Rassegna Stampa Elezioni Israeliane 2009

Monitoraggio attraverso i media internazionali delle elezioni in Israele del Febbraio 2009

Tough dealing ahead for Netanyahu

Posted by gaetanoditommaso su 20 febbraio, 2009

By Jonathan Marcus
BBC Diplomatic Correspondent

Benjamin Netanyahu was always the more likely to be given first chance at forming a new government.

While the Kadima leader and foreign minister Tzipi Livni won most seats in the general election, the political right as a bloc emerged much stronger than the left.

It is a decision that has huge implications for the region as a whole. But this is not by any means the end of the coalition-building process.

Likud leader Mr Netanyahu, who was prime minister during the 1990s, has the chance of a significant political comeback.

But the question now is not so much can he form a coalition government, but rather what sort of government will it be?

Mr Netanyahu likes to see himself as a man of destiny.

He is an admirer of the great British war-time leader Winston Churchill.

And to paraphrase Churchill, this is not the end of the coalition-building process in Israel but rather the end of the beginning.

Stage one is over. Mr Netanyahu has first call to try to build a government.

Ranged to the right of his own Likud formation he has a variety of parties including the Russian immigrant-backed Yisrael Beitenu; the orthodox Jewish religious parties like Shas; and the ultra-nationalist splinter formations from the break-up of the National Religious Party.

These together could give him a majority in the 120-seat Knesset, or parliament.

Anti-secular group

He would first have to reconcile Shas with the stridently anti-secular Yisrael Beitenu.

But this government of the right and ultra-right would be formed to do what?

It could easily find itself on a collision course with the Obama administration in Washington.

Most Israeli commentators believe that Mr Netanyahu’s goal is still as broadly based a coalition as possible.

This is clearly what Israeli President Shimon Peres would prefer.

This analysis discounts claims from Kadima or the Labour Party that they are heading into opposition as so much rhetoric.

Mr Netanyahu now has a job on his hands. But the real horse-trading is only just beginning.




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