It has been widely expected for some time that Israelis would be going to the polls this September. Yesterday morning, Prime Minister Netanyahu put forth a proposal to dissolve the Knesset. But less than 24 hours later, Netanyahu forged an agreement with Shaul Mofaz, the new leader of the official opposition Kadima Party to form a national unity government.
Mofaz unseated Tzipi Livni as Kadima leader in late March and Livni subsequently resigned from the Knesset. I suspect this was Mofaz’s idea. Kadima would have likely lost seats in the fall so they stood everything to gain by this deal. It also strengthens Netanyahu’s hand and makes him less reliant on the smaller, religious parties in the Knesset and gives his policies more legitimacy inside Israel. Although this basically means the election will be in 2013 after all.
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