Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Labor To Be Included In Netanyahu Coalition

The Muskogee Politico's Israel Update

Barring any unforeseen circumstances, Israeli Prime Minister designate Binyamin Netanyahu will have at least a 66-seat majority coalition in the Knesset. Today, the Labor Party's Central Committee voted 680 to 507, giving Labor the green light to join Netayahu's coalition.

With Labor's 13 seats, along with the ultra-religious Shas Party's 11 seats, the 15 seats of ultra-nationalistic (and predominately Russian immigrant) Yisrael Beitenu, and Likud's 27 MKs, Netanyahu guaranteed 66 seats. With the addition of Labor, Netanyahu's government will be decidedly more centrist, as the other potential coalition partners (Jewish Home, United Torah Judaism, and Nation Union) were much more nationalistic, and on the right wing of Israeli politics.

In the agreement, Ehud Barak (Labor chairman) will retain his Defense Ministry post.

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