Israel Coalition Falters as Netanyahu Takes Top Positions

PM is now also acting as defense and foreign minister

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s current far-right coalition seems to be destined to fall very soon. His goal now is no longer saving the coalition without Avigdor Lieberman, but rather to last another six weeks, and try to get elections set for late March or early April. Netanyahu now is not only prime minister and head of Likud party, he also is the acting foreign and defense minister, meaning he holds the top three positions within the Israeli government.

The coalition will be collapsing chiefly because of anger over the brief Gaza clash, and the quick ceasefire declared, with hawkish members objecting to a quick ceasefire when they wanted a longer, more decisive war.

Another major issue now is the distribution of power within the coalition. With Lieberman’s resignation, Netanyahu has declined to give Naftali Bennett the defense portfolio, and will be keeping it for himself.

While Netanyahu’s Likud Party is the main member of the coalition, having it keep all these top positions, let alone allowing Netanyahu to personally keep them all, is virtually unheard of.

 

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.