Avigdor Lieberman, the neo-fascist and anti-Arab candidate, has made his pick. He will throw his support behind Binyamin Netanyahu and make the Likud chief the next prime minister of Israel.
His only caveat is that he wants Tzipi Livni's, Kadima, to join the governing coalition too, thereby creating a unity government.
Hopefully, Livni will say "no" and go into opposition and let Israel have the right-wing government most of the population voted for.
All Kadima (or Labor) would bring to the equation is (1) a more benign face to defend destructive policies and (2) a way for Netanyahu to avoid yielding to the demands of the far right which he has so assiduously courted.
No, it's time to let Bibi be Bibi. Let him try to govern from the right and see how well that works. With the economy tanking and Israel's relations with its friendly neighbors (Egypt and Jordan) worse than in years, let him see where Likud (and Lieberman) and the religious right's policies will get him.
They won't get him far. The sooner Israelis know it, the better.
Livni should not pull Bibi's chestnuts out of the fire -- nor should she sit in a government with a blatant racist like Lieberman. It's crunch time.
It should be mentioned that Netanyahu tends to be a pragmatist. He may be so eager to avoid a crazy rightwing government that he will bring Livni in and leave out Lieberman. It's possible. But one thing is certain. This is not the post-election scene Bibi dreamed about. It's more like his worst nightmare.
Here's the great Gideon Levy on Bibi's choice in Ha'aretz.
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