Monday, May 7, 2012

In surprise move, Netanyahu, Mofaz agree to form unity government, cancel early elections

When Israeli Prime Minister announced earlier in the week that he planned to call elections for Sept 4, a year early, speculation abounded that he had wanted to form a strong and unified government so that any palnned or alleged upcoming attack against Iran would be backed solidly by the Parliament.

Joel Rosenberg wrote:
"Some key Israeli political analysts speculate Netanyahu wants to consolidate his political power and strengthen his coalition — polls show Likud poised to rise from 27 to possibly 31 seats — in order to launch a preemptive military strike on Iran in September or October, after the Israeli elections but before the American elections..."

The speculation was, that early elections would mean an October strike date against Iran by Israel. However all bets and speculations are now off, or need to be revised. Because now, just as suddenly as the early elections were called for, they are cancelled. Get this headline from just now:

In surprise move, Netanyahu, Mofaz agree to form unity government, cancel early elections
"Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and opposition chairman MK Shaul Mofaz (Kadima) reached a surprise agreement early Tuesday morning to form a national unity government. The move came as the Knesset was preparing to disperse for early elections, which were expected to be scheduled for September 4. Under the agreement, Kadima will join Netanyahu's government and commit to supporting its policies through the end of its term in late 2013. Mofaz is expected to be appointed deputy prime minister, as well as minister without portfolio. In exchange, Netanyahu's government will support Kadima's proposal to replace the Tal Law, which enables ultra-Orthodox youth to defer national service. The sides also agreed on instituting changes to Israel's electoral system. The dramatic announcement, which has yet to receive official confirmation, came as the Knesset was conducting early-morning discussions ahead of an expected vote to disperse in advance of early elections. Earlier in the evening, 119 MKs voted to approve in its first reading a bill to disperse the body, with only one lawmaker opposed."

That is a LOT of agreements, and for them to come to so suddenly tells me that bigger things are afoot. If they agreed to all that, discussions had obviously been ongoing, and second, the number of the agreements and concessions tell me that they have bigger fish to fry. Perhaps Iranian fish?

Gil Hoffman is the political analyst for the Jerusalem Post. On twitter, he just wrote: "Lead headline of Tuesday's Yediot: UNITY GOVERNMENT in big letters, with subhead of 'night of drama'. Not in #Jpost- has MUCH earlier deadline."

It IS a dramatic move and a night of drama for the Israeli people and the world.

The article continues, "Meretz head Zahava Gal-On expressed outrage over the surprise move, calling it a "mega-stinking maneuver by a prime minister who wants to avoid elections and a desperate opposition chairman facing a crash.""

Or it could indicate a wily and intelligent politician aiming to craft a government that will stand behind him in the tough times to come, perhaps even including first strikes...Stay tuned!!! Things are shifting by the moment in Israel!

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