Although neither coalition has officially chosen the next government of Israel until February 18. It is pretty clear that moderate Tzipi Livni of the Kadima Party probably will fail to be able to form a coalition government with Labor or other moderate or left leaning parties. The fact of the matter is that both the right wing Likud Party of Binyamin Netanyahu and the right wing Yisrael Beiteinu of ethnic cleanser Avigdor Lieberman are the most likely to form the next government.
Either the ethically challenged Netanyahu or ethnic cleanser Lieberman as Israel's next prime minister would be an absolute disaster for the Mideast peace or the best possible constructive relations with the Obama Administration. Moderate Tzipi Livni had previously promised to work with the Obama Administration. However, Netanyahu has always been the darling of far right televangelists in the U.S. such as John Hagee and other right wing radicals. Netanyahu or his wife have been the subject of four scandals so far and fraud investigations, but both have avoided criminal charges so far. In one scandal, the Netanyahus were accused of accepting years of home improvements from an important political donor who is also a contractor as a form of bribery. Netanyahu is as close to an Israeli Richard Nixon as you can find. On one hand he's certainly intelligent and capable enough, but he's also corrupt as they come and Israel is only looking at more corruption scandals as well as war with the Palestinians and the peace process going absolutely nowhere and completely stalling, if not just plain rolling backwards.
However, the worst possible aspect of either Natanyahu or Lieberman ruling Israel is that either one is highly likely to undertake a military strike on powerful Iran to destroy it's nuclear weapons program.
The real major military concern here is that Israel does not have the bunker buster military technology really required to successfully strike at the 75 foot deep hardened bunkers that Iran is using to protect their nuclear research program. Israel would really need several direct nuclear strikes on the same site to have any good rate of success to really take out even some of these nuclear research sites. Further, Iran is a huge country, with a massive military that has greatly improved it's rockets as well as military technology over the past few years. Iran also has some submarines as well as other military hardware that could create a very troublesome Mideast war. Iran could also invade or directly attack American forces in Iraq and push towards Israel for a massive land invasion. Any of these bad scenarios would drag the United States into a huge war with Iran that would make Iraq or Afghanistan look like some Sunday ice creme social by comparison. Any U.S. invasion of Iran would have to involve a force of a million or more U.S. service-persons which would be impossible given our all volunteer army. The U.S. simply lacks the manpower for this sort of massive war.
There are already some Bible scholars in the United States such as Jack Van Impe who are offering a sympathetic view of President Obama, fearing that like Abraham Lincoln, he may be greatly tested and challenged by some major crisis. And Israel and Iran are the most likely to provide just this match and gasoline to create a very dangerous Mideast crisis. It is highly questionable whether political extremists like either Netanyahu or Lieberman could be constrained to behave in a pragmatic way. Either is simply very bad news.
The idea situation would have been where Tzipi Livni would form a moderate government with Labor and other moderate or left leaning parties. But these parties simply lost way too many seats. And already there have been at least 28 formal election complaints filed, charging ballot problems or other problems that suppressed votes.
After the scandal plagued Ehud Olmert administration and a president of Israel who was accused of terrible crimes such as rape, it was very difficult for moderate Tzipi Livni to win a convincing victory. That was simply too much baggage. Many voters were angry. And the recent rocket attacks by Hamas from Gaza only helped to harden many voters and drive up the votes for right wingers like Netanyahu and Lieberman.
The United States needs to have a reasonable and moderate friend, ally and peace partner in Israel. Instead, the recent politics of Israel has unfortunately tilted towards the dishonest, the corrupt, and the extremist. Under far right rule, Israel can only mean a mountain of trouble for the United States. Things could hardly be much worse. Now the big question is when the next shoe falls.
Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!