It is not that you can teach an old dog to perform new tricks, it is just that the old dog has a sufficient stock of old tricks, as it appears.
Once again the hopes of Bibi's aspiring rivals were crushed, in quite a cruel way. The relentless waves of pre-elections polls, predicting a win of the Labor+, were a heady and intoxicating brew - that left a serious hangover after it appeared to be misleading.
So Bibi will play the game of coalition building again, this time quite easily, if the numbers are to be believed (some small adjustments could be caused by remaining 1% of the votes to be counted still). It seems that getting the majority coalition of 67 seats will be a child's play for the time being.
But then the question about the reasons Bibi started the whole elections process start to surface. Ostensibly, Bibi's chief motivator was the impossibility to keep Yair Lapid, with his rather amorphous and vision-less Yesh Atid ( "There's a Future") toeing the line. Be it as it may, the previous coalition of four parties will be replaced by a seven-party bazaar, where the ultra-orthodox factions, back at the helm after a dry and hungry years of opposition, will do their best to replenish their greedy stomachs. Let's see Bibi forcing these ones to toe the line.
And now I shall go out on a limb and predict the direct cause of the next elections:
Aryeh Deri, the unrepentant convict, the racist, the liar, one of the last beaters of the dying ethnic political horse and all around scoundrel. You see, the Shas' 7 mandates is rather a painful loss of about 5 seats from the customary 11-12 Shas used to get. This time the fail is due to the internal split, caused by Deri's rivalry with Eli Yishay, previously his deputy in Shas. It is true that Yachad, led by Yishay, failed to gain enough votes to pass the minimum required, but for the moment the voices of Yishay's followers are lost to Shas.
So the post-election festivities by Shas were rather an expression of Schadenfreude than a celebration of achievement. Now, it is almost certain that in a few months or so Mr Deri will decide that the time came to consolidate his power in the Mizrahi orthodox community and to increase his presence in the Knesset. And the only way to do this is... you can see it now.
As for the losers:
Mr. Herzog... too bad. You should have seen in advance that being a nice guy is not the ticket. If in the future some supernatural powers grant you sufficient leadership qualities, including charisma, demagoguery, ability to cheat your way to power and lie unblinkingly, plus... let's call it by its name: a pair of balls, then maybe you'll have a chance. Oh well, we know it wouldn't happen, don't we?
Mr Yishay... my only regret is that you couldn't have taken your ex-chief, Mr Deri, with you into the wilderness of normal life. It's a pity, since the differences between the two of you are so minor you would have made a perfect pair of snake-oil peddlers somewhere in the boonies. At least this way you can have a early start and then make him your junior partner at some point in the future. Deal?
Ms Gal-on... chiao. Somebody else, no doubt, will take up the job of selling siren songs to our kids. Worthy, even if not very profitable business, ain't it?
Update: due to relentless public pressure Ms Gal-On agreed to continue with the siren song. So consider the farewell canceled.
Oh yes, and re Bibi's despicable behavior during the pre-elections time and the elections day - read this. No surprises there, though. But there is a list of excellent questions in this article, regarding Bibi's future activities. Unfortunately, knowing the subject matter a bit, the answer to most of the questions is "no". The Do Nothing man will keep doing it.