Marc Schulman


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March 4th -Coaltion Willl Not Include Haredim

Prime Minister Netanyahu has finally been forced to face reality. If he wants to remain in office as Prime Minister he must accept the coalition terms of Yair Lapid. That means Netanyahu has to build a coalition with Lapid and Naftali Bennet– without the Haredi parties. For the last few days there has been a collective outcry by both the Haredim– and more so by the Likud and some commentators– stating what a terrible thing it is that the Haredim are being boycotted merely because they are Haredim. This claim is simply false and ridiculous. The Haredim will not be in the coalition because they will not agree to Lapid's core positions. To a smaller extent, the Haredim are also unable to abide by some of Bennet's core positions. Lastly, though unstated, the Haredim are equally unable to endorse the stated positions of what is left of Lieberman’s party. Lapid means what he says in terms of the necessity for change in politics. While I agree we cannot ignore our ongoing conflict, we also cannot continue to put off dealing with our domestic issues forever, while we deal with our nearly unsolvable international challenges.

Meanwhile, Egypt seems to be spinning slowly out of control. There is a growing sense that the government of the Muslim Brotherhood is unable to rule the country. The opposition seems to be growing steadily. The U. S. remains in a difficult position– trying to balance the need not to support the government of Morsi too much, while not cutting off all support to Egypt and, as a result, losing all leverage.

There was an interesting segment on the news today reported by Israel's Channel 1. Emanuel Rosen, the Chief Diplomatic Correspondent, stated that the U. S. government is upping the pressure on Iran. As the meeting last week failed, they have now made it clear that if they cannot reach an agreement with Iran on stopping its nuclear program by July, the US will attack Iran. His report went on to say that Obama is planning to tell Netanyahu during the visit– "We will take care of Iran, but you better start negotiating seriously with the Palestinians."


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