Israeli News: A Daily Analysis

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A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman

March 30, 2009--Netanyhu Government to Have 30 Cabinet Minister

Netanyahu has completed forming his government. He solved the problem of not having enough cabinet positions for Likud members available by creating additional positions. He divided his ministries so he can have more positions to hand out. In total his government will have 30 (based on late news from Israel maybe 31) cabinet members, the largest in Israel’s history. This also ensures that Netanyahu will have close to a majority within the cabinet of Likud members. Of course that leaves almost no Likud members to be regular Knesset members. It will also cost a small fortune and goes against Netanyahu's entire public pronouncement of how large a government should be.

I must say I was almost sick looking at the picture of the Likud members waiting around outside Netanyahu's office to meet with him as he was to announce which ministry they were going to get. None of them have the qualifications to run any of the ministries they were about to be assigned, none would be appointed the CEO of a medium size corporations and yet all were about to become ministers in charge of crucial elements of Israel’s government. There is not anything new about that, but every time you see it you have to wince.

The Arab world held a summit today, whose goal was reconciliation between all of the Sunni Arabs. Neither Iran nor Hezbollah were invited. Syrian President Assad stated that Israel was not interested in reaching a peace agreement wit h the Arabs. I suggest you read my review tomorrow of Martin Indyk's Innocent Abroad, where he gives an excellent account of Israel’s peace talks with Syria, none of which indicate an unwillingness to reach peace.

The Israeli Military Police closed its investigation of reports of negligent killings of civilians in the Gaza War. The investigations took all of a week, and were closed due to a lack of evidence. The head of the Military police stated that all the reports of civilian killings were second hand accounts; no one actually witnessed the events. --