Israeli Govt Close: Say Hello to Foreign Minister Lieberman

Netanyahu Govt Expected 'Within Two Weeks'

When Yisrael Beiteinu chief Avigdor Lieberman issued his demands for joining a Netanyahu-led government, the enormity of what he was asking shocked a lot of experts: three major ministerships, including foreign affairs – an unprecedented amount for a 15 seat party. But rather than wishful thinking, Lieberman may have turned out to be shrewder than anyone had imagined: he appears to have gotten everything he wanted.

So yes, the unthinkable seems all but assured now: the bellicose Lieberman will be Israel’s next foreign minister. Former Tourism Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich will be public security minister, and Daniel Friedmann will remain the justice minister. His party will also take the Tourism and National Infrastructure Ministries.

It is therefore expected by those close to Netanyahu that his government will be formed sometime in the next two weeks. But that government is also looking like it will have only 61 seats in the Knesset (Israeli Parliament), the smallest majority possible. Maintaining such a narrow government seems unlikely, and Israel will probably be looking at early elections as a consequence.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of