Netanyahu, king of Israel?
May 8th, 2012
04:45 PM ET

Netanyahu, king of Israel?

Editor's note: Aaron David Miller is a public policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and served as a Middle East negotiator in Democratic and Republican administrations. He is the author of the forthcoming book "Can America Have Another Great President?" The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Aaron David Miller.

With 30-plus governments since independence (average length less than two years), Israeli politics rarely surprises. But Monday's agreement between Benjamin Netanyahu and Kadima leader Shaul Mofaz did precisely that.

In a pre-emptive strike - against his critics, a cynical Israeli press, and, last but not least, an American administration that keeps hoping he's a short-timer - Netanyahu bought himself another 16 months of challenge-free politics, co-opted his main opponent for the price of a deputy premiership, and broadened and legitimized his government for the turbulent period ahead.

While Mofaz looks unprincipled (two weeks ago he said he'd never join a Netanyahu-led coalition), Bibi Netanyahu looks like a veritable statesman and political genius who, for the sake of the country's unity and stability, did the right thing. With U.S. President Barack Obama facing an uncertain political future, Netanyahu has secured his - at least over the short term.

What difference will the new coalition of 94 Knesset members - a virtually unassailable majority - have on the core issues facing Israel?

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Topics: Israel

soundoff (60 Responses)
  1. deniz boro

    Let me be the adversary this time and drow all the lightning: First Hetanyahu can not be a traditional king of the Israilits because he is not born a Levi. Second Israelits are used to turbulant times and would be lost on clear waters. And third Natenyahu was successful to keep the boat afloat as did his predecessors did for some 2500 plus 500 years. I realy do not know what they are waiting for to bloom now that they have the promised lands.

    May 8, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Reply
    • Patrick

      Israeli economic growth unexpectedly accelerated to an annualized 4.7 percent in the second quarter, its fastest pace in more than two years, as exports and consumer spending increased.

      The expansion rate rose from a revised 3.6 percent in the first quarter, the Jerusalem-based Central Bureau of Statistics said today on its website. The median forecast of six economists surveyed by Bloomberg was for growth of 2.9 percent. The statistics bureau reported on July 18 that the economy grew a preliminary 3.4 percent in the first three months.

      “This is really an economy running on all pistons,” said Jonathan Katz, a Jerusalem-based economist for HSBC Holdings Plc, who forecast 3.7 percent growth. “Down the road, the Bank of Israel will have to increase interest rates. This is clear to them, clear to everyone, and the pace may surprise many.”

      The Israeli economy’s rebound from the global financial crisis has been powered by exports, which make up almost half of gross domestic product. Sales abroad, excluding ships, aircraft and polished diamonds, increased in July to $3.8 billion, the most in two years, the statistics bureau said on Aug. 12.

      May 9, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Reply
    • roger

      Kings of Israel didn't have to be from the tribe of Levi. You must be thinking of priests?

      May 9, 2012 at 5:15 pm | Reply
      • Roman


        May 10, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
    • Serge Prévost

      In order for a race to bloom or a king to raise you have to embrace peace, only the devils embraces war(s). You can talk about peace until you turn purple your actions are so loud I can't hear what you are saying.
      Many Jews perceived Netanyahu as the sheppard going in the wrong direction...
      I am no expert but there is one king, the king of peace God...

      May 11, 2012 at 9:52 pm | Reply
  2. deniz boro

    Israelits are a fine bread with many fine characteristics and roots and beliefs to be proud of. I wander where they got lost. Not in the desert for 40 years. I realy wander if they stick to their history and book for fighting everyone they meet untill they get the promised land. Than wher is this promised land that will finally bring peace to the Israelits?

    May 8, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Reply
    • Patrick

      Israel's economy is strong.
      For example, unemployment is likely to drop to 7.3 percent this year, from 7.6 percent in 2009, the Finance Ministry said on June 6. Next year, unemployment is likely to decline to 6.8 percent, the ministry said.

      Israel’s economic recovery began in the second quarter of last year, when the economy expanded a revised 1 percent. Growth picked up in the third quarter to 3.9 percent.

      Inflation eased in July to an annual 1.8 percent, its slowest pace in more than 2 1/2 years, the Central Bureau of Statistics reported yesterday.

      “With the very low inflation reading from yesterday, we think the Bank of Israel will stick to its gradual rate hike schedule for now,” Barclays Capital said today in an e-mailed statement.

      May 9, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Reply
    • Greg S

      Everything about Israel today is in your bible, It was fortold 3000 years ago, Things are going according to a plan designed before the world began to spin.

