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. Joining forces with the centrist Kadima party, Mr. Netanyahu secured a larger majority in the parliament, giving himself more leeway to pursue potentially controversial policies. The following is a roundup of opinions and editorials from Israeli and Arab perspectives. While Israelis focused on the impact of the move on contentious domestic issues, including the end of military exemptions for ultrareligious Jews, Arab media saw one motive: Strengthening Israel's hand toward Iran

Sebastian Scheiner/AP
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (l.) and Kadima party leader Shaul Mofaz shake hands before holding a joint press conference announcing the new coalition government in Jerusalem, May 8.

1. al-Quds al-Arabi (Britain)

Netanyahu is forming a war government (in Arabic)
Opinion: Ra'i Al-Quds

The London-based al-Quds al-Arabi ran an opinion piece on the new Israeli coalition government, which the writer Ra'i Al-Quds called a “war alliance, not an alliance of peace.”

“No one knows what goes on through the mind of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on many regional issues these days. One can predict that this man is scheming and planning wars after murdering the peace process with the settlement policy in the occupied Arab territories,” Mr. Al-Quds says. He points to “ancient objectives” being renewed through the unity government, which increases Mr. Netanyahu’s majority in the Knesset, or House of Representatives, to three-quarters.

Al-Quds says the alliance strengthens Netanyahu’s power, pushing back elections by at least a year. [The unity government was created in the eleventh hour of a May 7 parliamentary session, where the body was working toward legislation that would move elections up to September 2012, in light of an unstable government]. Along with Netanyahu’s fortified prowess will come a greater threat not only for Iran, but the Gaza strip and southern Lebanon, home to Hezbollah, as well, says Al-Quds.  

1 of 4

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.