Bibi, next Israeli prime minister?

The election summary for february 19th, 2009:

Peres plans to summon Livni, Netanyahu Friday
Sources from President's Residence say Peres to call Kadima, Likud party heads for private meeting on Friday, to stress importance of broad unity government. Meanwhile, Shas wants in coalition, without Yisrael Beiteinu, says 'We must not stray from halacha'
Ronen Medzini
Published: 02.19.09, 13:18 / Israel News
President Shimon Peres is expected to summon Likud Chairman Benjamin Netanyahu and Kadima Chairwoman Tzipi Livni for private meetings as early as Friday, a source from the President's Residence told Ynet on Thursday.

In the meetings, Peres is expected to stress to the two party leaders the need for the formation of a broad unity government.

A government without Kahane

The National Union Party has until now been considered a legitimate candidate for partnership in a right-wing government that may be formed by Benjamin Netanyahu. But the fourth candidate on the National Union list is MK-elect Michael Ben-Ari. This is a man whose candidacy is fundamentally invalid: It is absolute unconscionable for a representative who clearly describes himself as "the disciple and successor of Rabbi Meir Kahane" to be a member of the next Israeli government, whatever its components.

All the Knesset factions, together with the public, must rise up against the possibility that the representative of a party that was justifiably banned from running in the elections back in 1988 will be a partner in the government. Anyone who didn't want Kahane in the Knesset is liable now if his successor becomes a partner in the government; perhaps even a minister.

Ben-Ari, with his racist, Kahanist and pro-transfer ideology, will stain any government and damage Israel's reputation around the world. The message that will be conveyed by including the National Union is that transfer has received a seal of approval in Israel. Kahane was not right, definitely not, but he has won. There is no other way to look at it.

Ben-Ari, the representative of Baruch Marzel and Rabbi Dov Wolpe, members of the Eretz Israel Shelanu (Our Land of Israel) faction in the National Union, already expressed himself on Arutz Sheva radio shortly before the elections that, "if breaking a law means opposing the expulsion of Jews, I'm a lawbreaker."

Lothar Matthaus to pitch Israel to Germans

Maccabi Netanya soccer coach signs deal with Tourism Ministry to promote Israel at international tourism fair in Berlin next month. Former German soccer player will talk about Israel, play soccer with visitors, sign soccer balls

Livni: Kadima will sit in the opposition
Chairwoman sends text message to 80,000 party activists saying Kadima would not join Netanyahu's 'extremist government'
Attila Somfalvi
Latest Update: 02.19.09, 16:30 / Israel News
Despite garnering the support of 65 Knesset members, premiership candidate Benjamin Netanyahu may still find it difficult to form a stable coalition due to Kadima's refusal to join a unity government with the Likud chairman at the helm.

President Shimon Peres is expected to summon Netanyahu and Kadima Chairwoman Tzipi Livni for private meetings as early as Friday, according to a source from the President's Residence.

In the meetings, Peres is expected to stress to the two party leaders the need for the formation of a broad unity government.

During her visit to the Qassam museum in Sderot with US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry, Livni said 'I will continue not only to believe in our path, but also to lead it. I do not intend to be a cover for political paralysis."

Livni issued a text message to 80,000 Kadima activists in which she repeated her words to the party's MKs saying: "Today the foundations have been laid for an extreme rightist government headed by Benjamin Netanyahu. This is not our path, and there is nothing for us in such a government".

Livni added that, "We were not elected to legitimize an extreme right government and we much be an alternative of hope and go to opposition."

Fellow party member and Finance Minister Ronnie Bar-On said that in light of the political situation Kadima should "serve the nation from the opposition."

"Kadima is the only alternative to Netanyahu's extremist government," he said, "I am certain that the next government will reign for the shortest period in Israel's history."