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February 18, 2013

Likud Warns: New Elections are Possible

Likud is feeling the pressure of Bayit Yehudi and Yesh Atid’s united negotiating posture. Analysis.

By Gil Ronen, INN

A pact between Bayit Yehudi and Yesh Atid is causing serious consternation in Likud, and a senior source in the ruling party warns that new elections are a possibility. The improbable warning is a sign that Likud is feeling the pressure of the united front presented by Bayit Yehudi head Naftali Bennett and Yesh Atid’s Yair Lapid, each of whom is saying he will not enter the coalition without the other.

“Bennett should not pull the rope too much,” the senior source told Maariv. “In the end it will snap.”

“Netanyahu is ready to head for elections,” the source said. “The main thing is not to surrender to the pact between Bennett and Lapid. Netanyahu is unwilling to consider the possibility of leaving the hareidi parties out of the coalition.”


“Bennett and Lapid should internalize this. Netanyahu will not bring Lapid into the coalition before he closes deals with all of his natural allies,” he added.

Unnamed sources in Bayit Yehudi told the newspaper that they are unfazed by the warning. “Netanyahu is threatening us with an empty pistol. If elections are held today Likud will get 12 seats, because the public will punish him for failing to establish the most natural government – with us – which is what he should have done from the outset.”

Likud’s warning and Bayit Yehudi’s response appear to show that Bennett is successfully outmaneuvering Netanyahu in the coalition negotiations. Netanyahu was pointedly slow in inviting Bennett for coalition talks, even meeting the head of ultra-leftist opposition party Meretz before he deigned to meet the head of the religious Zionist party. Bennett has responded by applying the political equivalent of a wrestling headlock. The pact with Yesh Atid means that Netanyahu cannot bring hareidi parties into the coalition, because Yesh Atid’s secularist demands concerning hareidi enlistment are unbearable to the hareidim.

Bennett has also expressed strong support for a reform in hareidi enlistment, but unlike Lapid, he is willing to negotiate the matter with the hareidi leadership.

If there is truth in the persistent reports about the bad blood between Bennett and Netanyahu – and Netanyahu’s wife, Sarah – the prime minister will have to find a way of overcoming those emotions, if he is to forge the government of his liking.

Yesh Atid’s views on security and diplomacy are unclear. While Lapid has voiced centrist views, leading members of his list, like MKs Ofer Shelach and Yael German, are considered ultra-leftist. In addition, Lapid said after the election that he may try to oust Netanyahu from his position of leadership in 18 months’ time. These factors make him an unnatural, unstable and politically dangerous ally for Netanyahu – much more so than Bennett, who has always voiced support for Netanyahu as prime minister.

Posted by Ted Belman @ 12:35 pm | 15 Comments »



15 Responses to Likud Warns: New Elections are Possible

  1. yamit82 says:

    Cut to the Chase:

    The agreement between Bennett and Lapid exists because nobody believes or trusts BB. If they continue to hang tough together BB will cave, if not Bennett will probably be left out just as BB pulled on Ichud Leumi in the last elections. BB needs to Haredim to protect his flank and as long as he pays them they will support the Coalition. They are also cheap in terms of ministerial appointments Yahadut Torah never demands ministerial appointments freeing some up for the Likud and or other coalition partners. Bennett and Lapid together equal the likud-Betanu numerical strength and either one can bring down the government, which is BB’s worst nightmare. He was ousted by the then NRP and some others in 1999 where he lost to Barak. He hasn’t forgotten or forgiven.

    Don’t anyone say it’s not personal with BB and Barak, it’s mostly personal.

  2. yamit82 says:

    Comment in moderation

  3. yamit82 says:


    Israel supplying advanced weaponry to Turkey

    Military deal, the fulfillment of an order that was halted after the Mavi Marmara incident, is first of its kind since 2010

    Turkey’s Today’s Zaman reported the sale, which will significantly beef up Anakara’s intelligence capabilities, on Sunday, and the aircraft upgrade was confirmed by senior Israeli sources Monday. A source said the deal was approved due to US pressure and Israel’s desire to restore its damaged relationship with Turkey, amid escalating tension between Ankara and Tehran Iran over the Syrian conflict, according to the Hebrew daily Haaretz.

  4. Shy Guy says:

    We are Chock Full of Nuts!

  5. yamit82 says:

    Next Chock Full of Nuts:

    Peres to give Obama Medal of Distinction
    President will honor his American counterpart for standing with Israel ‘in times of crisis’

    Where are those voices demanding Improved Israeli PR? Top the Above, who needs PR?

