Israel’s new government has today, finally, been sworn in, after the rather awkward situation political parties were left in during the election earlier this year. In many ways much is the same: Benjamin Netanyahu will return for a second term as Prime Minister, and the coalition will include parties which support Israeli settlements in the West Bank (most notably, ‘Jewish Home’, who I feared would become part of government). The new Defence Minister and Housing Minister are both supporters of settlements.
However, there are also some marginal changes. For the first time in around a decade, orthodox Jewish parties have not been included in government. There are more ministers who would be described as moderate within this government than there were previously. Most surprisingly of all, the liberal Hatnuah party, which supports the two-state solution, has also been included in the coalition. What effects this will have, I do not know.
Although the government appears slightly more favourable now than it did last year, I don’t think a lot will change. I highly doubt there to be a breakthrough in peace talks with Palestine, and I imagine the rhetoric against Iran will continue. Perhaps the government will be marginally less likely to support military action against Iran now, but I really couldn’t say.