Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Unity Government Disbanding Over Dispute on Draft

NYTimes  The national unity government formed in Israel two months ago unraveled Tuesday when the head of the centrist Kadima Party, Shaul Mofaz, announced he was withdrawing because of intractable differences with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likud Party over a proposed universal draft law. 

The broad coalition, which had given Mr. Netanyahu a supermajority of 94 of the Parliament’s 120 members and led Time Magazine to dub him “King of Israel,” has been in turmoil for weeks over the issue of how to draft more ultra-Orthodox Jews as well as Arab citizens into either the military or civilian service. 

Mr. Netanyahu remains extremely popular in Israel, and most here see his re-election as all but assured. The key question is what will become of Kadima, a centrist party that broke away from the Likud in 2005 and has recently lost traction in public polls.

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