Implications of Failed Manipulations

It seems that Tony Blair and John Kerry worked to try to get Prime Minister Netanyahu to add the Zionist Union into the coalition in order to promote peace efforts. Let’s consider this for a moment.

  1. This would mean foreign governments were actively trying to manipulate the composition of the elected government of Israel to suit their desires. This makes Bibi’s speech to Congress in an attempt to publicly share his opinion on the Iran nuclear deal pale, by far, in comparison, laughably so. This would be like Israel trying to get Hillary Clinton to make Bernie Sanders her VP and to change her policies to be in line with his. Actually, it’s more like Israel trying to encourage Donald Trump to make Hillary Clinton, the leader of the opposing side, his VP, but that doesn’t work in our political system, so Clinton-Sanders is a better example.
  2. Kerry and Blair failed so miserably that not only did Zionist Union not end up joining the coalition, they created an environment that encouraged Israel Beiteinu to join it! This actually makes the governing coalition even a further right leaning one.
  3. Zionist Union was again harmed by those foreign powers trying to use it. Think about this for a moment. Zionist Union was literally being used by foreign powers to influence Israeli governmental policy. Let that one sink in.
  4. Avigdor Lieberman may be problematic for a number of reasons, but his ability to work with Russian leaders at a time when Israel needs to work with Russia on Syria and Iran related security issues actually makes his appointment to Minister of Defense make some sense.
  5. Herzog overplayed his hand. Instead of settling for joining the coalition and promoting policies tilted in its direction, Herzog insisted on commitments that would have forced Netanyahu’s other coalition partners to leave the coalition and quite possibly split his own party.
  6. There was no chance that he would willingly do that. Somehow, Herzog seems to have been convinced that pressure against Netanyahu might be enough to make him do it. That is the only possible reasonable interpretation and it means that Herzog expected Israel to be threatened if Netanyahu didn’t comply.
  7. So one question before us is “Will the Quartet threaten Israel, now that Netanyahu has not complied?”
  8. Another is “What actual policy changes may occur with Israel Beiteinu in the coalition, if any?”

****Update May 20, 2016

Bogie Ya’alon has now left the government. This is significant further damage of the failed attempt to bring the Zionist Union into the government. Ya’alon was a moderate voice in the Likud led cabinet. Replacing him on the Likud MK list is Yehuda Glick of Temple Mount fame.

So instead of having a Netanyahu led coalition barely scraping by with 61 seats and having Ya’alon’s moderate voice and military leadership experience in the cabinet as Defense Minister, Israel now has Avigdor Liberman in the cabinet, Yehuda Glick in the K’nesset, a severely weakened opposition leader in Herzog and a strengthened right leaning coalition that now tilts further right.

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10 Responses to Implications of Failed Manipulations

  1. Excellent analysis, and the point about Lieberman and Russia is very interesting.

  2. As Lieberman is reputed to have good relations with the Russians, the Quartet as a body might have a harder time remonstrating to Israel. Such would more likely come from the United Nations, the U.S., and the British.

  3. David Freelund says:

    Was this “manipulation” or a last ditch effort to get the Foreign Ministry in the hands of someone actually interested in negotiations? Netanyahu was already a bare majority of his own coalition. Now he is a minority member. Yaalon’s comments spoke volumes about who and what the current Likud and its erstwhile partners are. As pathetic as the Palestinian leadership has been and for all the harm they have inflicted, the new government may be as bad. The Foreign Ministry has been weakened and demoralized without a real leader. Liberman is an international pariah. That he can speak to the Russians tells you the company the runs in. He was partly responsible for souring relations with Turkey.

    • Erdogan was responsible for souring relations with Israel. Blaming Liberman for THAT is unfair. Erdogan chose to position Turkey as benefactor of the Muslim Brotherhood and protector of Hamas. That makes it defacto an enemy of Israel. No friend of Israel can hold those positions. Every other incident that has occurred in relation to Turkey and Israel is part of an overall shift by Turkey toward the Muslim Brotherhood from the Arab Nationalist nations. Meanwhile, as far as Ya’alon goes, he makes some good points.

      • David Freelund says:

        Remember the meeting when he placed the Turkish ambassador on a short seat? Liberman is a pariah. He has recommended ethnically cleansing Israel if it’s Arab citizens. No way is he credible or acceptable as FM to anyone other than a venal Netanyahu.

      • Part of why he isn’t Foreign Minister

  4. The point isn’t whether you like Lieberman or not. It is that it is OUR government, not Kerry’s, Blair’s or Obama’s, and it is inappropriate for them to try to choose our foreign minister.

  5. As I always used to say when I had a full time job, “I have a full time job”. So does Bibi.
    For all these years, BECAUSE OF HIS ANTICS, Bibi has kept Israel essentially out of full-bore combat. “The proof of the pudding is in the eating”. Who else in the entire Middle East has done that??. NO ONE!
    So, dear friends, it is BECAUSE of Bibi (and not Sarah) that Israel is holding her own. G*D forbid that his tight-rope walk will falter. I prefer that good people like yourselves criticize him on “Ooooo, look at what “a coulda happened…” to your present speculations w/o any hard facts.
    What say you dear friends, opponents of Bibi?
    Shaul Levenson

  6. Good thinking, Reb Kaufman. Whatever they thought would happen with their proposal, I don’t think they did enough thinking.
    Best to Micky and the gang,
    Shaul Levenson

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