      May 9, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Reply
      • 666667

        oh come on! I do not believe in the bible,but have read it for loopholes only, I see that Man gave them the land not god(if there is one). Where is it foretold? Does it say anything about the land taken by force? How about the original suicide bombers(euro jews) against the Arabs and Brits? If your so-called-god gave them the land, wouldn't you think it would be done overnight without violence? news flash, UN is not god LOL

        May 9, 2012 at 7:57 pm |
    • Thinker23

      Israelis are normal human beings. They want to live in peace but they have to fight every time their country is attacked.

      May 9, 2012 at 5:40 pm | Reply
      • 666667

        Yes, they are normal terrorists as well.

        May 9, 2012 at 7:58 pm |
      • Thinker23

        666667.... The definition of terrorism is "DELIBERATE ATTACKING OF NON-COMBATANTS WITH POLITICAL GOALS". If and when you'll find examples of Israel AS A STATE fitiing this definition come back and we'll continue this discussion.

        May 11, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
  3. j. von hettlingen

    With the opposition centre-right Kadima party on his side and this broadest-based coalition supporting him, Netanyahu has an opportunity to deal with some of the pressing issues facing Israel. His predecessors in the past had tended to be prisoners of the more extreme elements in their own coalition governments, with small ultra-orthodox parties or the more hawkish elements of the settler lobby having an altogether disproportionate influence on policy. Time will tell, if the new coalition will give him more authority when tackling the issue of Iran's nuclear program and allow him to get things moving on the peace front with the Palestinians etc.

    May 8, 2012 at 5:55 pm | Reply
    • j. von hettlingen

      It's unclear whether it's Netanyahu's passion or feat, he just loves to demonise Iran and dub Ahmadinejad as a reincarnation of Adolf Hitler. Behind the open hostilities between these two countries there had also been very covert ties in the past.

      May 9, 2012 at 4:23 am | Reply
      • j. von hettlingen

        please read: passion or POLICY, he just.....

        May 9, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
      • Thinker23

        But of course! Ahmadinejad as well as his boss, the Supreme Islamic leader of Iran are just poor sheep in Woolf clothes... and hundreds of Iranian long range nuclear capable ballistic missiles will be used as pillars of the new Mosque of Peace that will be erected in Tehran. Right?

        May 9, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
  4. viva israel

    we are muslims and we would love to see israel over come and win the war aganist iram, hizboallah, and the syrian thugs shiia....shiiazim is evil.....israel is more democratic than those village idiots in iran and syria who are killing the majority of their people.....we will support israel if they attack iran andf syria...we will

    May 8, 2012 at 6:27 pm | Reply
    • Funny

      now go cash your check that you got from mossad

      May 9, 2012 at 11:30 am | Reply
    • FancyNancy

      Sectarian violence.

      What a novel idea.

      May 14, 2012 at 3:36 am | Reply
  5. deniz boro

    No intellectual challange to my meagre display? Where is the Jewish party who want to make a comment? None? That is not because it is politically banned, it is religiously banned. A very effective method. Jewish people who adopted this approach and their offsprings made a home in Israel and diligently carried on the more favorable aspects of their book. Overlooking other rules dicteted on them. Other Jewish people found home in other countries as citizens. This conflict is just an after effect of world war 2, overused and wearing thin.

    May 8, 2012 at 7:04 pm | Reply
    • 100% ETHIO

      "Where are the Jewish parties, who could give comments?"
      Haaaa...! You are quite correct. Where are they?!

      Here is my answer:-

      1) They are holding American, Canadian and European Citizenship and they really don't give a dam about the Jewish State and its Citizens.

      2) During the Nazzi eras, some Jewish has been given Government authorities and running businesses. Then, they become the betrayals and neo-Nazis by being aggressives against innocent Jewish. Hmmm...., those who suffered first hand and who survived the brutal attacked, knows the reality.

      Who killed PM Isaac Rabin? Jewish, the Law student.
      Do you remember, when American troops went Afghanistan, soon after 9/11? They found Two Jewish Men in one House, where they lived separated. One lives upstair and another in downstair. They both never communicated for more than Twenty Years.

      May 9, 2012 at 1:33 am | Reply
  6. deniz boro

    Remember..I am the adversary. Do oppose me...using acceptable wording. But speak out.

    May 8, 2012 at 7:15 pm | Reply
    • Patrick


      May 8, 2012 at 7:51 pm | Reply
  7. ✠ RZ ✠

    Think I"ll just stick with the "First Nöel", thank you very much. And so should Netanyahu.

    May 8, 2012 at 9:51 pm | Reply
  8. 100% ETHIO

    Aaron David Miller, the editor and author wrote the above article with feeling great from his heart.
    Good. We all love the Jewish people and culture, when it comes to comparing Arabs. Jewish are the smallest numbers of population surrounded by giant Arabs, who are waiting to swallow the Jewish State, if they will get a chance.

