Netanyahu’s tissue-thin coalition already coming under pressure from a number of quarters.
Tel Aviv — On the evening of his sweeping come-from-behind election victory, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to move swiftly to form a new government, saying that Israel could spare no time to meet political challenges at home and abroad.
Fault lines and fissures in the wake of the recent elections.
Jerome A. Chanes
Special To The Jewish Week
Most American Jews make no distinction between one black-hatted charedi — those sectarian Jews mischaracterized in the press as “ultra-Orthodox” — and the next. To many, if not most, American Jews, charedim are obscurantist literalists, whose Judaism is an accretion of unthinking, primitive practices. In fact, the charedi world in Israel (and in America, for that matter) is hardly monolithic, and is far more variegated than an undifferentiated sea of black. There is the core of “Litvish” yeshivot, successors to the Eastern European tradition of rationalist Talmud and Rabbinic text study. (Contemporary parlance: “yeshivish.”) There are numerous flavors of chasidim. There is Satmar and groups allied with Satmar. They look chasidic, but they are not. And there is, of course, Chabad-Lubavitch, who are not chasidim. They are Chabad.
Likud-Zionist Union pact could ease tensions with U.S., but such a coalition is unclear.
S hould Israel’s two major parties decide to form a unity government following Tuesday’s election that saw neither party deliver a knockout blow, it could help heel tensions with the Obama administration and members of Congress, according to political observers.
Israelis split over need for change; could Kulanu or joint Arab list play kingmakers in coalition?
Jerusalem — As political parties here scramble for undecided voters ahead of Tuesday’s crucial election, polls suggest that both major parties could cobble together narrow coalition governments. But a national unity government remains a possibility if neither is able to form a strong coalition to its liking.
Expectations for heightened Arab involvement in Israeli national politics are rising. There is a chance that the newly formed Joint List, bringing together four Arab political parties, could generate a higher voter turnout on March 17 than those parties had previously attracted as separate lists, and possibly make the united Arab bloc the official opposition in the next Knesset.
It was a stretch, but we were trying to believe it — that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Congress speech is all about safeguarding Israel and not motivated by electioneering. But in 30 seconds on Saturday, this all went out of the window.
Zionist Union tries negative ads after gaining little traction despite a vulnerable Bibi.
Modiin, Israel — It was supposed to be a preaching-to-the-choir type of performance. Yitzhak Herzog’s speech Saturday night to a crowd in this middle-class Israeli suburb was targeting a relatively friendly constituency to the Labor Party.
On the Israeli street, fed-up potential voters see a dysfunctional government.
Jerusalem — Every Monday Avinoam Ventura, 71, and a half dozen friends gather at the Neeman coffee shop in the Ramot mall in north Jerusalem, where, over coffee and cake, they share the latest gossip and discuss the latest news.