OK, OK, so I’m stalling discussing "The Coalition Crisis” (Can you blame me?)
So this is the thing: Fouad Ben Eliezer sees he’s dropping in party polls a short while before elections for party head. Time to do something. Creates coalition crisis over social issue on budget. Just before vote on budget he demands: Move what sounds like a lot of money but is in fact a tiny fraction of territory settlement budget to the poor. Impressive. Half his party wants to leave the government, anyway, so they can dream about resurrecting Oslo (and encourage Palestinian terrorism even more than they already are). Therefore they are quite happy with the decision to vote against the budget, even going so far to explain that this will actually strengthen Israel’s economic image abroad (?).
The timely terrorist attack on Sunday gave the Likud the opportunity to call the Labor Party irresponsible, blah blah blah, at a time like this, yadah yadah yadah.
So this is what will probably happen: If the Labor doesn’t really want to leave, the sides will compromise. A nominal amount of an even tinier fraction of the settlement budget will be averted somewhere else. The Labor Party can then portray this as a great victory while the Likud belittles it. If they mean business the Labor party will vote against the budget and leave the government (or vice versa). Sharon says that if they vote against the budget he will sack them from the government and will try for a narrow government. If he can’t manage that he’ll go to elections.
But hey, what do I know? I've got to go do the washing.
Update (11:15 PM): It's looking like the Labor Party means business. Does that mean elections? Hmmm, who shall I vote for?