Israel reaches a decision on coalition
A coalition government between Likud-Yisrael, Yesh Atid, Hatnua and Jewish Home has been agreed, the Israeli the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, leader of the Likud-Yisrael party announced on Thursday 14th March.
The decision comes just before US President Barack Obama is to visit Israel for the first time on 20th March.
“There is a government,” said Noga Katz, a spokeswoman for Netanyahu’s party.
The coalition was decided after weeks of talks since the general election on 22nd January, and does not include ultra-Orthodox parties Shas and United Torah Judaism.
The purpose of rejected party, Shas, according to the Knesset (Israeli parliament) website is to: “return the crown to the former glory”. United Torah Judaism has fronted academic funding and military exemptions for religious studies, causing public dispute.
The new coalition party, Yesh Atid, is led by Yair Lapid, a former TV personality. Yesh Atid cites its main goals as “reforming the increasingly ineffective system” and “overhauling the educational system”.
Lapid said on his Facebook page on Thursday (translation): “I’m still here and will be here for new politics is part of our dialogue, in which elected officials did not close the door and disappear the day after that. Thanks for all the support, and thanks for all your care.”
Jewish Home is a far-right Zionist party led by Naftali Bennett former software entrepreneur.
Tzipi Livni is a well-known diplomat and leader of Hatnua, or “the movement”, which promises to “make Israel a country that embraces liberal and Zionist values”.
The alliance of Yesh Atid, Jewish Home, Hatnua and the Prime Minister’s party Likud Yisrael have 68 out of 120 Knesset seats.
Reuters reported the new coalition is “a shift to the center in Israel and a domestic agenda that has shunted peacemaking with Palestinians to the sidelines.”
The coalition will be the 19th Knesset. The Knesset website states: “The current electoral system in Israel, and the ability of Knesset members to split or break away from their Group in the course of the Knesset’s term, has resulted in a multiplicity of Groups in the Knesset… there was never a single Group that had a majority in the Knesset (except for a short period in the 7th Knesset)”.