Ynet: “US showing signs of despair from Netanyahu”

Posted: November 24th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: In the News, The Settlements, the US and us | Tags: , , | 2 Comments »

More than a week passed since PM Benjamin Netanyahu got back from Washington, and still there is no deal on the settlements moratorium. Attila Somfalvi, Ynet’s political correspondent, quotes an Israeli source:

“The Americans are showing signs of despair from Netanyahu. They don’t understand what he wants.”

An Israeli minister who is a member of the security cabinet (a decision-making forum within the government) says:

“The negotiations continue, but there are disagreements about some clauses in the document. There are talks with the United States, but things are moving slowly.”

Another cabinet minister adds that “Netanyahu apparently got himself in a mess with these talks. There is no document on the understandings [between Washington and Jerusalem], and it’s not clear when would the cabinet vote. The United States goes on a holiday, which would slow things even further… [However] delays do not mean that Netanyahu will not be able to pass the [settlements] freeze in the Cabinet.”

An American source told Ynet that “the administration is confused. They don’t understand what is it that Netanyahu want.”

It should be remembered that Netanyahu has the authority to fire any minister who opposes his policies, so the PM shouldn’t have any problems getting a decision he wants passed in the cabinet. It won’t be a first time: in 2004 Ariel Sharon fired Uzi Landau, a minister in his government that opposed the pullout from Gaza.

Netanyahu doesn’t prolong the settlements moratorium because that’s his choice, not because he can’t.

2 Comments on “Ynet: “US showing signs of despair from Netanyahu””

  1. 1 Aryeh said at 9:16 pm on November 24th, 2010:

    Excellent point. For readers not well-acquainted with Israeli politics, I would add a qualification that firing a minister is not without its repercussions, since most ministers are also MKs, and there is just so much firing a Prime-Minister can do without jeopardizing his coalition and government. But this is not to reject your well-taken point, of Netanyahu’s choices and abilities. Thanks.

  2. 2 Tom Mitchell said at 1:30 pm on November 26th, 2010:

    The real repurcussions are not just because the ministers are MKs, but because they are also representatives of their respective political parties that are part of the coalition government. Any firings of non-Likud ministers risk a withdrawal of support from a coalition party and possibly the collapse of the government. Firings of Likud ministers risk a revolt within Netanyahu’s party, although this seems a remote possibility at present.