Peres: Netanjahu soll Regierung bilden

Das Ringen um den Sitz des zukünftigen israelischen Ministerpräsidenten ist vorbei. Heute Mittag gab Israels Präsident Peres bekannt, dass der Vorsitzende der Likudpartei Benjamin Netanjahu die Erlaubnis zur Regierungsbildung bekommt. Harte Zeiten scheinen nun auf Israel zu zu kommen – glaubt man den Medienberichten aus Europa und den USA. Doch ist Abwarten sicher die beste Methode, um der neuen Regierung eine Chance für politische Aktivitäten zu geben. Dass diese im Rahmen des israelisch-palästinensischen Friedensprozesses härter ausfallen werden und vor allem die Hamas mit harten militärischen Reaktionen auf den Beschuss aus Gaza rechnen muss, ist kein Geheimnis. Und wenn das israelische Volk nun einen harten Kurs gewählt hat, so ist es ein Spiegel der Probleme, die sich seit acht Jahren im Süden des Landes angestaut haben. Die Hoffnung auf Frieden wird aber auch unter Netanjahu nicht abschwächen.

FAZ - Peres: Netanjahu soll Regierung bilden

Netanjahu hat sechs Wochen Zeit, eine Regierungsmannschaft zusammenzustellen
20. Februar 2009 Der israelische Staatschef Schimon Peres will Oppositionsführer Benjamin Netanjahu mit der Bildung der neuen Regierung beauftragen. Peres habe entschieden, dem Vorsitzenden der Likud-Partei das Mandat zu geben, teilte die israelische Präsidentschaft am Freitag in Jerusalem mit. Die Likud-Partei kann mit einer Mehrheit aus rechtsgerichteten und religiösen Parteien in der Knesset rechnen.

Zuvor hatte Peres versucht, die Vorsitzenden der beiden größten Parteien doch noch zu einer großen Koalition zu bewegen. Dazu lud er den Likud-Vorsitzenden Netanjahu und die Kadima-Vorsitzende Livni zu getrennten Gesprächen in seine Residenz in Jerusalem ein. Netanjahu versprach Peres, er werde unverzüglich Kadima zu Koalitionsverhandlungen auffordern, sollte Peres ihm ein Mandat zur Regierungsbildung erteilen. Er sei bereit, dafür „sehr weit“ zu gehen.

IHT - Netanyahu to get nod to form Israeli government

By Joseph Nasr and Douglas Hamilton

Right-wing leader Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday accepted a mandate to form Israel's next government and immediately called for a broad, national unity coalition with centrist and left-wing partners.

There is no indication they are ready to accept, however.

Netanyahu, 59, leads the hawkish Likud party. He was prime minister in the 1990s and now has six weeks to put together a parliamentary majority for a second turn at the helm.

Likud more than doubled its seats in the election 10 days ago in which the security of the Jewish state was the paramount issue, after a 2006 conflict with Hezbollah Islamists in Lebanon and a war with Islamist Palestinian Hamas in Gaza last month.

But there was no clear winner.

With 27 seats in the 120-seat Knesset, Netanyahu ended up one seat behind the centrist Kadima party of Tzipi Livni, the dominant partner in the outgoing coalition.

The electorate's rightward drift, however, gave him a better chance of achieving a majority with like-minded parties.

But his nomination by President Shimon Peres on Friday was a break with Israeli tradition, which has always given a governing mandate to the leader of the first-placed party.

VOA - Will Israeli Politics Set Back Peace Process?

A worker walks next to a rotating sign showing Israeli FM and Kadima Party leader Tzipi Livni, left, and Likud Party leader Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv, Israel, 11 Feb 2009
Israelis are facing political gridlock.

Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni's Kadima Party has a one seat lead over the Likud Party, led by former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Neither party alone is close to having a majority in the 120-seat Knesset and both leaders are jockeying to form a coalition government.

Both Ms. Livni and Mr. Netanyahu claimed victory after the election and both want to become the country's next prime minister.

Israeli President Shimon Peres will decide which leader will have the opportunity to form the new government. Whoever he chooses will have 42 days to accomplish the task.

"Israel is actually, I think, entering uncharted waters for the first time in its 60 year history," he said.

David Makovsky is Director of the Project on the Middle East Peace Process at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

He pointed out that nationalist and religious parties, including Likud, have captured 65 seats in the 120 member parliament, which appears to be an advantage for Mr. Netanyahu.

FT - Netanyahu to form unity government in Israel

Benjamin Netanyahu, leader of Israel’s right-wing Likud party, moved closer to making his comeback as prime minister after being tapped on Friday by the country’s president to form a governing coalition.

Shimon Peres, the Israeli president, decided to assign Mr Netanyahu with the task, his office said in a statement. Mr Netanyahu will now have up to six weeks to try to cobble together a new government. Failure to form a coalition would lead Mr Peres to assign the responsibility to another party leader.

The appointment of Mr Netanyahu, who served as prime minister from 1996 to 1999, comes 10 days after the country’s inconclusive parliamentary elections. The Likud party garnered 27 seats of Israel’s 120-seat parliament in the vote, one fewer slots than the centrist Kadima party, led by Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni.

Both Mr Netanyahu and Ms Livni laid claim to the premiership following the ballot. However, the new parliament’s right-wing majority assured Mr Netanyahu a better chance of forming a coalition cabinet.

While Israel’s president has traditionally chosen the leader of the biggest parliamentary faction to put together a government, he is not obliged by law to do so. Instead, Israeli law calls for the president to hand the task to the party leader who is in the best position to form a coalition.


Giftstift des Tages

Der Giftstift des Tages geht an den Baltimore Chronicle & Sentinel für folgenden Beitrag:
Fascist Rule in Israel

by Stephen Lendman

Jockeying and deal-making continue as Netanyahu and Livni try outmaneuvering each other to form a new government. Whoever wins, Palestinians, Israelis, and most others will be losers.On February 10, Israel held parliamentary elections for 120 seats in its 18th Knesset. The process repeats every four years unless the body calls an earlier election by majority vote. The prime minister may also ask the president to request one early that will proceed unless the Knesset blocks it. Parliamentary terms may be extended beyond four years by special majority vote. Israel has no constitution. Under Article 4 of its Basic Law: The Knesset:

"The Knesset shall be elected by general, national, direct, equal, secret and proportional elections, in accordance with the Knesset Elections Law." Every Israeli citizen 18 or older may vote, including Arabs who are nominally enfranchised, may serve in the parliament, but can't govern or in any way influence policy.

Knesset seats are assigned proportionally to each party's percentage of the total vote. A minimum total is required to win any seats. Jewish parties alone are empowered. Arab parliamentarians have no decision-making authority. They're also constrained by the 1992 Law of Political Parties and section 7A(1) of the Basic Law that prohibits candidates from denying "the existence of the State of Israel as the state of the Jewish people."

On January 12, the Central Elections Committee (CEC) banned two Arab parties from participating in the February elections on grounds of incitement, racism, supporting terrorist groups, and refusing to recognize Israel's right to exist. Two extremist right wing parties requested it - Yisrael Beiteinu and National Union. Named were United Arab List-Ta'al and Balad. All charges were bogus and hateful.

On January 21, Israel's High Court unanimously reversed the ban after Arab politicians appealed, but this behavior shows what Arab citizens face in a country affording rights only to Jews. Nonetheless, election law states that all votes are of equal weight, without saying only Jewish ones matter, not those of Arabs or members of other faiths. Israel is a Jewish state. Others are outsiders, unwelcome, unwanted, disadvantaged, without rights, and criminally abused at the whim of the government.