Reports: Netanyahu Nears Coalition Deal
Reports in the Israeli media and social media indicate that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appears to have secured a deal to form a new governing coalition--one that excludes ultra-religious, "Haredi" parties.
The exclusion of the Haredi parties was the price of including Yair Lapid's "Yesh Atid" party, which surged to a surprise second-place finish in the January elections. Lapid, who will likely take over as Minister of Finance, had insisted on civil reforms, including broadening military conscription to include religious students.
Moshe "Boogie" Ya'alon, former Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff and a favorite on the conservative lecture circuit, will reportedly take over as Minister of Defense. The coalition also reportedly includes former opposition leader Tzipi Livni. Full details are set to be reported Monday, according to WorldJewishDaily.com.
If the coalition takes shape as reported, it would represent a nationalist yet ideologically diverse government.