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Barak Joins Netanyahu

Labour joins Likud in spite of disagreements on the peace process, and strong opposition from within.

WASHINGTON - The Real News spoke with Dion Nissenbaum, Jerusalem bureau chief for McClatchy Newspapers, about Ehud Barak's Labour party joining Benjamin Netanyahu's ruling right wing coalition.

"A lot of people are concerned that Barak will be a fig leaf as opposed to an opposing force, that his participation will allow Netanyahu to avoid substantive peace talks," says Nissenbaum.

The contentious decision has many in the Israeli press wondering if this is the end of the Labour party, but Nissenbaum points out, "There were a lot of people who thought that even if they had gone into the opposition that it would have been the death of Labour anyway cause they only have 13 seats."

Hopes for a deal with the Palestinians look grim no matter who is in power, he argues.

"My sense is that if there are going to be peace talks in the region that go anywhere they will actually come between Israel and Syria. It's possible that an Israel-Syria deal could take the pressure off Netanyahu to cut a deal with the Palestinians because a deal with Syria could change the region dynamics. It could break Syria away from the Iranian axis," says Nissenbaum.

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