The unity deal
worked out secretly by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Kadima Chairman Shaul Mofaz boosts our deterrence power on the Iranian front and Israel’s ability to press the five permanent members of the Security Council and Germany not to compromise too much.
The new unity government will attest to very broad support for the Netanyahu government, while the prime minister’s and defense minister’s position on Iran’s nuclear program is widely known.
This fact was certainly not lost on the US Administration and European governments, which are very anxious about potential Israel moves that may hinder their economic recovery. After all, an Israeli strike in Iran could prompt oil prices, which are currently going down, to skyrocket.
On the domestic front, the decision to form a unity government has even greater value. First, the official forum of decision-makers on Iran - that is, the security cabinet - has been reinforced with another official who possesses great defense experience. Shaul Mofaz has served as defense minister and IDF chief of staff in the past, and recent conversations with him indicate that he will not rush to pull the trigger
Mofaz will be joining the forum of top eight government ministers, which will now turn into a forum of nine entrusted with taking informal decisions on critical security and diplomatic issues; this also includes the decision on whether to strike in Iran. What we have here is another experienced hand, which will improve the decision-making process on the defense front.
Should a decision to strike Iran be taken, the existence of a unity government will reduce the danger of criticism should the operation fail or lead to unexpected results.
In the final analysis, we can assert that the formation of the new government – assuming it will function properly and survive the crises expected in the coming months – boosts Israel’s deterrent power and upgrades its leadership’s decision-making ability on the security and diplomatic front, topped by the Iran issue.
However, we must keep in mind that the Ulpana affair and mostly the issue of drafting the haredim into the IDF have not yet been resolved. Only once the government proves that it can contend with this issues, it will also enjoy greater credibility and deterrent power on the security front.