icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm

Fragile coalition may oust Netanyahu, but shared hatred is not enough to put an end to Israeli-Palestinian ‘blood and tears’

Damian Wilson
Damian Wilson
is a UK journalist, ex-Fleet Street editor, financial industry consultant and political communications special advisor in the UK and EU.
is a UK journalist, ex-Fleet Street editor, financial industry consultant and political communications special advisor in the UK and EU.
Fragile coalition may oust Netanyahu, but shared hatred is not enough to put an end to Israeli-Palestinian ‘blood and tears’
A shaky truce holds between Israel and Palestine as PM Benjamin Netanyahu is dumped by a seven-party coalition in favour of right winger Naftali Bennett, and the world wonders if this could be the start of new peace efforts?

Just hours into talks about forming an anti-Netanyahu coalition to govern Israel, the fact that the two major players are already struggling to come to an agreement is just about the worst news anyone could hear.

Nothing has changed in the shared loathing the seven would-be coalition partners have for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, it’s the doling out of hugely influential ministerial portfolios that is the sticking point for some. 

What seems to have been settled is the choice of right-wing Yamina leader Naftali Bennett as the new PM, but the road to forming a new government is a rocky one.

Also on rt.com Israel faces change of government as anti-Netanyahu opposition announces agreement

Despite talks lasting until the early hours of this morning, Blue and White are at an impasse with Yisrael Beiteinu over control of two key briefs: Agriculture and the sensitive Aliyah and Integration portfolio, which deals with immigration to Israel. Claiming that Blue and White had already agreed to give his party the agriculture portfolio, Yisrael Beiteinu leader Avigdor Lieberman complained they could not now ask for it back.

Meanwhile, New Hope and Yesh Atid are at odds over the post of speaker and the communications ministry. Nothing is straightforward.

This is what coalition building is all about. Having a common enemy is a good starting point, but is it enough? The rest is all about divvying up the spoils so that everyone is happy, but when there are seven parties with interests from right across the political spectrum competing for key ministerial posts, then this is like herding squirrels. 

You have the centrists from Yesh Atid, national liberals with New Hope, social liberals from Blue and White, national conservatives of Yamina, social democrats of two different types with Labor and Meretz and not forgetting the national secularists of Yisrael Beiteinu. The challenges facing any deal are clear.

Also on rt.com Anti-Bibi bloc inches closer to ousting unsinkable Israeli PM as Netanyahu’s last-ditch bid for government rotation rejected

And while the people of Israel are carefully watching what might emerge from ongoing talks, the rest of the world is also wondering what this might mean for them, for the Palestinian Authority and for the Hamas-led government of Gaza. It’s hard to think of any other country where there are so many fingers in the political pie.

All agree that no one wants to see a continuation of the terrible exchanges of rocket fire between Hamas and Israel or an escalation in the inflammatory rhetoric that leads only to death for innocent civilians and the unsettling feeling that the preferred route to settling this decades-long problem is to bomb the other side into submission. Forget peace talks.

That’s why there have been no serious negotiations since 2009 and the absence of armed conflict and terrorism was considered enough by Netanyahu, and by the voters who kept him in power for 12 consecutive years.

The last attempt to broker a peace deal was nearly three decades ago, after former Israeli PM Yitzhak Rabin signed the Oslo Peace Accords with then-Palestinian Liberation Organisation leader Yasser Arafat in 1993, before declaring, “Enough of blood and tears! Enough!

Also on rt.com Israel carries out the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians and robs them of their homes, yet it pretends it’s the victim

The deal, and last serious chances of lasting peace between Israel and Palestine, subsequently fell apart when Rabin was assassinated backstage after a rally in support of the accords barely two years later by a 25-year-old Jewish nationalist.

But this time, maybe, just maybe, all sides have finally had enough blood and tears. They must certainly have had their fill of general elections in Israel, having endured four in just two years.

A coalition formed of competing political interests might not be the most effective means of creating a more positive future for Israel and Palestine, but at least it offers the potential for stability and, dare we say it, hope.

The world waits for the leaders of Israel to put aside petty squabbles, ego and ambition and step up to make a difference. We should know in a matter of days, if that is a step too far.

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

Dear readers and commenters,

We have implemented a new engine for our comment section. We hope the transition goes smoothly for all of you. Unfortunately, the comments made before the change have been lost due to a technical problem. We are working on restoring them, and hoping to see you fill up the comment section with new ones. You should still be able to log in to comment using your social-media profiles, but if you signed up under an RT profile before, you are invited to create a new profile with the new commenting system.

Sorry for the inconvenience, and looking forward to your future comments,

RT Team.

Podcasts