By Micah HalpernI've Been Thinking:
The government of Bibi Netanyahu just got stronger and more stable.
Lieberman and his party of six have just agreed to join the Netanyahu coalition. That decision will further guarantee Netanyahu's positions and power.
In joining the coalition Lieberman will become the defense minister and his party will receive several other governmental positions.
The additional six Knesset seats give Netanyahu a total of 67 seats - seven more than the majority he needs to hang on as prime minister.
The dynamics of this new expanded coalition pushes the Netanyahu government further to the right, but it also insulates the prime minister from any harm the two religious parties in his coalition can do to him - he can now survive if either of those parties leaves, he has the votes.
Netanyahu was not only negotiating with Lieberman, he was also negotiating with Labor. And they almost succeeded in joining a coalition. But, as they say, almost doesn't count.
Labor has 24 Knesset seats. Had they joined with Netanyahu they would have received the foreign ministry portfolio. That move have put Netanyahu in the center left position and stabilized him even more with 85 seats.
And if both would have joined the coalition that would have made it 91 seats.
Some things, it seems, are just not meant to be.
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