Friday, February 20, 2009

Bibi's Back

Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been given the go-ahead by President Shimon Peres to put together a coalition government.

Peres gave Netanyahu the nod even though Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni's more centrist Kadimah Party received one more seat in the Knesset than did Netanyahu's Likud.

Peres believes Netanyahu, who received a key endorsement from a right wing party yesterday, is better positioned to put together a coalition than is Livni.

Kadimah is electing to remain outside of the new government, which must be formed in the next 42 days. But Netanyahu may keep some cabinent positions open to give Kadimah an opportunity to join the government in the future.

Netanyahu's hawkish stance toward Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran is attractive to many Israelis who are tired of trading land for peace but receiving missile attacks instead. But the new government may be an additional frustration to President Obama and others who are hoping to broker a Middle East peace.

Netanyahu, who was educated in the United States, has complete command of the English language and comes across here more like an American than an Israeli politician. Because he is so well-spoken he is a favorite on the speaking circuit and of cable news shows.

But his Israeli support comes from his hard-lined attitude toward terrorists and others who threaten the existence of his nation. During his previous stint as prime minister, Netanyahu championed the establishment of a West Bank Jewish settlement, something the United States felt undermined the fledgling Middle East peace process.

Yet there are those who believe that peace can only be achieved through a strong Israel that is unafraid to take military action when necessary against its enemies. They argue that negotiations that lead to concessions is viewed as a sign of weakness by the Palestinians.

We talk about these issues and more at 5 PM New York time weekdays on News Talk Online on


Anonymous said...

I am sure Obama will be something less than happy with the appointment of Netanyahu as PM of Israel, after all, Bibi recently told Obama that he would have to learn what the word NO really means!
If Israel allows others who have their own agenda to fulfil to determine their future then they could very likely have sold out their country in their attempts to appease allies. Israel fights for its life on a daily basis, do they receive praise for their tenacity? NO - they are condemned because we have a mentality in the 21st century that seems to support the underdog regardless of whether they are just or unjust!
The one thing I am certain of is that Bibi will do what is best for HIS country - would that we in the West had politicians of the same ilk.

shadow 391 said...

A fairly accurate analyses of Benjamin Netanyahu centrist right Party, and the positions he holds, but Benjamin Netanyahu has been known to be inconsistent and change his mind abut many things, so only time will tell if him becoming the next Israeli prime minster will make any deference

Anonymous said...

Well, I think Gideon Levy in Haaretz sums up my feelings on this ovetrated blowhard.

I'd rather have U.S. citizens read what Israeli journalists have to say about Netanyahu than listen or read about what Americans have to say on the subject. So I will be missing your broadcast, Gary. Sorry. Suggest you read the link. It might be beneficial.

Anonymous said...

I was going to post the same link, and for the same reason. Elections have consequences, and Netanyahu's policies are clearly representative of the majority of the voters. Where those policies lead, the consequences may be dire indeed. I hope that Obama is telling Netanyahu that he should not count on the US to cash any check he chooses to write, especially if it means war with Iran.

Anonymous said...

tired of trading land for peace but receiving missile attacks instead

Uh, salon just had a wire article recently on land issues:

Feb 16th, 2009 | EFRAT, West Bank -- Plans to expand a West Bank settlement by up to 2,500 homes drew Palestinian condemnation Monday and presented an early test for President Barack Obama, whose Mideast envoy is well known for opposing such construction.

Israel opened the way for possible expansion of the Efrat settlement by taking control of a nearby West Bank hill of 423 acres. The rocky plot was recently designated state land and is part of a master plan that envisions the settlement growing from 9,000 to 30,000 residents, Efrat Mayor Oded Revivi said.

Looks like the land transfer is going in the opposite direction... would that be "land for war" then?

Anonymous said...

Yay. And "broker a Middle East peace is an oxymoron." Can't happen when one side demands the annilation of the other.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post Gary, it gives an accurate and brief snapshot of what's going on at the moment.

And re's got a small readership compared to the other dailies and does not represent the opinions of most Israelis. Non-Israelis like it because it's in English.

Anonymous said...

Ha'aretz is a Hebrew-language newspaper. It is not the only Israeli paper to publish an English online edition. What is ynet?
Judith Green