January 24, 2013 -Lapid Enters Coalition Talks- Final Results of Elections Marc Schulman

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Israel Update
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By Marc Schulman

January 24, 2013 -Lapid Enters Coalition Talks- Final Results of Elections

The soldiers' votes have all been counted. Now Israel's official 2013 election results are conclusive. In the final tally, one of the Arab parties lost a seat and Habayit Hayehudi gained a seat. Thanks to their excellent media campaign, Kadima and Shaul Mofaz succeeded in getting enough pity votes to remain in the Knesset.

You can read my views on the election here: The Israel Has Spoken

At this point, the final revision of the votes has very little relevancy. Yair Lapid, the big winner of the election, stated last night that he was not going to make any attempt to block Netanyahu. Rather, today Lapid had his first meeting with Netanyahu on forming a government. Lapid had always said he was willing to go into a coaltion with Netanyahu - if he was not "the window dressing" for a right-wing, religious government. Now Lapid does not have to make that choice, since he is in the driver''s seat. Netanyahu would prefer a broad coalition with everybody possible in it. However, that’s not the direction Lapid is likely to pick.

It's mostly Lapid's choice to decide what he prefers- a government made up of Yesh Atid, the Haredim and Likud, or Yesh Atid, Likud and HaBayit Hayehudi. Without the Haredim the government will be able to deal with the issues of a draft for the Haredim, and cutting back money they receive. It will not however be able to address the peace process. Alternatively, if the coalition goes with the Haredim, the government can try to move the peace process forward. However, they will be able to do little to change the amount of money going to the Haredi community or deal with the issue of the shared burden that most of Israel is demanding.

My guess is that the first coalition will be selected; including Likud/Beiteinu, Yesh Atid, and Benett's HaBayit Hayehudi. If I was Yair Lapid, my calculation would be simple: Given the situation (as it is in the Middle East at the moment), it is very unlikely that we can make very much progress on the Palestinian front. Therefore, we might as well deal with the issues that we can agree on, and have a government without Shas and that would also mean getting Shas out of the Interior and Housing Ministries. Lapid will make sure his people get the ministerial positions of: Interior, Education and Housing. Lapid himself will likely take the post of Foreign Minister. With Lapid as Foreign Minister of Israel, Israel's face in the world will improve drastically, and if, in the unlikely case that a real breakthrough with the Palestinians is possible, he can always count on support of the labor party and others who do not join the government. That will also give him the experience on the international front to make him a viable candidate for Prime Minister next time around.

That is my prediction. Below is the final election results as well as a letter that Lapid sent out to his supporters an hour ago. The letter was in Hebrew. The translation was done by Google Translate which is getting much better. I made a few corrections.

2013 Israel Election Results

After the election What we chose?


Maybe it is too early to analyze the election, but I believe that it the results are determined. We did not choose right or left, we chose to be sane, simple, clean.

That's what we are, and we'll have to keep. "There is a future"-Yesh Atid is a gathering of normal people, who want to live in a normal country, who understand extremism - all extreme - threatening us remember that Israel is above all a decision to live together - and normal -people are different.

I am now at the beginning of negotiations it's not going to be simple, but I can already tell you that it consists mainly of rumors and speculations, and endless amounts of text.

On Wednesday it was the most prominent. I slept late (hey, after a year I can campaign one day to crash), and when I got up turned me two things:

While I was sleeping I had a very intensivecontacts coalition negotiations. I can not go outside because there are two photographers. Precisely these conditions, my first task is clear: to stay focused and remember that whoever sent me the Knesset and perhaps this government is not the media, but you are. People come to work when they are innocent of cynicism, expect me to stay focused on what matters, Shivyion Benetal(equal burden) "or" middle class "are campaign slogans, but real issues affecting the lives of real people.

And we should remember another thing, it is the most important: we did not finish the job last Tuesday, but just started. We enter a long journey.WE need to go from the second largest party in Israel, to become the largest.

To do this we have to stay focused, especially together. From the first day "Yesh Atid" was not just a party. We are also an idea, and guys, and a group of people who care for each other, and the state.

I searched during the whole the campaign to find out who said the statement, " Never can the world stand in the way of a group of people who have the right idea." Two days before the end, someone wrote me this quote (not entirely accurate) of Victor Hugo. I do not know if Mr. Hugo is from the headquarters Beer Sheva or from the Sharon, but he was absolutely right.

In the coming weeks and months we'll find our way to stay together. We have quite a few tools - Facebook groups, newsletters, emails, and our web site - but it's not enough. You should just work on it with me together all the time, and continue to be in touch. "Yesh Atid(There is a Future" is too wonderful association of people, and how we're more together, more good things happen.

And if you do not understand it on your own I'll tell you one thing:

I love you.

And thanks.

Yair Lapid

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