Prime Minister Netanyahu’s move to expand his coalition to include Kadima with 28 Knesset members provides him with a majority of 94 out of 120 parliamentarians and represents nothing short of an ingenious political coup or an insidious political scheme, depending on what he does with his historic mandate. Reaching a peace agreement with the Palestinians and bridging the social gap must be first and foremost on his national agenda. Should he succeed, Netanyahu will be hailed as the leader who delivered his people from the bondage of occupation to the home of true liberty, independence and peace. Should he squander this momentous opportunity, however, he will be remembered as the most devious prime minister in Israel’s history, one whose blind personal ambitions and distorted vision brought his people to the brink of utter disaster.
In his speech following the agreement with Shaul Mofaz, the leader of Kadima, Netanyahu stipulated four central issues on which his newly expanded government will focus: “Shaul and I and the rest of the coalition, saying [sic] we're pulling together for four main issues: to pass a fair and equal replacement of the Tal Law; to pass a responsible budget; to change the system of governance; and, lastly, to try and promote a responsible peace process." It is important to note that although all four are important issues and have serious national implications, the two most pressing concerns are the peace process and the alarmingly expanding social gap between the rich and the poor.