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June 28, 1996 - Image 82

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1996-06-28

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

CAESAR page 81



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Likud and against an orderly
parliamentary regime."
The feelings of various Likud
deputies were running so high
that Israeli television's Channel
1 even reported (without nam-
ing names) a short-lived plan to
"revolt" against Mr. Netanyahu
by denying his government their
support. The most serious com-
plaint was that Mr. Netanyahu
had stripped the Likud of all its
parliamentary assets, making
its legislative effectiveness al-
most negligible.
"Not a single important par-
liamentary committee remains
in our hands," complained Dan
Tichon, arguably the Likud's
most outstanding parliamen-
tarian. He was so disgruntled
by the coalition talks that he
boycotted the session at which
the government was presented
to the Knesset.
Mr. Tichon was concerned
that the chairmanship of the
powerful Finance Committee
(which had not one Likud rep-
resentative). It had been grant-
ed to the United Torah Judaism
Party, giving the smallest mem-
ber of the coalition enormous
leverage. In a similar move, the
chairmanship of the strategi-
cally important House Com-
mittee (which, can recommend
lifting the immunity of Knesset
members) was granted to Shas,
whose leader is under the cloud
of potential indictment from the
state prosectur for misusing
funds.
"The bargaining was con-
ducted in a very amateurish
way; out of a lack of acquain-
tance with the political system,"
snapped Likud deputy Silvan
Shalom. "It's true that Bibi has
the authority of a prime minis-
ter elected by direct vote, but the
Knesset has the same authori-
ty and power it had in the past.
The opposition is going to have
a ball."
While the dealings were
mostly ascribed to inexperience,
some deputies also credited
them to impatience and sheer
haste. Mr. Netanyahu's agents
had pleged that the government
would be presented when the
new Knesset convened on June
17. Legally, the Likud leader
had 45 days from the an-
nouncement of the final results
of the May 29 election.
Another theory, advanced by
Ha'aretz political analyst Han-
nah Kim, is that Mr. Netanyahu
deliberately weakened the
Likud to "[erase] the borders be-
tween the right-wing parties"
and form a "Conservative Jew-
ish bloc" — a kind of Israeli Re-
publican Party — that would be
unbeatable in next election.
One way or another, the ela-
tion following Mr. Netanyahu's
victory has slowly given way to
the feeling that "Netanyahu is
in power, but•the Likud isn't,"
as one bitter loyalist put it D

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