Tuesday, May 8, 2012


First there were to be elections.  Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu stated so yesterday at a meeting of Likud members.  Now today they are off.  Even though the first reading of a bill to dissolve this Knesset and hold new elections had passed.

Just hours after the Knesset approved the first reading of a bill to dissolve itself and hold elections, it appears as though no early elections will be held.

Kol Yisrael radio reported that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Opposition leader MK Shaul Mofaz have reached an agreement to form a national unity government.

According to the report, the Likud and Kadima parties converged at 2:00 a.m. (Israel time), and the members of both factions are being updated on the meetings between Netanyahu and Mofaz. It was also reported that Mofaz is expected to be appointed either a minister without portfolio or Homefront Defense Minister, a position recently vacated by MK Matan Vilnai (Independence).

It was also reported that the agreement reached between the Likud and Kadima calls for the Tal Law for the recruitment of hareidim into the army to be replaced by the end of July. Netanyahu and Mofaz will head a team which will be tasked with forming the new law.

In addition, Kadima has promised to remain in the coalition until the end of its term in November 2013. Also, it was agreed between the parties that by the end of December, a law changing the Israeli system of government will be put to a vote. According to reports, the talks between Netanyahu and Mofaz went on for several days.

A unity government is likely to harm the Labor Party, which has gained strength in the polls, as well as Yair Lapid's party, as he will now have to wait until the current Knesset completes its term in order to run.

A unity government would definitely help Kadima which, according to all polls, was set to suffer a dramatic blow in the next election.

Meretz chairwoman Zahava Gal-On called the unity government agreement a "dirty trick".

"The prime minister wants to avoid elections and the opposition leader is desperate and headed towards a crash," she said. "This is a disgrace to the Israeli parliament and a terrible message to the public, who is losing all faith in the country's leadership."

Interior Minister and Shas chairman Eli Yishai welcomed the agreement.

In recent polls both Labour and Kadima were suppose to lose seats in an election.  So for Kadima and Mofaz this is a better alternative.  And a law changing the Israeli system of government is interesting.  Israel has no written Constitution.  David Ben-Gurion promised to have had one written by October 1948.  So much for that date.  If this is a written Constitution then it has only taken Israel 64 years to do so.

Then again this whole thing can blow up in their faces and elections will be on again.

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