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Bibi’s back

by Kafir ( 9 Comments › )
Filed under Israel at February 20th, 2009 - 10:46 am

NEWSMAKER-Netanyahu handed reins of a jittery Israel


A decade after being ousted by Israelis entranced by his then rival’s pledges of peace accords and modest governance, Benjamin Netanyahu has won a new lease on power over a country now more given to disaffection and fears of war.

President Shimon Peres on Friday handed him a mandate to form Israel’s next government, and the right-wing Likud leader now has 42 days to put together a coalition. He should manage that with like-minded allies, even if his appeal to centrist and left-wing rivals for a unity government falls on deaf ears.

Hamas in Gaza, Hezbollah in Lebanon, Iran’s nuclear designs and Israel’s economic ills provided all the grist Netanyahu needed to end ideological drift in his hawkish Likud party and more than double its seats in an election 10 days ago.

With 27 seats, he was still one short of the centrist Kadima party of Tzipi Livni. But the rightward drift of the electorate gave him a better chance of forming a majority coalition.

The U.S.-educated son of an noted Zionist historian, Netanyahu, 59, cast his comeback as vindication of the Likud’s long view — that ceding occupied Arab land unilaterally had backfired by encouraging Islamist foes of the Jewish state.

These stories always make out like Netanyahu does not want peace at all. What he doesn’t want is peace at the price of submission.



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9 Responses to “Bibi’s back”
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  1. Anastasia
    1 | February 20, 2009 2:21 pm

    Of course he doesn’t want peace! He’s “right-wing” and “hawkish!” On Yahoo yesterday I learned that the “anti-Arab” Avigdor Lieberman is “far-right.” They must be cowboys just itching to blow up children somewhere!!!! :D

  2. BuddyG
    2 | February 20, 2009 2:24 pm

    Hope Netanyahu has the nads to neutralize Iran.

  3. WrathofG-d
    3 | February 20, 2009 2:27 pm

    To call Bibi “hawkish” requires one to ignore the reality of his last Prime Ministership.

    He took all of the then accepted “difficult steps”, and made the usual “peace gestures” that are expected of a defanged Israel. This Media branding of him as a “Hawk” or “hardliner” is simply a LIE.

    Is he more “rightish” than the Leftist Kadima, or Progressive Labor? Yes. But so is Clinton to Carter, or Democrat to Green, or Peace.

    Bibi gave up land, and worked with the PLO when P.M. He is better than Tzipi, or Labor, but he will just continue the morass.

    What Israel needs is Yaacov Katz & the National Union.

  4. Anastasia
    4 | February 20, 2009 3:00 pm

    Wrath— ASSUMING that Bibi will have to build a coalition on the “right,” what do you think that will do? What about this Lieberman guy’s party that came in third? What kind of influence do you expect from him?

    I worry about Israel being too soft (left.)
    Then I worry that it being too “right” will give the media an excuse to accelerate its attacks.

  5. Hagar
    5 | February 20, 2009 6:22 pm

    I know you’re not here to read this, Wrath, but perhaps you’ll see it when you are available. I concede that you may be right and Bibi may echo the tone of his earlier performance as PM. You’re certainly better informed than am I. But I have hope (very fashionable here these days, huh?) that he will have been “once burned twice shy”. Not only does he have to recognize the error of his ways in the past, but he lives now in a time when his principal ally, the US, is under the control of a consummate weakling, or worse -- and he has reason to know that. He’s, by and large, on his own with little to do but give his best shot at keeping his campaign promises to “take care of it.” May God be with him, and may the Israelis show the world the price of pushing a people beyond the limits of their tolerance.

  6. Anastasia
    6 | February 20, 2009 8:49 pm

    Amen, Hagar.

  7. 7 | February 21, 2009 6:59 pm

    I think Bibi has been captured by the parties to the right of Likud and so will have little or no leverage with the current US administration which should give Israel cause for concern. Don’t forget that Bibi was a ‘loser’ last time he was in power and not particularly effective. This time his arms will be securely tied by those to his right so israel will no doubt be tough minded when negotiating with the arabs. Perhaps too tough to the point of being inflexible. Restricting one’s ‘wriggle room’ is never a smart idea especially when dealing with assymetric warfare. Sometimes the enemy of my enemy is my friend … if only temporally … has something to say for itself. The British over the past two centuries were past masters of the silk glove followed by the stiletto between the shoulder blades when it suited them. You need to fight not just tough but smart and ruthless to win these days!

  8. sk
    8 | February 22, 2009 6:57 pm

    Don’t worry, Aussie, Bibi will hardly be “captured” by the Right. The big reason is because there is no organized “Right” in Israel, except, arguably, for National Union, which got, what?, 4 seats in Knesset?

    Notice, too, that Bibi used typical leftist code. This is “reported” in the article, “ceding occupied Arab land unilaterally had backfired.” In other words, the problem was unilateral land giveaways. Hey, Peres now says the same thing. So, Bibi plans to give away much of Judea and Samaria under some kind of peace processing fig leaf (as if THAT worked before either). He’ll probably give some of Golan away as well.

    Lieberman is even more corrupt than the typical Israeli pol (which is saying something). He will be under investigation by the completely politicized “attorney general,” the loathsome Mazuz. The police will also participate in this fraud. Lieberman will quickly kowtow to any land giveaway that Bibi proposes, or Lieberman will find himself in prison. Hey, it worked against Sharon.

    Wrath, what Eretz Israel needs is Medinat Yehudah. There is no question that the Israeli leadership stratum wants to unload everything that is strongly Jewish in significance--certainly Judea & Samaria. So the only question is who will get the land: Jews or Muslims. Israelis (i.e., citizens of Medinat Israel) will not get the land.

  9. Jamuka
    9 | February 22, 2009 9:40 pm

    Israel needs a cowboy, no way around it.

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