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  • What will the third Netanyahu government look like, and how will it deal with the Palestinian issue?

    Netanyahu would like to include some centrist elements in his government in order to present a more moderate face to the world. However, any meaningful effort to end the occupation is not very likely.  The Israeli post-election routine is under way, and tomorrow (Saturday) night, President Shimon Peres will officially ask Benjamin Netanyahu to try and form a new government. Netanyahu will have 28 days for his coalitions talks (which are already underway), and he may ask for an extension of 14 days. While I do not have high hopes from the new government regarding the Palestinian issue, it is enough…

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  • Yair Lapid: The rise of the tofu man

    Despite an astonishing surge to second place in the polls, chances of Yair Lapid making  an actual premiership bid are slim. He is risk-averse, lacks a political program, and his projected coalition is too fanciful to work. Lapid is much more likely to join Netanyahu's next government, and the only question is: Will Lapid be Bibi's pretty face in Washington as Foreign Minister, or will he be the Finance Minister, and therefore fall guy, for Israel's upcoming austerity drive?  LIKUD VICTORY RALLY, TEL AVIV – After months of predictions for a comfortable right-wing win, Israel reeled tonight at a surprising…

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  • Celebrity-cum-politician Yair Lapid poised to prolong Mideast conflict

    Yair Lapid, the celebrity-cum-politician du jour, has generated a sort of nervous excitement within the center-left that Lapid will somehow be the key to returning a center-left coalition to power, as if that coalition is the magical key to conflict transformation. But Lapid doesn’t seem to offer anything by way of a breakthrough. Haaretz reported earlier this week that in a Facebook exchange, Lapid wrote that “Jerusalem belongs to the people of Israel and not to anyone else.” In an interview in the Jewish Chronicle, Lapid expressed attitudes of a grim, Sharon-esque variety, saying: I think both big ideologies ruling…

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