Avigdor Liberman’s decision Monday, at nearly the very last moment, to quit the Foreign Ministry and the coalition negotiations and take his hard-right Yisrael Beytenu party into the opposition caused enormous headaches for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
But it also relieved one relatively small pain, but a pain nonetheless: Netanyahu, at least temporarily, will have someone in the Foreign Ministry who actually speaks for him – Netanyahu himself.
Israel awoke Thursday morning, after weeks of coalition haggling and brinkmanship, to a narrow government that will not include a full-time foreign minister. At a time with numerous diplomatic challenges lurching around the corner, Israel will have a dedicated tourism minister, energy and water minister, and culture and sport minister. It will not have a full-time foreign minister.