TribLIVE

| USWorld


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Netanyahu has rocky road ahead in new coalition

Obama not popular

President Obama, who will visit Israel next week, is the subject of a poll of Israelis. Conducted by Maagar Mohot Institute and the Israeli newspaper Maariv, the poll has found:

• 38 percent believe Obama is hostile to Israel

• 14 percent believe he is indifferent. Only a third think he is supportive.

• 32 percent said they don't like him but respect him

• 19 percent view him unfavorably

• 17 percent have a highly unfavorable opinion of him.

• 10 percent view him favorably.

Daily Photo Galleries

By The Associated Press
Friday, March 15, 2013, 9:18 p.m.
 

JERUSALEM — Forced to rely on the support of two fast-rising rivals in his new governing coalition, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is confronting a reshaped and rocky landscape that could spell trouble ahead: An unwanted culture war with the country's ultra-Orthodox minority as well as pressure to make peace overtures to the Palestinians.

After weeks of difficult negotiations, Netanyahu, who barely hung onto his job, was forced to cede significant power to his new partners, liberal former TV anchorman Yair Lapid and his unlikely ally, pro-settlement hard-liner Naftali Bennett.

Both men make no secret that they want to be prime minister one day, and each can bring down the government at will.

This new constellation is expected to force the cautious Netanyahu, who presided over a broad and stable coalition during his previous four-year term, to confront some of the nation's most contentious issues.

Both Lapid and Bennett have vowed to end years of preferential treatment for the country's small but politically powerful ultra-Orthodox minority. Lapid and the junior partner in the coalition, former Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, will also put heavy pressure on Netanyahu to take a softer line toward the Palestinians. With President Obama visiting next week, Netanyahu could be forced sooner than later to make difficult decisions about the Palestinians.

“The next term will be one of the most challenging in the history of the state,” Netanyahu said on Thursday. “We are facing great security and diplomatic challenges.”

The ultra-Orthodox minority makes up roughly 8 percent of the country's 8 million people. Their political parties have traditionally wielded power far beyond their numbers by guaranteeing a string of prime ministers a parliamentary majority.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read World

  1. Afghan forces may resume night raids
  2. Brits blame web services in soldier’s death
  3. Islamic State got up to $45M in ransom payments
  4. Teen girls’ suicide bombs rip into Nigerian village marketplace
  5. Abduction in Mexico to spur police, judicial system changes
  6. Nuclear talks with Iran extended until March; GOP senators call for more sanctions
  7. Turkish leader says genders can’t be equal
  8. Grocer’s holiday ad unnerves Brits
  9. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu agrees to delay ‘nationality’ bill
  10. Lander data shows dust, ice
  11. Amid Ebola cases, Mali braces borders and beyond
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.