Every new government in Israel represents a rightward shift in recent years. After the dissolution of Ehud Olmert’s centrist government 2009, Israel saw a right-far-right coalition installed, replaced in 2013 by a simply far-right coalition. The new coalition is moving the bar even farther right.
Things have gotten so bad within Israel that one normally hawkish top military affairs commentator on Israel’s Channel 2 news urged his children to leave the country, saying he is genuinely afraid for their future, while former defense minister Ehud Barak warned the new government meant Israel is “infected by the seeds of fascism.”
Other former officials are lining up almost uniformly to warn that the ouster of the comparatively moderate Moshe Ya’alon in favor of ultra-hawk Avigdor Lieberman marks an historic shift in Israeli politics, and one that’s likely to have a particularly damaging impact.
Lieberman has agreed to a backdoor deal with the religious right, agreeing to give the ultra-Orthodox parties he used to antagonize virtual veto power over all religious legislation. Lieberman’s previous advocacy for secularism, it seems, had to take a back seat to his military ambitions.
The final deal on this government hasn’t totally been reached, but Netanyahu insists it will be reached within the next few days. Lieberman described the talks as “deadlocked,” though at present this seems to be an effort to get better terms.