Israeli political parties struggle for government leadership

Wednesday, February 13, 2013
 | 
Chad Groening (OneNewsNow.com)

A U.S.-born Israeli author and former politician doesn't believe a political newcomer has enough experience to challenge Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for his job.

As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu prepares for a third term in office, his attempts to form a new coalition government have reportedly gotten off to a rocky start.

Netanyahu's Likud-Yisrael Beitenu bloc won the most seats in last month's parliamentary election. But with just 31 seats, Netanyahu needs to bring in multiple coalition partners to secure a majority of at least 61.

Newcomer Yair Lapid, whose party came out of nowhere to become the second largest in the Parliament, has told the Israeli media that he is ready to become the parliamentary opposition leader and could force new elections that would make him the prime minister within 18 months. Netanyahu's allies have seized on the reported comments to depict Lapid as arrogant and intransigent.

Rubin, DavidDavid Rubin is the former mayor of the Israeli town of Shiloh and author of the soon to be released book Peace for Peace: Israel in the new Middle East. He says Lapid does come across as somewhat ambitious. 

"You have to remember that this fellow Yair Lapid has never been in the Knesset before," he tells OneNewsNow. "He's a newly elected member of the Knesset. He has never held a cabinet position. And he is going to have to get some experience in the political climate before he starts aiming for the prime ministership."

Rubin says there are a lot of political variables at work and internal issues bouncing around right now, and he believes it could take two to four weeks to see which coalition will ultimately emerge to form a government.

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