Israeli News: A Daily Analysis

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A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman

February 19, 2009--Lieberman Recommends Netanyahu to Form Government

MK Avigodor Lieberman returned to Israel from Minsk last night. This morning he met with President Peres and recommended that MK Netanayahu form the new government. Lieberman said he wanted a unity government, but did not condition his recommendation on a unity government being created. This opens a clear path for Netanyahu to create a new government, based on the religious parties. Peres is going to meet with Netanyahu and Minister of Foreign Relations Livni tomorrow to try to convince them to create a unity government. Livni sent a text message to all the members of Kadima today stating Kadima would be going into the opposition. She stated publicly that she and Kadima would not be window dressing for a right wing government that cannot make any progress on peace.

At the moment, Livni has the support of most of Kadima's leaders to go into the opposition. It is expected that Netanyhu will make a generous offer to Kadima- offering them both the Defense and Foreign Affairs Ministries, with an equal number of ministers as the Likud. While there is no doubt that MK Mofaz may push to enter the government, the election results have however, strengthened Livni inside Kadima and if she decides to stay out of the government it will be hard fight.