Only in Israel could a right wing party join a left or left of center party in the coalition,even though they are on opposite sides of the major issues.These include settlements,government reform, civil marriages and defense issues.
What is amazing is that Avigdor Lieberman's new role in the cabinet,will be to focus on the Iranian threat to Israel.By limiting his scope of influence,Olmert believes he has not taken any responsibilities away from the Defense Minister,Foreign Minister or Shabak(intelligence) head.
The problem,is that the Iranian threat is not a stand alone problem,but intertwined with foreign policy(Russia,the UN,the U.S.) and requires in depth knowledge of the military situation and specifically the nuclear capabilities of Iran,which the Intelligence Chief and the Defense Minister say they will not share with Lieberman.At the end of the day,that problem of sharing information will work out.Howevever,a minister in charge of one issue with his own foreign policy can only lead to much public and private problems for Israel.
All this in order for Olmert to avoid early elections.
What is Lieberman's goal-aside from a title and a government limo.Some observers
believe it is to prolong the Olmert administration for three more years,by giving him the extra votes in the knesset(11 more).This in essence would block Likud from forcing new elections,which might see a Bibi prime-ministership.Perhaps in three years,Lieberman will have created a different MODERATE image that would allow him to eclipse Likud and propel him to the top slot as a right wing substitute for Likud .
How the Pensioners Party and more importantly the Labor party were able to accept this deal,speaks to the dysfunctionality of Israel's political system. Kudos to Minister Pines-Paz who resigned from the Cabinet on a matter of principle and will challenge Peretz for Labor Party leader.