Understanding Israel's 'Super-Coalition'

Monday, May 28, 2012 |  Aviel Schneider & Shlomo Mordechai

"A political bombshell!" That’s how Israeli media described the drama that transformed Israel’s political landscape. Just a day and a half after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced early elections for September, a year ahead of schedule, he did an about-face. In secret negotiations, he brought the opposition and rival Kadima party into the government.

The result is the second-biggest coalition in Israel’s history, a super majority with 94 seats in the 120-seat Knesset (parliament). It also solidified Netanyahu's position as Israel's second longest-serving prime minister ever.

Israel has traditionally been ruled by left-wing governments, though it is right-wing governments that have surrendered the most land to Israel's antagonists. But many speculate the new "super-coalition" is about facing down more immediate threats, like Iran.

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