Decameron: `The stone that the builders rejected became a cornerstone.’


“Every time I take my youngest daughter, Sham, to her school, I see a passage written on the wall from the Book of Psalms: `The stone that the builders rejected became a cornerstone.' ”    Ayman Odeh, Chairman of Joint List, 13 elected members of Knesset

The Arab-Israeli citizens' votes won the Joint List the rank of 3rd largest bloc in Knesset with 13 seats.   Breaking with their historical pattern of not recommending a PM, the Joint List decided to back Gantz in order to "end" Netanyahu's career, according to a piece by Ayman Odeh’s opinion column that appeared in the New York Times, September 22, 2019.

Opinion | Ayman Odeh: We Are Ending Netanyahu’s Grip on Israel – The New York Times

But, despite the compelling Opinion piece that Odeh had in the New York Times, 3 elected Members of Knesset from the Balad party in his bloc, said that they will not recommend a PM.  This morning, the Times of Israel and other papers published this statement from one of the Joint List party leaders, reportedly from a letter delivered to Israeli President Rivlin on Sunday.   The statement says:

"`I would like to announce that the three Balad Knesset members have asked me as the faction chairman to declare that the Joint List’s recommendation of MK Benny Gantz does not include them, and therefore the recommendation is in the name of ten MKs and not 13,’|” MK Ahmad Tibi of Ta’al wrote in a letter, which was apparently sent to Rivlin on Sunday and published Monday morning.   (Times of Israel)

Now what?

Both Likud and Blue & White are short of the coalition total of 60.  But now, the totals are:

B&W (33 seats) coalition is 54 seats

Likud (31 seats) coalition is 55 or 56 seats

What will President Rivlin do?    Previous presidents have asked the lead party to form a government, but he apparently has some discretion.    

Avigdor Liberman's Yisrael Beiteinu endorsed no-one, leaving 8 seats in the balance.   That could make either bloc take the government, but he has said "NO" to religious parties, and it was he who essentially brought down Netanyahu after the April election.   What is Liberman, standard bearer for the “Russian” vote, made of?  We will see. 


Rivlin invites Gantz to form a government based on B&W's 33 seats.

Rivlin invites Netanyahu to form a government, based on the fact that his "coalition" (Likud + religious parties+ extreme right wing settlers/annexationists) has 1 or 2 commitments more than B&W

Grand Coalition without Netanyahu:  B&W with Gantz PM, Likud, Yisrael Beiteinu: PM will rotate, Gantz first.

Grand Coalition with Netanyahu: B&W, Likud, Yisrael Beiteinu. Almost the same as the last 12 years; very unstable, B&W or YB could leave at any time.

New Elections:   Rivlin goes with one of the above options which doesn't make it. 

To be clear, Liberman has said all along that his party will NOT join a government endorsed by the Arabs; but he also says that his bloc will NOT join a government with the religious parties.  

In Israeli politics, said a recent Israeli newspaper, "anything is possible."

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8 Responses to Decameron: `The stone that the builders rejected became a cornerstone.’

  1. turcopolier says:

    A great failing of Palestinian Arabs is that they let their detestation of israel blind them to “half a loaf” possibilities.

  2. Barbara Ann says:

    A failing, but understandable, given their experience is of having their half of the loaf halved again on a regular basis.

  3. Fred says:

    Barbara Ann,
    But the individual politicians are probably well off, so they’ve got that going for them.

  4. divadab says:

    some musical accompaniment from the late great Mr. Marley:

  5. jdledell says:

    Based on the 60+% voting turnout by the Arabs in Israel, the Joint list shouldd have come in with 15 seats rather than 12. A sizeable portion of the Arab vote went to Ghanz and the Blue & White party just to make sure than Netanyahu would no longer be PM. This shows some pragmatism by the Arabs who realized that whether they got 12 seats or 15 seats was irrlevant, making sure the Likud fell short was more important.

  6. catherine says:

    I doubt they would actually get that ”half a loaf.” It would be like the agreement they went along with to have Israel collect the taxes on their im/exports and then Israel withholds it and deducts amounts for anything they can think up.
    The problem of the Palestines is they have no power.
    And their Arab brethren will do no more for them than send not enough money and pay only lip service to a Palestine state.
    The Palestines have lived under occupation for 70 years nearly a child’s life time….and watched their land stolen piece by piece. The Jews were only fish in a barrel for 5 years.
    The best way I have found to explain the Palestine Israel conflict to the less knowledgeable Americans is to ask them to imagine that in 1948 their state was the Jews Promised Land”. And the Zionist from around the world moved in and did the same things to the native inhabitants they did in Palestine, terrorizing them off their land, out of their homes, destroying their crops, and they had to flee to neighboring states to live as refugees, etc..
    Then I ask them what they would have done.
    Guess what they say.
    And after the Zionist ran off hundfreds of thousands they made up a law in 1949 to take everything they had with no compensation.
    ABSENTEES’ PROPERTY LAW, 5710-1950* Inter-
    pretation. 1. In this Law – (a) “property” includes immovable arid movable property, moneys, a vested or contingent right in property, goodwill and any right in a body of persons or in its management;
    Anyone who thinks the Palestines will get anything livable or tolerable from Israel doesnt understand the nature of the beast.

  7. Vig says:

    commonplace? As everywhere in the wild West?
    Is Hadash, the Israeli Arab party still on the “Arab” election list? Or have they been successfully cleaned out? …
    But the individual politicians are probably well off
    Which politicians, those representing “Arab Israelis” or the “Arabs without country” in their terra incognita state? Ok, true those are non-entitities. Meaning, for developpers and investors, since no country, up for grasp to be developped? …

  8. Morongobill says:

    You would think the Palestinian MP’s would jump on a chance to put the nail into Netanyahu’s political coffin.

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