Filed Under:

After Weeks Of Wrangling, An Israeli Government Takes Shape

Play associated audio

Israel appears to have a new government, nearly two months after parliamentary elections.

Since the voting in January, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been trying to put together the pieces of a puzzle that just would not fit.

If he included traditional allies, such as the religious parties, he would close out a chance of forming a government with a popular political newcomer, Yair Lapid.

A former TV newsman, Lapid is secular and centrist. His party was the second largest in the balloting and has demanded that ultra-Orthodox Jews perform military service, rather than receiving an exemption.

Professor Reuven Hazan of Hebrew University says that in the end, Netanyahu had to make major concessions to Lapid's centrist movement. The prime minister also made room for the right-wing Jewish Home party, which is strongly supportive of West Bank settlers.

Meanwhile, ultra-Orthodox parties are not included in the government coalition for the first time in more than three decades.

"He has formed a government that is not focused on the main issue of Israeli politics, which is security," Hazan said of Netanyahu.

The new government appears more concerned with domestic questions, such as mandatory military service and government reform. Attacking those problems is likely to make life harder for Netanyahu, as he will have to take things away from his traditional supporters.

The new coalition may allow Netanyahu to continue his hard-line approach toward the Palestinians.

Jewish Home is opposed to the two-state solution entirely. Yair Lapid supports negotiations, but has made clear he will not make major concessions.

Hazan says that means "we might get back to negotiating, but these negotiations will lead nowhere and they won't last for very long."

The new government is expected to be sworn in just in time for the arrival of President Obama next Wednesday.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

WAMU 88.5

The Role Of Music In Presidential Campaigns

Presidential candidates today frequently use popular pieces of music as campaign "theme songs"...often without approval from the musicians themselves. But using music on the campaign trail is not a modern phenomenon: it goes back to our earliest presidential elections. In the 1800s songs were used out of necessity: to reach potential voters who could not read. We investigate the history, evolution, and modern-day role of music in political campaigns.

NPR

From Dock To Dish: A New Model Connects Chefs To Local Fishermen

Prominent chefs are signing up for restaurant-supported fisheries: They commit to buying fresh-caught seafood, whatever the species, from local small fishermen. A pilot program launched in California.

WAMU 88.5

The Role Of Music In Presidential Campaigns

Presidential candidates today frequently use popular pieces of music as campaign "theme songs"...often without approval from the musicians themselves. But using music on the campaign trail is not a modern phenomenon: it goes back to our earliest presidential elections. In the 1800s songs were used out of necessity: to reach potential voters who could not read. We investigate the history, evolution, and modern-day role of music in political campaigns.

NPR

Yahoo CEO To Take Limited Leave After Giving Birth To Twins

NPR's Rachel Martin talks with Slate DoubleX Gabfest's Hanna Rosin about Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer's decision to take just two weeks worth of parental leave after having twins in December.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.