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Fresh from Israel: now it's official, and it wasn't even close. By a 680-507 majority Israel's Labor party central committee voted in favor of chairman Barak's coalition deal with Likud's Netanyahu, over the objection of the majority of its dwindling 13-member Knesset faction.

This deal enables "Bibi" Netanyahu to set up a coalition with Labor, with fascist Avigdor Lieberman (who is slated to control the foreign and police ministries, among others), and with fundamentalist Shas. Labor's inclusion will make this right-wing government more internationally "respectable". Bibi also scored a major tactical victory, bypassing his political nemesis Tzipi Livni's Kadima, which is politically positioned between Likud and Labor.

Yes, Labor got all sorts of verbal "concessions", and mainly a lot of government portfolios (including, of course, Barak at defense, where he can continue pushing right-wing policies under a "moderate" facade). But if the recent past is any indication, Labor will function as the usual doormat and fig-leaf for yet another right-wing government.


Originally posted to Assaf on Tue Mar 24, 2009 at 11:24 AM PDT.

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