Speaking to members of the combined Likud-Beiteinu group at the Parliament building on Thursday, Mr. Netanyahu described the defense and foreign ministries as the most important, and suggested he would soon return the public focus to the Iranian nuclear threat and other security matters that are his forte.
Yossi Klein Halevi, an author and senior fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute, said that the unusually contentious coalition negotiations had been “thrilling” for an Israeli public that had used its Jan. 22 ballot to demand an overhaul of the political system.“In the past all the coalition negotiations were about one issue, cabinet positions,” Mr. Halevi said in an interview. “The new guys in town changed the rules. They’ve made the negotiations about principles.”“This is an extraordinary moment for Israel,” he added. “On the one hand, our security situation is becoming increasingly desperate, but on the other hand, the political system is for the first time in decades focused on a domestic agenda. This is Netanyahu’s great failure, because Netanyahu is all about the security agenda, and other parties have stolen the country’s agenda from him.”