>> It was like something out of House of Cards. Political maneuvering, a surprise twist and a back-stabbing. When it was all over, and it took just a couple of house, Benjamin Netanyahu was on course for a deal that would broaden his governing coalition and put him well on the way to becoming Israel's longest serving leader.
I'm Jeffrey Hiller, Reuters Editor-in-Charge in Jerusalem. Just a few days ago, it seemed as if Netanyahu was about to bring a center left party, the Zionist Union into his government. It's contribution of 24 legislators would have significantly broadened the Netanyahu government, which has been ruling by a one-seat majority in Parliament.
But a deal with the moderates would have most likely led to pressure from the Zionist Union to soften policy towards the Palestinians and embark on a more active pursuit to revive peace talks with them. So in a surprise move, Netanyahu opted to form an alliance with Avigdor Lieberman.
He's a right wing politician who has frequently questioned the Palestinians' commitment to peace. Once, he even suggested bombing Egypt's Aswan Dam. Now a lot of that might just be bluster and some say Lieberman is a pragmatist, after all, he's a former Foreign Minister, but his appointment is already raising Palestinian concern, and it takes Israel's right wing government even further to the right.