Israeli News: A Daily Analysis

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A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman

March 18, 2009--Barak Wants To Join Government

Minister of Defense Ehud Barak is asking the Labor Central Committee to be called into session in order to approve a coalition agreement that he has negotiated with Prime Minister hopeful Netanyahu. Netanyahu has offered Labor five ministers and two deputy minister positions. Of course Barak would remain Minister of Defense. Barak is going to explain all his public comments, including the claim that he would never join a right wing government with Netanyahu and Lieberman, or that the voters have decided that Labor would go into the opposition. More importantly for Barak, he will have to fight all of the other major leaders of Labor with the exception of his closest confidantes, such as MK Binyamin Ben Eliezer. They have all stated their absolute opposition to joining the coalition. Barak is hoping that his prestige and the chances of getting five ministries will be enough to convince his fellow members of Labor. It is more likely, however, to tear the party apart and possibly destroy it.

Today Hamas tried to explain to its own public why the Shalit deal fell apart. It claimed Israel would not agree to its demands. Hamas claims that the organization never changed its demands. It also made it clear that there will be no deal without the 10 prisoners that Israel said it would never release. In addition, Hamas also said it was now going to demand more than the number of prisoners that Israel has agreed to. In short, it does not look like Shalit will be coming home anytime soon.