Israeli News: A Daily Analysis

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A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman

March 31, 2009--New Government Sworn In

A new government, led by Benjamin Netanyahu has been sworn in. Four things stand out from today’s events. First and foremost is of course the size of the government, which is the largest in Israel’s history. A special table had to be added to the Knesset plenum in order to accommodate all of the members of government.

The second item that stands out is the placement of Dan Meridor, Benny Begin, and Bogi Yaalon. They joined the Likud and were put forward in the campaign due to their honesty and experience. Unfortunately it does not come as a surprise that none of them have been given any ministerial position other than make-believe portfolios, without any power or responsibility.

The third image that is hard to get away from is the appointment of Yuval Steinetz to be the Minister of Finance. Steinmetz has no knowledge or experience in economics or finance, nor has he had any administrative experience. He has two qualifications, his closeness and loyalty to Netanyahu and his closeness to Sarah Netanyahu.

The final point of the day was the speech by new head of the opposition, Tzipi Livni. Observers say it was one of the most direct and cutting attacks on a government heard in a long time. She went through each of the new government ministers and explained why he or she was not qualified to serve, or was corrupt. Observers expect a much more vigorous opposition from L ivni than what Israel has experienced lately.