December 24, 2012 -Fighting Between the Likud, Habayit Hayisraeli, and Shas, Charges Against Lieberman Becoming More Serious Syria and Egypt Marc Schulman

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Israel Update
A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman

December 24, 2012 -Fighting Between the Likud, Habayit Hayisraeli, and Shas, Charges Against Lieberman Becoming More Serious, Syria and Egypt

Part of me says I should not bother writing about the Israeli elections at all. It's uninteresting and the conclusion seems foregone. The only real question is who will be in the next Netanyahu government. Netanyahu's natural allies, Shas and HaBayit Hayehudi seem to be the only ones really fighting with Netanyahu. The latest issues developed over the weekend. First Naftali Bennett, head of the far-right Habayit Hayehudi party stated he would not follow any order to remove settlers. Netanyahu immediately used that proclamation as an excuse to state that no one who would refuse a military order will sit in one of his coalitions. Then, during a weekend interview Netanyahu defended his overall record of accomplishments, claiming that the only reason Israel's housing market was not reformed and housing prices continue to rise is because he and the Likud were not in charge of the Housing Ministry. He claimed that in the next government he would keep the Housing Ministry in the hands of the Likud- and thus, changes would be made. The Shas party, in response, is going around warning its supporters that Netanyahu wants to dump them and if they did not get out the vote they would find themselves out of the government- and -even worse, their children would be drafted. One can only hope.

Meanwhile, it really looks like Lieberman's legal situation may be getting worse. The appointment of Israel's Ambassador to Belaraus (after he helped Lieberman), now seems to have been totally uncalled for from a professional standpoint, and violated the rules of the Foreign Ministry. It is being alleged that the this Ambassador's posting only took place at the insistence of Lieberman. If all this ends up being true, then Lieberman will be in very serious legal trouble- once again proving the adage learned by American politicians- the coverup is often considerably more damaging than the crime.

Egyptians went to the polls and seemingly approved the Muslim Brotherhood sponsored Constitution. The Liberals and other opponents of the new regime are claiming fraud. In any case, this document will not bring peace and stability to Egypt.

In Syria, Israeli observors believe we are really at the end game. Either Assad will give up the Presidency voluntarily- agreeing to some sort of American/Soviet plan, or the rebels will conquer the remaining parts of the country.

I wonder why this story did not get any coverage in the US press on Saudi Arabia

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