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Netanyahu has no diplomatic fig leaf

The setup of the new coalition now being negotiated offers no opening for a renewed diplomatic process, leading Israel into international isolation in a matter of a year.
Moshe Kahlon, Israel's Communications and Social Welfare Minister (L) speaks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a Likud party meeting at the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, in Jerusalem October 15, 2012. Netanyahu's Likud party suffered a setback to its popularity on Monday following the announcement by Kahlon, one of the party's best appreciated ministers, that he would step down after an upcoming general election. REUTERS/Baz Ratner (JERUSALEM - Tags: POLITICS) - RTR3966V

The current estimate is that in just a few weeks, once he finishes putting his right-wing, ultra-Orthodox coalition together, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will call Zionist Camp leader Isaac Herzog, inviting him to join the coalition. He’ll offer a similar invitation to Yesh Atid head Yair Lapid, too. Netanyahu won’t be doing this out of love or admiration for Herzog or Lapid. He will have no choice.

Netanyahu’s fourth government, which he will be hard at work patching together over the next few weeks, will be the first in which he has no diplomatic “fig leaf” to mollify the international community in general and the Barack Obama administration in particular. His problem is that the chances of either Herzog or Lapid responding positively to his call tend toward zero. They’ll let him simmer in his own juices, become an outcast in the international community, plead like a pauper for every Security Council veto, and try to withstand the tsunami of ostracism and boycotts expected to rain down on him from Europe, all with the express approval of the United States.

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