Tuesday, 4 February 2003

Coalition Politics in Israel (redux)

The Jerusalem Post reports (registration required) that Likud is looking to form a coalition with Shinui, UTJ (United Torah Judaism), and the NRP (National Religious Party), excluding Shas. UTJ apparently would not be represented in the cabinet, and the coalition would have 64 seats in the Knesset. The article also discusses the possibility of a Likud, Shinui, the NRP, and Yisrael B'Aliya coalition (with 61 seats), described by Shinui MK Avraham Poraz as likely to be “both homogeneous and stable.”

Iraq's Groundhog Day

Perhaps it's fitting that Sunday was Groundhog Day; as Daniel Drezner points out, “it's déjà vu all over again” when it comes to Iraq:

The current cycle of opinion seems like a replay of September/October all over again -- publics/pundits feeling queasy about aggressive action, antiwar activists decrying U.S. imperialism, European leaders either categorically rejecting the U.S. position or calling for more time for "the process" to sort itself out, Russia constantly hemming and hawing, China shrugging its shoulders, and Iraq flipping the bird to anyone and everyone.

Then -- presto! -- Bush makes a compelling speech that points out the implications for the security of the U.S. and the prestige of the U.N. if no action is taken.

It's now clear President Bush was wrong when he said that “this looks like a re-run of a bad movie”; Groundhog Day was a pretty good one...