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Finance Minister Netanyahu?

15 November 2002

By Yisrael Ne’eman

Former prime minister Benyamin Netanyahu is coming up second best against reigning PM Ariel Sharon in the Likud runoff.  Netanyahu has dropped much of his right wing bluster against the prime minister, knowing an alternative of actively preventing the development of some form of a Palestinian state in the future is a non-starter with Israeli voters.  He has also turned down the ‘Bush Outline’ something which Sharon is willing to consider.  His right wing tilt is a matter of tactics and his cover has been blown. 

Netanyahu has turned to economics, pounding away at the government failure to bring down unemployment and climb out of the worst recession in the history of the state.  Netanyahu claims he has the solutions.  Since he is promised the Number Two slot in the next government should he lose to Sharon he will get his pick of ministries.  Here his honesty will be tested as his diplomatic and oratory skills are much less important than his claims to economic solutions especially in an era where relations with the US have never been better. 

Using the economic expertise and financial connections he claims to have, he would be a much greater benefit to all should he take on the finance ministry after the January 28th general elections.  Sharon is already negotiating a $10 billion loan guarantee agreement with the US.

Someone of Netanyahu’s declared economic abilities should be able to do wonders with the funds.