Friday, March 1, 2013

Twists And Turns In Israeli Politics: Prophetic Significance? Netanyahu Struggling To Form Coalition

This emerging development could have enormous significance for Israel government and in turn, the entire Middle East. The articles below describe the most recent scenario:

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will meet President Shimon Peres Saturday evening and ask him for a two-week extension in which to put together a coalition of parties and form a new government.
Peres will grant Netanyahu the two-week extension.
If Netanyahu fails to cobble together a coalition within a fortnight, however, he will be in serious trouble. Peres could decide to task someone else with creating a coalition, or new elections could be called.
We are, therefore, entering the "money time" of coalition crafting.

Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett wrote on his Facebook page Friday: "While the Likud was explaining to us how important it is to abandon the connection with Lapid in order to strengthen the settlement enterprise, it was explaining to Lapid how important it is to abandon Bayit Yehudi in order to tear down the settlement enterprise."
If readers sense some bitterness and disappointment between the lines, their senses are probably not misleading them.
Likud's offers to Yesh Atid, if they indeed were made, vindicate Bennett's tactical move, to enter into a gentlemen's agreement with Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid. The two promised each other not to enter the coalition without each other.

In return, what Bennett has apparently received is a guarantee that the next coalition will not only include Bayit Yehudi but will also have to respect Bayit Yehudi's core principles, especially regarding the political and strategic issues that surround the settlement enterprise in Judea and Samaria.

Bennett has been warning for months that Netanyahu is planning a leftist, defeatist government, based upon a coalition with hareidim and leftist parties, including Yesh Atid. Likud's reported overtures to Yesh Atid confirm that he was right. What Bennett appears to have achieved through his pact with Lapid is a realignment of Israeli politics: essentially, the center will stop leaning to the left on Judea and Samaria, while the religious Zionists side with the secular Zionists on key issues regarding the power and privileges of the non-Zionist hareidi stream.

If the Bennett-Lapid pact holds up, this revolution will come close to turning into reality in a fortnight's time.
There is much gnashing of teeth on both sides of the political spectrum, meanwhile. Many in hareidi circles are understandably aghast at the developments. Some nationalists see Lapid as a sell-out just by virtue of the fact that he is letting Yesh Atid into the coalition. They do not trust Lapid and think he will bolt the coalition at the first opportunity, leaving the nationalist bloc splintered, perhaps permanently.

On the left-wing, too, there is much apprehension. Channel 2's Rina Matzliach, whose leftist views are no secret, has incongruously become a great fan of the hareidi-Zionist Tekuma stream within Bayit Yehudi in the last week. She apparently hopes that MK Uri Ariel and other Tekuma MKs will split off from Bennett and prevent the Yesh Atid – Bayit Yehudi plan from being implemented. At this point, however, the pact between Bennett and Lapid appears strong.

Also see:

As sequestration goes into effect Friday, Israeli defense planners are bracing for a potentially dramatic cut in US assistance that may slash as much as $300 million in aid over the next seven months.
The term “sequestration” refers to painful across-the-board cuts in federal spending that were passed into law in 2011 as a way to force Democrats and Republicans to compromise on a plan to reduce the estimated $900-billion annual federal deficit. The parties have been unable to reach a compromise, and the sequestration will go into effect Friday, slashing government spending deeply, though not immediately.
While exact figures pertaining to any sequestration-related cuts remain shrouded in the fog of behind-the-scenes negotiations and much political grandstanding, a full implementation of sequestration would mean significant reductions in US military assistance to Israel, including funding for joint missile defense programs and the Iron Dome short-range, anti-rocket system.

The cuts could have a dramatic impact on the IDF’s ability to meet its acquisitions plans for several military systems, including the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, new C-130 Hercules transport planes, and Namer armored personnel carriers currently under construction in the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center in Lima, Ohio.
Since the American assistance funds are used to pay for these multi-year acquisition contracts, the disruption caused by the disappearance of such aid this year could disrupt the production line and result in increased cost per unit.
The reduction in US aid, combined with the expected cost increase, will amount to a painful squeeze on Israel’s defense budget, exacerbating an expected budget crunch for the IDF caused by government plans to cut Israel’s own defense-driven budget deficit of recent years.
The silver lining for Israeli planners: If the military assistance cuts are implemented, Israel will have leeway in deciding what to cut.

Is it possible Iran has paid for and outsourced their nuclear program to North Korea?  
One leading expert say yes. And Iran might be providing their best nuclear scientist as well.
Reports that Iran’s leading nuclear scientist, Dr. Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, was present for North Korea’s third nuclear test on Feb. 11 are raising further concerns. Particularly since the latest international negotiations over Iran’s nuclear ambitions concluded this week in Almaty, Kazakhstan, with little more than an agreement to meet again.