  6. NormanF says:

    @ Shy Guy:

    Stupid Jews!TM This sale also reveals the Turkish Islamists to be hypocrites. They hate the Jews and Israel but are willing to trade with Israel when it serves their interests.

  7. NormanF says:

    yamit82 Said:

    Israel supplying advanced weaponry to Turkey
    Military deal, the fulfillment of an order that was halted after the Mavi Marmara incident, is first of its kind since 2010
    Turkey’s Today’s Zaman reported the sale, which will significantly beef up Anakara’s intelligence capabilities, on Sunday, and the aircraft upgrade was confirmed by senior Israeli sources Monday. A source said the deal was approved due to US pressure and Israel’s desire to restore its damaged relationship with Turkey, amid escalating tension between Ankara and Tehran Iran over the Syrian conflict, according to the Hebrew daily Haaretz.

    Nothing new in this. The most Christian Kings of France for centuries pursued a cordiale entente with the Muslim Ottomans even as the latter laid Christian Europe to waste. National self interest can be more powerful than religion or ideology. “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.”

  8. NormanF says:

    yamit82 Said:

    Cut to the Chase:
    The agreement between Bennett and Lapid exists because nobody believes or trusts BB. If they continue to hang tough together BB will cave, if not Bennett will probably be left out just as BB pulled on Ichud Leumi in the last elections. BB needs to Haredim to protect his flank and as long as he pays them they will support the Coalition. They are also cheap in terms of ministerial appointments Yahadut Torah never demands ministerial appointments freeing some up for the Likud and or other coalition partners. Bennett and Lapid together equal the likud-Betanu numerical strength and either one can bring down the government, which is BB’s worst nightmare. He was ousted by the then NRP and some others in 1999 where he lost to Barak. He hasn’t forgotten or forgiven.
    Don’t anyone say it’s not personal with BB and Barak, it’s mostly personal.

    Its more personal than political. Of course the haredim are mainly interested in their yeshivas and in keeping the Chief Rabbinate in their hands. Netanyahu would be better off with a minority governnent (allied with Shas and the religious parties) that can’t bring him down. For their own reasons, Labor and Tzipi Livni will support him from outside the government. Lapid and Bennett can be brought on board when they decide they’re tired of sitting in the opposition.

  9. Shy Guy says:

    NormanF Said:

    This sale also reveals the Turkish Islamists to be hypocrites.

    No, they get a front row view of our technology.

    Clever Turks!™

  10. NormanF says:

    Shy Guy Said:

    NormanF Said:
    This sale also reveals the Turkish Islamists to be hypocrites.
    No, they get a front row view of our technology.
    Clever Turks!™

    I’m not wrong. The Turks turned down an Israeli offer to pipe gas through Turkish territory. Their engagement with Israel is selective and not on the basis of a mutual alliance.

  11. Shy Guy says:

    NormanF Said:

    I’m not wrong. The Turks turned down an Israeli offer to pipe gas through Turkish territory.

    My point was that they are not hypocrites. Being on top of Israeli military technology is to their advantage. Assisting Israel in achieving energy independence is not. The Turks are consistently self-centered.

  12. yamit82 says:

    Shy Guy Said:

    My point was that they are not hypocrites. Being on top of Israeli military technology is to their advantage. Assisting Israel in achieving energy independence is not. The Turks are consistently self-centered.

    In truth they already have the technology because part of the order was already supplied before Israel halted supplying the bal of the order.

    It just helps their operational capabilities not their access to our technology which they already have. Elta didn’t want to return the money already paid and were demanding compensation from the government for the Loss of revenue and penalty for non compliance.

    Don’t know if the Obama report is true, Israel wanted to complete the orders just like we did with the drones we shipped them after the Turks downgraded relations with Israel.

  13. NormanF says:

    yamit82 Said:

    Next Chock Full of Nuts:
    Peres to give Obama Medal of Distinction
    President will honor his American counterpart for standing with Israel ‘in times of crisis’
    Where are those voices demanding Improved Israeli PR? Top the Above, who needs PR?

    Yeah Peres knows a good deal about honor. He and Obama deserve each other to say the least.

  14. steven l says:

    Medal is a preemptive move from Peres and cost nothing.
    AWACS delivery due to Erdogan godfather arm twisting.
    Morsi arm must hurt too otherwise he would not send anyone to Jerusalem!
    Looks like the US acting behind the scene.

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