Thursday, 24 January 2013

The status quo reigns — Lapid chooses Netanyahu over partnering with Palestinians

The day after elections, the consensus in Israeli politics is on full display. Leading up to the election several commentators said that only hope of unseating Netanyahu was to bring Palestinian political parties into a ruling coalition to out number the right. After yesterday's surprise win Yair Lapid was in a position to do just this, but he has announced that he would rather stick with Netanyahu than partner with Arabs.
From Ynet:

"Israel has voted for normalcy," Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid said Wednesday, in a first official statement after the party's surprising rise to power in Tuesday's general elections.

Yesh Atid, one of the newcomers to the Israeli political map, was able to secure 19 Knesset seats, effectively making it the second-largest party in the Knesset.

The results have split the House 60-60 between the Right and Center-Left blocs, sparking speculations – and hopes – that Lapid will team with the Left to create an obstructive bloc vis-à-vis Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Right.

Lapid, however, put the speculations to rest: "I've been hearing talk about forming an obstructive bloc, so let's clear that up right now – there will be no obstructive bloc.

"We will not team with (Balad MK) Zoabi to form an obstructive bloc – that is just not going to happen. The results of the election are clear and we have to work accordingly."
This shouldn't come as a surprise as Palestinian political parties have been excluded from ruling coalitions throughout Israel's history. The fact that Lapid would single out Haneen Zoabi is also telling as she has become a lightning rod for anti-Palestinian racism in the Knesset. Lapid's decision only confirms that this racist status quo reigns supreme in Israeli politics.

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