Today Benjamin Netanyahu is presenting his government. It is the largest in the history of the country with 30 ministers and deputy ministers and will cost NIS 300 million per annum – $71 Million.
Many here in Israel say it is simply to big for this little country – that Bibi has avoided political extortion by creating a huge government and useless Ministries. Mr. Netanyahu says that he is aware of the size of the Government but that this is the price of unity.
In order to accomplish this, Governmental portfolios are being split, actual Ministries being created just to secure his premiership.
Ultimately, Mr. Netanyahu and Ehud Barak, who is his Defense Minister, will face the peace process – a diplomatic plan that would potentially dismantle their government. Both men will have a hard time avoiding the criticism that would result in their removal from the political scene.
So as all the Ministers of the new Government gather for their festive photograph with the President and the Prime Minister in the middle – some pundits are saying they should have chosen Jerusalem's Soccer Stadium to take the picture in, “with ministers filling up the field and their security personnel the pavilions.”
The new Government will have to deal straight away with both the economic crisis, Gilyad Shalit being held in Gaza, and issues in the diplomatic-military sphere, especially Iran.
The Netanyahu Government is being labeled as the 'second opportunity club'. Netanyahu has received a rare political gift: A second chance as Prime Minister. Mr. Barak has also received a gift: A second chance as Defense Minister. But for Netanyahu, who was thrown out of his last Premiership 10 years ago, it is doubtful that there would be a third opportunity should he fail. He will be on his guard not to make mistakes.
As for Ehud Olmert, he leaves a term full of failures, corruption and war. There is no realistic chance that he will be able to be Premier. There simply is not enough public support for him. The only accomplishment that the public is giving him to his credit is the attack on the suspected Syrian nuclear reactor.