 “If the assessments are correct as to his (Fakhrizadeh’s) role in the Iranian nuclear program, if China knowingly permitted him transfer from Iran across China to witness the North Korea test … then it would appear that China or at least some element in China are cooperating with nuclear programs in North Korea and Iran.”
North Korea has been working on warhead designs in its highly secretive program for approximately 25 years.
Ambassador Graham added: “The objective of this test has said to be the development of a compact highly explosive nuclear warhead mated with a North Korean missile. Iranian missiles were developed from North Korean prototypes. It could appear that North Korea is building nuclear weapons for transfer to Iran.”

The Obama Administration keeps insisting that it will never allow Iran to attain nuclear weapons, but Israel is growing increasingly concerned that the Washington has in fact resigned itself to the idea of a nuclear-armed Iran.
Recently, an Obama-linked think tank issued a report suggesting that there was little to fear from a nuclear Iran. One of the concerns should Iran successfully build a nuclear weapon is that ever major Middle East nation will then rush to field its own atomic bombs, turning the region into even more of a powder keg than it already is.

Adding to local consternation was the fact that the recent break down of talks between Iran and international nuclear inspectors resulted in the US and fellow world powers lessening their demands on the Islamic Republic.
A new proposal asks only that Iran promise to stop enriching uranium in return for a significant reduction in sanctions. Gone is the demand that Iran actually dismantle its main uranium-enrichment facility.
At the same time, London's Daily Telegraph reports that Iran is prepping a second path to attaining nuclear weapons with the activation of a heavy water plant at Arak. The plant could potentially produce enough plutonium to build nuclear bombs.
Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said it was high time the international community take off its kid gloves in dealing with Iran.
"Like North Korea, [Iran] continues to defy all the international standards and I believe that this requires the international community to ratchet up its sanctions and make clear that if this continues there will be also a credible military sanction," said the Israeli leader.

Grave concern was voiced in Jerusalem over the upbeat accounts appearing Thursday, Feb. 28 of the six-power talks with Iran  which ended Wednesday in Almati, Kazakhstan. A Western diplomat described the nuclear talks as “more constructive and positive than in the past.” For the first time, said the diplomat, “they were really focusing on the proposal on the table” although he admitted that Iran’s willingness to negotiate seriously will not become clear until an April meeting.
Iran’s Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi chimed in buoyantly that the talks had reached “a turning point” this week and “a breakthrough was within reach.”

The sudden outburst of Western-Iranian optimism is seen in Jerusalem as part of a US administration effort to soften Israel’s resistance to the continued operation of the underground plant at Fordo which is turning out 20-percent enriched uranium that is easily converted to weapons grade material.
A softer Israeli approach would lighten the nuclear cloud hanging over the meetings Barack Obama is scheduled to hold with Israeli leaders during his visit to Jerusalem on March 20.
Israel’s categorical demand is for the immediate closure of the Fordo plant.
But this is not what the US delegation put before the Iranian negotiators in Kazakhstan. Instead of demanding the plant’s shutdown, the American proposal was for Iran to suspend 20 percent uranium enrichment in a way that “constrains the ability to quickly resume operations” there.
This is a major letdown for Israel’s expectations and for Binyamin Netanyahu. No wonder the Iranian foreign minister was upbeat.

A senior Iranian Revolutionary Guard commander has warned America and Europe that al-Qaida operatives will soon attack them.
And a source in the Islamic regime’s Intelligence Ministry told WND that another terror team is about to enter the United States. Should the West not accept Iran’s rights to its nuclear program within six months, the terrorists will attack, he said.

The potential targets in the U.S. include high-voltage towers to create blackouts, cell towers, water supplies, public transportation and various buildings belonging to the Defense Department and military.
The source said six U.S. politicians who have promoted tougher measures against the regime are on the hit list, along with such targets as the Washington National Cathedral and Lincoln Memorial in D.C. and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.


Seek But Don't Hide said...

Hi Scott and others. Haven't been following the blog as regularly lately as I've been hospitalized. Netanyahu struggling to form any kind of coalition does not surprise me. People are turning more and more against Israel now so it makes since. It is sad though.

Anonymous said...

Jh,so sorry you have been in the hospital. Are you healing now?
Have missed you all in recent days..

Seek But Don't Hide said...

Thank you anon. The bowel perferation/obstruction (spelling?) was pretty bad but I'm on antibiotics so hopefully the infection will be gone soon.

Scott said...

JH I just came back to this thread - I hope the antibiotics take control of this soon; keep us updated - praying for your recovery

Seek But Don't Hide said...

Thank you Scott. I took a nasty fall as I arrived home today which I hope doesn't happen again. Thank you for the prayers.