Arab media: Israel unity gov't heralds war with Iran

Wednesday, May 09, 2012 |  Ryan Jones

Many in the Arab media are labeling Israel's new unity government as a dirty political trick by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Kadima Party leader Shaul Mofaz. But some are noting that standard political analysis does not adequately explain why Netanyahu would prop up an opponent that polls showed him trouncing in early elections.

Both Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiya commented during live coverage of the unity government announcement that Netanyahu needed Mofaz in the government before he could launch a strike against Iran's nuclear facilities.

The pan-Arab newspaper Al-Hayat also pondered if the unity deal was struck out of "fear of risking early elections, or [as] a prelude to military action against Iran?"

An editorial in Al-Quds Al-Arabi said there was no question about it, the new Netanyahu-Mofaz government is a "war coalition." According to that article, Netanyahu and Mofaz plan to first strike Iran, before turning their militaristic gaze toward Gaza and Lebanon. While the speculation was wild, Al-Quds Al-Arabi was correct in noting that in the past, Israel has traditionally formed unity governments either before or during times of war.

While both Netanyahu and Mofaz refrained from mentioning Iran directly during Tuesday's press conference, Mofaz did state that the broad coalition would enable Israel to better face security threats "from all ranges."

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