    • "Nathanyahu, the King of Israel?"
    Why not. Being King is his tradition and bloodline. At the past, there were many Israelite Kings. But, my favour Prime Minister was, Isaac Rabin. Although, he is not around now. He deserved being the King of Israel.

    • "Can America will have another Great President?"
    Come on! Americans are always wise, when we choose our Presidents. We always have Great Presidents, that causes Great pain for our enemies.

    May 9, 2012 at 12:53 am | Reply
  9. Coprolito

    The survival of Israel depends on Netanyahu. it only takes 2 or 3 atomic bombs to destroy the entire country. He has a much higher responsibility, obligation and commitment to his people than any other Jewish leader or king in history. All Islamic nations are thriving for the destruction of Israel without considering the number of deaths and damage as long as Israel is wiped out of the map.

    May 9, 2012 at 11:32 am | Reply
    • Keith

      We are sorry that English is not your first language but we can't allow lies just because your are uneducated and ill-equipped to communicate with adults.

      May 9, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Reply
      • Thinker23

        Can you elaborate a bit, Keith? I'd like to see a couple of examples of the lies Coprolito posted... if you don't mind, of course.

        May 9, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
      • Keith

        I was responding to the lie in his comment. You might start by reading that.

        May 11, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
      • Thinker23

        Keith... I have not seen any lies in Copolito's comment. THAT was the exact reason I've asked YOU to show examples of such lies. Unfortunately, it seems that you're unable to find any lies in his comment as well...

        May 12, 2012 at 3:54 am |
  10. White supremacists accused of planning for 'race war' in Florida

    White supremacists accused of planning for 'race war' in Florida

    LOOK AT THEIR STUPID FACES THOSE RED NECKS FROM ireland, scot and UK back round are losers and jelous from those who are latinos and others who make good life here , while those thugs busy with the drugs, stealing and killing go back to uk you village idiots you are not americans to start with, you hate the jews like your father hitler did before , you are the gabage of hsitory KKK. FK U all

    May 9, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Reply
  11. rika33

    Will he be king of the non-jews in greater Isreal too?

    May 9, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Reply
  12. Socrates

    Satanjahu is the King of Israel and the US.

    May 9, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Reply
  13. K. Mac Mulledy

    May 9, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Reply
  14. Keith

    Bebe was born a Zionist, he was raised a Zionist and he will die with the words of the Zionist on his lips.

    There will never be peace in Israel because the Zionist zealots will assassinate any leader that tries to lead them to peace with their neighbors

    The Zionist desire a return to a mythological kingdom that never existed and never will. You can't reason with unreasonable people.

    May 9, 2012 at 2:09 pm | Reply
    • trk

      Zionists see it differently. They see Zionism as the Jews right to live in their homeland under laws and rules they make themselves. This comes after 2000 years of getting their asses kicked as a minority in the various countries they were dispersed to by the Roman army. They got their homeland after nearly being demolished in WWII. They aren't going to give it up and they shouldn't trust people like Keith to protect them! Do you understand? I certainly do.

      May 11, 2012 at 9:56 am | Reply
      • Keith

        You are absolutely right, do not trust someone like me to protect them because I have no compassion for crazy people.

        May 11, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
      • Thinker23

        Keith... Israelis did not and do not trust ANYONE to protect them. Not a single foreign soldier ever participated in any of the Israeli wars.

        May 12, 2012 at 3:56 am |
  15. brownpride14

    Forget israel my chicanos are climbing over america baby and one day we might even jump the border of israel and steal their jobs

    May 9, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Reply
  16. Edward

    Natenyahu is the King of terrorism. He is the son of a terrorist.

    May 9, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Reply
  17. Greg S

    Have you ever noticed all the Hate directed at Israel, yet you never read any hate coming from Jews in Israel, Its always one sided here on CNN,

    Its very simple all the Arabs have to do is marshal there armies and run Israel down like a dog in the road, Yet they dont, The shoot off bottle rockets at them from the shadows and slink around the border fences like coyotes afraid to step into the light. They talk talk talk about how mean and nasty Israel is yet Israel has only gained territory because of aggression from the Arabs, They attack Israel then retreat leaving Israel more land, Then cry to the UN about how Israel has there land...LOL its funny Of course the Left always searching for a underdog no mater if the underdog is right or wrong then sing sing sing there praise .

    May 9, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Reply
  18. Steve

    The king of the south!
    The king of the north is rising by the day.

    May 9, 2012 at 9:52 pm | Reply
  19. coco

    Netanyahu may be the King. But who is the Kingmaker ?


    May 9, 2012 at 10:11 pm | Reply
    • trk

      israeli voters

      May 11, 2012 at 9:47 am | Reply
  20. Peikovianyi

    Jihadis have too many wrists, and should cut them off.

    May 10, 2012 at 1:48 am | Reply
  21. Everett Wallace

    don't know about king, I do know Israelite and Prime Minister.

