News / Middle East

New Israeli Coalition Government Formed

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends a Likud-Beitenu party meeting, at the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, in Jerusalem, Mar. 14, 2013.
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends a Likud-Beitenu party meeting, at the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, in Jerusalem, Mar. 14, 2013.
VOA News
Key parties in Israel have reached an agreement with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on forming a governing coalition.

The deal signed on Friday has Netanyahu's Likud party alliance partnering with the secular Yesh Atid party, the far-right Jewish Home Party and a small, centrist party headed by former Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni.

Disagreements over the political blocs' division of Cabinet posts had delayed an agreement for weeks.

The new government will face a range of international issues, including the ongoing feud over Iran's nuclear program, less than a week before President Barack Obama is due to arrive in Israel  Wednesday March 20.

Philip Wilcox, a former U.S. diplomat in Israel and current president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace in Washington, says the new coalition is likely to pursue the previous government's aggressive stance on the nuclear issue.

"I think it will continue to argue that the possible advent of an Iranian nuclear bomb will create a grave danger to the state of Israel, and therefore if it is clear that Iran has a nuclear capability it should be pre-empted militarily," said Wilcox.

Jonathan Schanzer, vice president of research for the Foundation for Defense of Democracies in Washington, says the new coalition government is not likely to take an active approach in reviving the stalled Palestinian peace process.

"One of the minor players in the coalition, Tzipi Livni, is committed to the peace process, and I think it’s her intention to hold [Prime Minister Netanyahu's] feet to the fire, but she has a very small perch here in this new government," said Schanzer. "The other two real big players here are the Yesh Atid and HaBayit HaYehudi, the Jewish Home Party, and neither one of those parties are particularly fired up about re-igniting the peace process."

Yesh Atid was a surprise performer in Israel's January election, capturing the second-largest number of seats, while support for Netanyahu's party dropped.

The prime minister's bloc, which includes the Yisrael Beitenu party, won the most seats, but not enough to rule on its own.

The new coalition would leave the Labor Party as the largest outside the government, with 15 of the Knesset's 120 seats.

You May Like

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: PermReader
March 16, 2013 2:57 PM
"far- right Jewish home party"- this" extremist" party is the party of the immigrants from Russia.These people are the refugees from the socialism.They know the price of liberals` promises,they want just freedom.The VOA leftist journalists shamefully call them "far-right!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid