13 June, 2021

Mixed Signals

Is Benyamin Netanyahu working to destroy his Likud Party?

Mixed Signals

FOR Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu, it's been a case of appointments that never were. And it worked both ways. First, his attempt to appoint Professor Yaacov Frankel, a professional economist, as finance minister was foiled. Then, Netanyahu prevented the appointment of the hardline Likud Knesset member and former defence minister, Ariel Sharon, to any position in the government.

All of which left the Israeli public with one question: is Netanyahu seeking to destroy his own party, the Likud? Frankel's appointment was aimed at ensuring that the policy of the new government would be business-like, and not ideological. And Netanyahu's complicated manoeuvres to keep Sharon out of the government were an effort to strengthen this impression.

However, the official policy guidelines of the new government do not augur well for the West Asia peace process. The guidelines speak about the Israeli settlements in the West Bank and Gaza, emphasise the negation of the establishment of an independent Palestinian state and the vital...

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