Livni’s Kadima party had called off talks for a possible coalition with Netanyahu earlier this month after Livni accused him of not being committed to pursuing a U.S.-sponsored vision of a Palestinian state alongside Israel.
Israel Radio said emissaries for Netanyahu, head of the right-wing Likud party, and Kadima party head and outgoing Foreign Minister Livni had held secret contacts to explore the possibility of partnering in a government.
Dina Libster, a spokeswoman for Netanyahu, said he and Livni had “exchanged messages through envoys” in recent days. She would not elaborate about these contacts or say whether the leaders themselves had also held any talks.
Livni has been playing hard-ball throughout this entire process. Within the next four years, the Iranians are likely to get the bomb — if they don’t have it already. Israel will probably be compelled to act in some way. By isolating Netanyahu, Livni and Barak are doing their countrymen a great disservice. If there’s anytime where a solid government, that can gain longevity, is needed… it’s now.
Livni may request a rotating prime ministership, reminicient of Peres and Shamir rotating PM roles after the 1984 elections. Or this “unity government” could be more like the ’88 cabinet, whereby one party controlled the prime ministership while the other was part of the cabinet. As I see it, this is the more likely scenario — if, that is, Kadima and/or Labour join Likud.
Without Kadima, Netanyahu will be held at the whims of small 5-seat parties. Every morning he’d wake up wondering whether or not his fragile coalition had fallen apart. This is not durable for an Israeli leader, particularly given the fact that the next Israeli leader must have as much domestic political capital — and thus international backing — as possible, if the Israelis are going to convince the Obama administration to get tough with Tehran.