Netanyahu’s Opponents Jockey for Bibi-proof Coalition but Stumble Over Personal Ambitions
Incumbent Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s opponents from three parties are jockeying for a Netanyahu—proof coalition but are learning that their strategy would be more effective if those involved had political strength and strength of character. Ehud Barak, a former prime minister who served the shortest term on record, returned from retirement to try and unseat Netanyahu, but the first poll taken since his return raised the possibility that alone, he might fail to achieve the threshold for entry into the government. Accordingly, he began talks with the Labor Party’s Amir Peretz, another re-constituted returnee from retirement with a dubious election day prognosis. But that would-be alliance appears to be sidetracked by political chicken-counting-before-hatching as neither man seems prepared to take the number two spot. Even if the dueling-egos call a truce, finding common ground for dividing up parliamentary seats will be no easy task. Nevertheless, in keeping with Israeli tradition, onlookers believe there is more chance that Barak will end up sitting in Netanyahu’s new cabinet than unseat the five-time incumbent.