Israel’s Prime Minister Designate Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to form a government any day now, but his right-far right coalition still hasn’t given up courting a broader membership. The target right now is the center-left Labor Party led by Defense Minister Ehud Barak.
Barak has reportedly been offered the opportunity to keep his ministership, and is urging his party to “seriously consider” the offer to join the government. Other high ranking officials like Agriculture Minister Shalom Simhon also appear to be in favor of the move, but the party’s rank-and-file is likely to object to joining a government with so many far-right partners.
Yet the far-right nature of most of the coalition is precisely why Netanyahu is so keen on including the more moderate Laborites. The extremely hawkish nature of the coalition is likely to be off-putting internationally, and the inclusion of Barak in a key position, even if his party’s paltry election showing doesn’t warrant it, would go a long way toward rehabilitating its image abroad.