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Kahlon to focus on socio-economics, not diplomacy

Having won 10 Knesset seats, Kulanu head Moshe Kahlon plans to focus on social justice issues and will not push the Netanyahu government toward renewing negotiations with the Palestinians.
Moshe Kahlon (C), head of the new centrist party Kulanu (All of Us), addresses supporters at party headquarters in Tel Aviv March 18, 2015.  Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed victory in Israel's election on Tuesday after exit polls showed he had erased his center-left rivals' lead with a hard rightward shift that saw him disavow a commitment to negotiate a Palestinian state. A new centrist party led by former communications minister Kahlon could be the kingmaker in coalition talks.  REUTERS/Stringer
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From the day he announced a time-out from political life around two years ago, Kulanu head Moshe Kahlon had not stopped thinking about this moment: the time at which he would join Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for a tete-a-tete and present his demands in the negotiations for assembling a government. On April 12, this actually came to pass, almost exactly as Kahlon had envisioned. Kahlon, who had left the Likud and founded the Kulanu party, returned as a winner. He is expected to be the strong man in Netanyahu’s fourth government and to have great political power, as his laundry list of demands has been almost completely accepted.

The previous dramatic encounter between the two behind closed doors in June 2013 resulted in bitter disappointment on Kahlon’s part. At the time, it became clear to Kahlon that Netanyahu intended to renege on the personal promise he made just prior to the previous elections and would not appoint him chairman of the Israel Land Administration. This promise was made, it seems, for campaigning purposes, to show the public that Netanyahu was committed to solving the housing crisis.

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