Reality bites … or gnaws?
In a Memorial Day interview with Army Radio, Defence Minister Ehud Barak slowly groped his way towards pragmatism and the mainstream with another warning to his fellow Israelis that they cannot expect the rest of the world to”put up with decades more of Israeli rule over the Palestinian people.” Barak has said similar things before, but with politics and international diplomacy being more of a process than an event, it’s wise to see this more as part of the uneasy, stuttering realignment of Israeli political parties than as a sudden wake up call. Netanyahu has a strong coalition, but it’s not the one he wanted as it leaves him as a political hostage to Lieberman, who shocked Bibi with his portfolio (cabinet post) demands. It’s also only strong as long as he does nothing with regard to serious negotiations with the Palestinians. To do that, Netanyahu needs to form a new coalition. As the Ha’aretz article ends “Political commentators have raised the possibility of bringing in former Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni’s centrist Kadima party to keep Netanyahu’s coalition in power if pro-settler factions decide to pull out.”