everything and nothing. not really sure yet.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Going ... Going ... Gone!

Good news out of Jerusalem (for once), Avigdor Lieberman has taken his Yisrael Beiteinu party out of the governing coalition. I wrote a post lamenting the Labor Party (particularly Amir Peretz)'s complicity in bringing the hard-line nationalist and racist into the government, and his having left the coalition - predictably over negotiations with the Palestinians - can only be cause for celebration. Will it weaken the government, not significantly. Even if Shas leaves too, bringing Meretz into the fold would bring a coalition of sixty, and perhaps some sort of working arrangement could be made with some of the Arab parties to support the government - particularly over negotiations. Of course, if Olmert decides to go the other route, and appease the right - where his political roots lie - by bringing in another rightist party like UTJ (a possibility according to some - although highly unlikely in my opinion: why would UTJ tread where Shas refuses to) he will be weakened, as a divided government will hurt negotiations and increase the likelihood of Labor pulling out over Winograd. If Olmert is sincere over his desire for peace, he must press ahead with negotiations, and work on bringing Meretz, and maybe some of the Arab parties, into the fold. Without such a divisive, destructive force as Lieberman and his party in the cabinet, progress can surely be made, if Olmert and his Kadima colleagues are willing to take risks for it.


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