1. Political imbroglio: Kadima leads with 28 seats; it will become clear today if soldiers’ votes will give the Likud (27) another seat.
TZIPI LIVNI: I WILL FIGHT DESPITE LOW CHANCES.
Netanyahu to offer Lieberman finance portfolio, wants to offer Kadima foreign affairs or defense. Ronnie Bar-On to Ha’aretz: “Lieberman is not in Bibi’s pocket.” Shas demanding Construction Ministry from Netanyahu, including Israel Lands Administration. Meretz expects Oron to resign and make way for Gal-On. Herzog intends contest Labor leadership.
2. IN COMING WEEKS: LIEBERMAN TO BE INVESTIGATED IN BRIBERY AFFAIR.
3. IN WAKE OF CRISIS: HIGH-TECH COMPANIES GOING TO FOUR-DAY WORKWEEK.
1. Livni and Netanyahu courting Lieberman.
These are the conditions that Lieberman is expected to present to Netanyahu and Livni in exchange for paving the way to the premiership: Additional term for Daniel Friedmann as Justice Minister; immediate change of electoral system; Foreign Ministry for himself; Interior Ministry, civil marriage and other religion-and-state reforms – to punish Shas.
1. Lieberman to Livni and Netanyahu: Maybe I won’t recommend anybody to the President. Assessment in the Likud: Netanyahu will agree to give Foreign and Defense ministries to Kadima.
IN HIS HANDS.
Both PM aspirants hurry to meet with Lieberman because without him, they will not form a government. Rotation? Netanyahu and Livni refusing, for now. Likud hopes: Tally of soldiers’ votes today will put us in tie with Kadima.
1. Final election results expected this evening, including soldiers’ votes. Likud sources: Kadima is invited but will not receive Foreign and Defense ministries.
NETANYAHU: NO ROTATION WITH LIVNI.
Everybody in contact with everybody. Likud in effort to be certain that right-wing bloc of at least 61 MKs will recommend Netanyahu to the President. Kadima in effort to persuade Peres to assign responsibility to Livni. And Lieberman? Listens but is still noncommittal.
2. LIKUD WON SDEROT, KADIMA SWEPT THE KIBBUTZIM.
3. NEW KNESSET: YOUNGER, MORE WOMEN, LESS RELIGIOUS.
SUMMARY OF EDITORIALS FROM THE HEBREW PRESS
Yediot Ahronot reminds its readers that this week’s Sabbath Torah reading is Exodus 18:1-20:23, in which Jethro advises his son-in-law Moses on the appointment of judges (“You shall provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, who hate unjust gain”) and which contains the Ten Commandments. The author declares that the reading, “after elections week in Israel, emphasizes the need for leaders with integrity,” and adds that, “The basis for national leadership, as Jethro proposes, depends on an infrastructure of morality and values.”
Ma’ariv declares that, “Tuesday’s elections are an excellent example of the failure of our electoral system,” because – inter alia – the, “coalition price in terms of budgets, ministerial portfolios, deputy ministers and promises regarding populist legislation will be high.” The author calls for fundamental electoral reforms that, “would encourage larger parties and a system in which those elected are personally responsible to their voters.” The paper hopes that the gravity of the country’s situation will help incoming MKs, “to rise above personal considerations and act quickly to change the existing system.”
Yisrael Hayom calls for the formation of a national unity government based on the Likud, Kadima and Shas. The author commends Ehud Barak for bringing about the end of Ehud Olmert’s government: “Barak acted correctly even though he paid with his seat. He set an appropriate norm, that a prime minister suspected of bribery and theft is disqualified from serving.” The paper adds that, “The elections happened due to the corruption of Kadima’s leaders – Olmert and Avraham Hirschson – but dropped the issue on the way to the voting booth; a worrying sign.” The author believes that Meretz fared so poorly, “because it had reservations about a necessary military operation [Cast Lead],” and adds, “Its members in the kibbutzim adjacent to the Gaza Strip understand this very well.” The paper calls for Meretz, “to join the Labor Party as a legitimate left-wing branch,” and asserts, “Their double defeat is likely to help them reconcile.”