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News / Brèves

Bibi Blinks; Grand Coalition, Not Early Elections

9 May 2012

In the middle of the night of May 8th, Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin (Bibi) Netanyahu backed off from his call for early elections and negotiated a coalition deal with Kadima head Shaul Mofaz. This agreement, announced in a surprise joint press conference by Mofaz and Bibi this morning, cancels the early elections that were to have been voted on May 8, and creates the biggest coalition in Israeli history, with 94 members, intended to govern until October, 2013.

According to Ha’aretz, Mofaz, who has repeatedly slammed Netanyahu for the unilateral Iran-attack policy, and who was preparing to topple Bibi in elections, will be the top Deputy Prime Minister, substituting for Netanyahu when he’s out of the country. Importantly, Mofaz will be a member of the Security Cabinet, which was increased by one member. Also, Benny Begin and another figure who opposes an Iran war will not retire from the Security Cabinet as previously expected,— consolidating a majority against an Iran attack in this committee which is supposed to vote on it before it happens.

A Washington intelligence source emphasized that Netanyahu, depite predictions and polls that he would win the early elections, was completely insecure about his standing because of the mounting and ongoing attacks by leading military and intelligence institutional figures against him for his fanatical and "messianic" views and his drive to war.

Other commentaries also point to Bibi’s real insecurity. According to right-wing fanaticist Arutz Sheva radio, Netanyahu was hit with a buzz-saw of opposition from within his own Likud Party when he tried to annoint himself as chairman of the new election process by acclamation. He was shouted down by the Moshe Feiglin faction, and had to agree to a secret ballot. Ha’aretz analyst Aluf Benn has an article titled, "Formation Of Israeli Unity Cabinet Shows Netanyahu Blinked First, Again," profiling Bibi the Bully as someone who hates to take chances, opting for the "18 months of certainty a unity government provides," instead of the risk of early elections.

While the Israeli Labour Party and other leftists are wildly screaming against the coalition, with one highly respected Ha’aretz journalist, Amir Oren, comparing it to the Hitler-Stalin pact, Israeli President Shimon Peres, another leader of the institutional opposition to war, praised it fulsomely, saying that Israel and the Israeli people need such a national unity government. Dahlia Scheindlin, one of the leaders of the +972 journal that is close to the mass demonstrations of July-September 2011 that shook Israel, sardonically welcomed the move.

In sum, it appears that military and other institutional leaders against Obama’s British-directed war, first and foremost the US Joint Chiefs who have been in non-stop consultation with Israeli leaders for months now, have prevented an Israeli attack on Iran, at least for the moment. Unfortunately, London has meanwhile shifted its target to immediate, direct US-NATO confrontation with Russia.