As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Monday, March 16, 2009

Worst. Foreign Minister. Ever.

Bibi Netanyahu was forced by the other mainstream parties in Israel to build a political coalition in line with his ideological soulmates on the far right, and seeing no other recourse he went ahead and made racist ultra-nationalist Avigdor Lieberman the Foreign Minister, while still holding out hope that he can nullify that.

Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud Party has initialed a coalition agreement with an ultra-nationalist faction that brings its leader significantly closer to becoming foreign minister, a Likud party spokeswoman said Monday.

Avigdor Lieberman, who heads the right-wing Yisrael Beitenu party, has drawn accusations of racism for a plan that would require Arab citizens to sign loyalty oaths or lose their citizenship.

Although that plan is not likely to be implemented, his designation as foreign minister could harm Israel's international ties.

I would change "could" to "will." Europe will not be a partner with Lieberman, especially if the two-state solution is withdrawn (and I don't see how it could be furthered under that governing coalition). The result would be very painful for the people of Israel. Netanyahu knows this, and so he's desperately trying to leave the door open for a return by Tzipi Livni:

Lieberman's appointment to the post is not yet finalized, however. Likud spokeswoman Dina Libster said the coalition agreement included a provision that both sides were prepared to accept more centrist partners, such as the Kadima Party of the current foreign minister, Tzipi Livni.

That wording left a door open for Livni to retain her current job if she were to join such an alliance.

Which she won't, because she has calculated that her path to power runs right through a Netanyahu failure with a far-right coalition, where she can be the sensible alternative. Of course, there will be two or three years lost in the process, which nobody in Israel or Palestine can afford.

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