Rabin forms government
Saturday 11 July 1992
Mr Rabin's Labour party, with its 44 seats, has signed a pact with the left-wing party Meretz and the ultra-Orthodox Shas party, consolidating a coalition of 62 seats - a majority in the 120-seat Knesset. The Labour-led coalition will also be able to count on support from the Arab parties, although they will not form part of the coalition.
Last night Labour was still holding talks with other potential coalition partners - including the right-wing party Tsomet - but Mr Rabin's majority is now secure enough to start pushing through policy changes which Palestinians hope will bring about a new round of peace talks in Rome within weeks. An early meeting is now expected between Mr Rabin and James Baker, the US Secretary of State, or with President George Bush himself.
Mr Rabin will announce his cabinet tomorrow and it is likely that he will keep the defence portfolio for himself. As a former defence minister, Mr Rabin believes that he must take personal charge of the security implications of an autonomy deal.
Although Palestinians do not expect much sympathy on the security front from Mr Rabin - the man who, four years ago, ruthlessly sought to crush the intifada - his hand on defence means he may at least be able to diffuse the fears of the Israeli right.
The Foreign Ministry is expected to go to Mr Rabin's arch- rival, and his predecessor as Labour leader, Shimon Peres. Mr Peres' politics are more dovish than Mr Rabin's, but he enjoys wide support in the party. However, Mr Rabin will insist that overall control of the peace talks remains in his office.
The appointment of a housing minister - the man who will control Jewish settlements - has not yet been decided, although it looks likely to go to Labour and not, as feared, to a right-wing coalition partner.
Signalling that the left will have significant influence in Mr Rabin's government, the pact with Meretz, which holds 12 seats, gave the party the Education Ministry and full rights to express its view that the end result of the peace process should be a Palestinian state.
Though less stridently opposed to a Palestinian state than Likud, Labour has always refused to discuss such a prospect, seeking to concentrate on securing only interim autonomy. With Meretz inside the coalition, the concept of a Palestinian state will cease to be taboo. Meretz also won the right to argue as a coalition member for the inclusion of the Palestine Liberation Organisation in later stages of the peace process.
The impact of the Labour-Shas pact will not trouble the peace process but it might upset Israel's domestic scene, particularly the religious community. By joining Labour, Shas has broken away from the ultra-Orthodox camp, ignoring their dictat to shun a coalition with Labour.
- 1 JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
- 2 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 3 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
- 4 Video shows what happens when lava is poured onto ice
- 5 Cate Blanchett loses temper during interview: 'That's your f**king question?'
Andreas Lubitz: Who is Germanwings co-pilot who 'locked out captain and crashed flight 9525'?
Germanwings crash: The poignant final photograph taken by Iranian journalist on doomed flight after watching Barcelona play Real Madrid
#FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
Cate Blanchett loses temper during interview: 'That's your f**king question?'
Jeremy Clarkson calls on trolls to leave producer Oisin Tymon alone: 'None of this is his fault'
Nigel Farage brands LGBT activists 'filth' and 'scum' and accuses them of scaring away his children after they invade his local pub
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Russia threatens Denmark with nuclear weapons if it tries to join Nato defence shield
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Vote Ukip, says far-right group Britain First
£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity to...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Trainee Managers are required to join the UK's...
£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will maximise the effective...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + uncapped commission : SThree: Hello! I know most ...