Bibi’s ministers


Plenty of ink (and angst) has been spilled over the prospect of Avigdor Lieberman becoming Israeli foreign minister. But, while the leader of Yisrael Beiteinu may have some radical ideas about Israeli Arabs and Israeli citizenship, he has endorsed a two-state solution, going so far as to tell the Washington Post that he would vacate his settlement if "there really will be a two-state solution."

Potentially more important, though significantly under reported, has been the potential of Likud’s Moshe Yaalon becoming defense minister — and Benjamin Netanyahu pressing to have Ehud Barak instead. Yaalon is a sharp critic of the Oslo and post-Olso processes, and represents a significant break from Israeli and U.S. policy (ZOA is a big fan). Check out his lengthy essay in Azure to see where he’s coming from.

So do you prefer a foreign minister who is accused of harboring an anti-Arab bias but is open to a two-state solution or a defense minister with no history of anti-Arab sentiment who essentially rejects any sort of significant diplomatic progress with the Palestinians in the foreseable future?

What’s most interesting here is the extent to which Netanyahu has clearly settled on the former. Bibi has been pushing to have a foreign minister and defense minister who are on record as supporting a two-state solution, even as he refuses to take a definitive stand on the issue. The thought of Menachem Begin tapping Moshe Dayan and Ezer Weizman — and ending up at Camp David in less than two years — should be enough to worry right wingers, and lead left wingers to rethink their objections to Barak joining the government.

Recommended from JTA