, but without explaining why he should be a hold-out and not his opponents.
I think that both types of comments are not correct. Lieberman’s not frustrating anyone on purpose. He’s just standing up for the core of what his voters voted for: more separation between State and Synagogue.
In any case, Lieberman never talks nonsense, and in his latest pronouncement lies that key to solving it all.
When Blue and White, always ready to sound like opportunists, started to claim “helpfully” that now it’s their turn to try form a (center-left) government, Lieberman quickly declared that he’ll only sit in a Netanyahu government. He didn’t say: “a right-wing Netanyahu government.” Both the Likud and Blue and White came out at the front of the pack and should join in governing. Both parties hold enough centrist ideas to find an easy middle ground.
So, to avoid expensive elections, which would only double Lieberman’s power and so solve nothing, Bibi only needs to walk over to Blue and White and quickly make a deal. Some Blue and White and some Likud Members of Knesset will bolt but enough of them will stay to make a broad giant centrist government in which there will be a simple place for Shas, Yisrael Beteinu and others too. Just what Netanyahu needs to deal with Trump’s Peace Plan. And just like I predicted all along.
The current threat of repeat elections just doesn’t sound genuine. It looks real but that’s exactly the whole goal of bluff.
Tonight — Israel time — we’ll know who was holding the winning hand.
But if — unfortunately — we’ll go to new elections, anything can happen. Blue and White could split up. The ultra-Orthodox could unite. Lieberman surely will emerge doubled. The New Right will make the threshold easily. But in any case, Likud will emerge the largest party again, sending King Bibi to form the next government. Losing is not his style. Mark my words.