Analysis: Benefits bequeathed to Bibi

Netanyahu should have sent flowers over the weekend to former foreign minister Tzipi Livni - for the second time.

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
January 6, 2013 22:42
2 minute read.
Livni speaks in Jerusalem

Livni with pink background 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Baz Ratner)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

For the second time, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu should have sent flowers over the weekend to former foreign minister Tzipi Livni.

The first time Netanyahu should have given Livni roses was when she formed a new party rather than accept an offer to run in second place on the Labor list. Had she joined the largest party on the Center-Left when the Likud went down in the polls, it is possible that the race would have become close.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


But instead Livni formed a fourth Center-Left party, split the anti-Netanyahu vote, and allowed the prime minister to rest easy, knowing that he will be on his way to another term when Israelis go to the polls on January 22.

Now Livni helped Netanyahu immensely again when she called for Labor and Yesh Atid to join forces in one Knesset faction following the election. Her intentions might have been good. It is a stretch, but uniting could result in President Shimon Peres asking the leader of the Center-Left (whoever that may be) to form the next government.

But Livni should have known that there was no way Yesh Atid would join her maneuver and that Yair Lapid is wisely aiming to make the next Netanyahu government as moderate as possible. It should have been clear to her that Labor leader Shelly Yacimovich cannot take back her promise not to be part of a coalition formed by Likud Beytenu, even if Livni’s and Lapid’s parties joined with her.

It is too late for a mega-party on the Left to be formed. But it is not too late to scare right-wing voters, which was the main result of Livni’s maneuver.

Netanyahu had been saying for weeks that votes for the Likud’s satellite parties would weaken him. But the more he spoke, the more people switched allegiances from Likud Beytenu to Bayit Yehudi and Shas.

JPOST VIDEOS THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU:


That pattern changed Friday, thanks to Livni. Suddenly, it became realistic that the Prime Minister’s Office was not guaranteed to remain in Netanyahu’s hands.

Click for full JPost coverage

It is almost never smart for the prime minister of Israel to rush to give interviews to react to news developments. It certainly was not a good idea for Netanyahu to meet with the three TV channels last month to attack Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett.

But Sunday was an exception. It was wise of Netanyahu to make sure everyone knew that the Center-Left was ganging up on him.

He finally got across his message that voting for a party further to the Right would weaken him rather than strengthen him.

And for that Netanyahu has to thank Livni, whose political maneuvers continue to weaken the Center- Left while ironically helping him, a man she so clearly detests.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
August 31, 2014
Prime minister to Channel 1: I’ll be running again in next election

By Gil Stern Stern HOFFMAN