The New Israeli Coalition and the Elephant in the Cabinet Room

Rarely do politics in a democratic country wrap up as neatly as they did for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this week.  Having scheduled new parliamentary elections that he was assuredly going to win, today he announced that the coalition was expanded and reconstituted, and will last until September 2013 - the legal expiration of the current Knesset. A partial list of Netanyahu's accomplishments: He saved millions of dollars the country didn't need to spend right now. There are a lot of Americans who think a parliamentary system looks pretty good at this point for speed and thrift. He added a Persian-born, Farsi-speaking former Chief of the IDF General Staff to his Cabinet. This helps counter criticism of the government's posture on the Iranian threat from former Mossad Chief Meir Dagan and former Shin Bet Chairman Yuval Diskin. He diminished the importance of Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman whose Yisrael Beiteinu Party, farther to the right than Likud, is no...(Read Full Post)