The new coalition seems stable enough for people to believe a mistaken email about a three-year budget, but will it use its super-stability to pull further to the Right than ever before? Probably not.
Cabinet ministers opened their email Wednesday night to find a surprise: a meeting on Sunday to discuss a three-year budget.
A minor panic broke out. Three years? Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plan for a two-year budget, thus bolstering his government’s stability until 2019, was controversial enough. Now that he has five more MKs to vote with the coalition, he’s going to try to make a budget that will last the rest of his term? In the end, the email was a mistake. The Finance Ministry was going to give a three-year overview, which is standard practice, regardless of how many years the budget is to last. (It’s going to be two years; don’t panic.)
This anecdote reflects a sort of mythology that was quickly created since Netanyahu faked left and went right a little over a week ago. Netanyahu once again became “the magician,” as Likud activists nicknamed him after winning the last election by a landslide. In the eyes of pundits and political rivals and supporters, the prime minister instantly powered up, as though soon-to-be defense minister Avigdor Liberman was the polka-dotted mushroom to Netanyahu’s Super Mario, allowing him to do anything. And the life-lengthening power that mushroom bestows is the power of the Right. Continue reading