    May 10, 2012 at 9:01 am | Reply
  22. deniz boro

    Poor result. People are too busy in being polite to each other that they can not even voice their own opinion. Must all discussions start with hard words?

    May 10, 2012 at 5:31 pm | Reply
  23. trk

    "King of Israel" implies a monarchy. What a nasty undertone from CNN. Netanyahu's ability to put together the largest coalition in a diverse country with so many partys and opinions speaks volumes. Israel is under huge pressure from terror proxies all around it and a Western world that condemns it for fighting back. This problem will have to get a lot worst before it gets better and everyone in Israel knows it. This is the reason for the "King of Israel". Its a diverse group of citizens from Europe, Middle East, everywhere, finally meeting politically in the middle because of huge upcoming challenges. Remember USA has only 2 main political parties that negotiate, shrink, and grow from election cycle to election cycle. Israel has lots of tiny parties that are in constant negotiations for a majority coalition. This is biggest coalition in the history of the state. Im really annoyed at the undertone that suggests that Israel's political system is anything like a monarchy. That is much more befitting of its Arab neighbors.. and everyone knows it.

    May 11, 2012 at 9:44 am | Reply

    This Man has an incredible job to do and second guessing his motives and intent should not be the focus. This little country needs help and let it go on the record they have the right to EXIST. There is little time left before there will be great trouble for them I pray for the remnant that their faith is strong.

    May 11, 2012 at 10:23 am | Reply
  25. Eddie Russo

    Me as a none jew or arab say one think, the jew robbing the US blindly, with out the US's support or help the jew will not last less than a month amongst those Arabs..I hate them both Arabs or Jews they are both killers and have no respect for human beings.

    May 11, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Reply
  26. Eddie Russo


    May 11, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Reply
    • Neko

      5. War in Afghanistan
      4. War in Somalia
      3. Sri Lankan Civil War
      2. War in Darfur
      1. Iraq War
      Top 5 Deadliest Conflicts Happening In The World Today.
      How is Israel involved?

      May 12, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Reply
    • Neko

      Current Conflicts
      Algeria Insurgency
      1992 –>
      Angola Cabinda
      Burma Insurgency
      1950 –>
      China Senkaku Islands
      1968 –>
      China Spratly Islands
      1988 –>
      China Uighur
      1996 –>
      Colombia Insurgencies
      Congo (Zaire) Congo War
      Georgia Civil War
      India Assam
      1985 –>
      India Kashmir
      India Naxalite Uprising
      1967 –>
      Israel Palestine
      1967 –>
      Ivory Coast Civil War
      2002 –>
      Korea Korean War
      1953 –>
      Kyrgyzstan Civil Unrest
      2010 –>
      Libya Civil War
      2011 –>
      Laos Hmong Insurgency
      2000 –>
      Mali Tuaregs
      2012 –>
      Mexico Drug War
      2006 –>
      Middle East/
      North Africa/
      Central Asia Arab Spring
      2010 –>
      Namibia Caprivi Strip
      Nepal Maoists

      Nigeria Civil Disturbances
      1997 –>
      Pakistan Baluchistan
      2004 –>
      Pakistan Pashtun Jihad
      2001 –>
      Palestine Civil War
      Peru Shining Path
      Philippines Moro Uprising
      Russia North Caucasus Insurgency
      1992 –>
      Somalia Civil War
      Syria Syria Revolution
      Thailand Islamic Rebels
      2001 –>
      Turkey Kurdistan
      1984 –>
      United States Afghanistan
      1980 –>
      United States Djibouti
      2001 –>
      United States Iraq
      1990 –>
      United States Philippines
      1898 –>
      Uzbekistan Civil Disturbances
      2005 –>
      Yemen Sheik al-Houti
      2004 –>
      Yemen South Yemen Unrest
      2007 –>
      Yemen Yemen Civil War
      2011 –>

      May 12, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Reply
    • Neko

      "Perpetual peace is no empty idea, but a practical thing which, through its gradual solution, is coming always nearer its final realization..."

      May 12, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Reply
  27. Allan Sperl

    Ever watch the Eternal jew on google....?he looks like Bebe

    May 11, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Reply
  28. Allan Sperl

    Never forget the u.s. Liberty they have our boy's blood on their hands....

    May 11, 2012 at 4:29 pm | Reply
    • Thinker23

      Contrary to your beliefs, Allan, Israelis are HUMANS, not angels... and they make mistakes sometimes. The attack on USS Liberty was an unfortunate mistake no different from other "friendly fire" accidents that happen in every war.

      May 12, 2012 at 4:00 am | Reply
  29. Angharadv Menserk

    Wow, thatis what I was searching for, what a stuff! existing here at this blog, thanks admin of this web page.

    July 11, 2012 at 11:38 pm | Reply

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