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After the elections, we suggested that Lieberman would have to pay back Kadima for its support of his party, and would push for a government with Kadima.

Lieberman’s publicized campaign to gain the Foreign Ministry is highly suspicious. Regardless of his attempts to reshape himself into a supporter of a Palestinian state, he remains absolutely unacceptable to the Israeli leftist establishment, too right-wing to conduct peace negotiations. One wonders whether Lieberman was not erecting another straw man, just as he did with Justice Minister Friedman—this time to make Netanyahu embrace even Livni as Foreign Minister.

Netanyahu is still undecided whether he wants a narrow right-wing coalition or a dysfunctional government with his purported ideological opponents from Kadima.

As an apparent payback to Lieberman, the Olmert-Livni government approved his trademark welfare program for Russian immigrants.

A Jerusalem court slapped Haredi Jew Elcanan Buzaglo with an unusually harsh four-year sentence. Elcanan, along with a few other religious Jews, requested that a certain woman of immodest behavior leave his Haredi neighborhood, threatening violence if she did not comply. The woman grossly offended the sensibilities of their religious-only community.

The government refuses Haredi Jews the basic human right to live according to their customs in closed communities. At the same time, Israeli courts vehemently defend the Arab right to self-determination. Jews, for example, are banned from purchasing houses in Arab villages. Why, then, cannot Haredi Jews protest the settling of their less religious brethren in their communities?

After the heavy-handed eviction of Beit Shalom in Hebron, the settlers quietly slipped back into the house. Without doubt, there was an understanding with the military administration and the eviction amounted to nothing more than a show.

Before losing his post, Defense Minister Barak ordered the army to re-take the house. As a nod to the settlers, the takeover turns the house into a military post to control the road from Kiryat Arba to Hebron’s Jewish Quarter, which was the point of the settlers’ buying the house in the first place.

The Supreme Court is set to decide whether to open the road to Palestinian traffic, which would make the settlers’ security untenable. Here again, the court is meddling in purely military matters outside of Israel.

Barak also removed two checkpoints near Schem, where the army has intercepted scores of terrorists.