Israel's coalition government: Israeli and Arab media react

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu surprised Israel (and its Arab neighbors) when he announced the creation of a unity government on May 8: Israeli and Arab media react.

By , Staff writer

2. Haaretz (Israel)

Like Ariel Sharon, Netanyahu has been pushed to the center
Opinion: Ari Shavit

In the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, Ari Shavit writes that this is “the biggest national unity government in Israeli history,” and though he concedes that it was a surprise, even for political analysts like himself, he argues it will reap positive results for Israel.

“To a certain extent, it was a dirty trick. The deal made a mockery of many of the words uttered and promises made in these parts over the past several months.... But this dirty trick is also an encouraging one. It means Israel has a stable government with an enormous nonreligious majority. It means Israel has a government that is explicitly committed to changing the system of government...           

Finally we have a government representing the Israeli majority, a government that no niche party can extort. Finally we have a government with a clear Zionist majority.”

Mr. Shavit notes there are four stated goals behind the formation of a unity government, including changing the governing system, passing new laws on the conscription of ultra-orthodox Israelis into the army, and initiating a responsible peace process.

“But its real goal is Iran.... It creates a firm political foundation on which to conduct the strategic sparring with Ayatollah Ali Khamenei [of Iran].

The national unity government provides domestic and international legitimacy to the anticipated confrontation.... Now the Iran decision will be the joint decision of Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Mofaz and Vice Prime Minister and Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Ya'alon.

The Iranian crisis could erupt any day - or night...”           

Note: Zionism is support for the state of Israel, regardless of whether on is religiously observant or secular. 

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