Monday, February 09, 2009

Israel Goes To The Polls


The Israeli elections begin tommorow ( tonight,our time) and I think it's helpful to understand the basic outlines. And especially,why they're important.

Two other members of the Olmert government troika, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni of Olmert's Kadima Party and Defense Minister Ehud Barak of Labor are up for election as Prime Minister. The two main candidates opposing them are Benyamin ( Bibi) Netanyahu of Likud and Avigdor Lieberman of Yisrael Beiteinu( Israel Our Home).

The Olmert/Livni/Barak government has, to say the least, been one of the most undistinguished in Israel's history. That government has seen Israel's security deterrant begin to melt away while the country involved itself in two inconclusive and prematurely ended wars that failed to dislodge two genocidal Iranian proxies who now have the means to hit almost all of Israel with increasingly accurate and powerful missiles.

Even worse, the current government has failed to deal with the existential threat of Iran's nuclear missiles, relying on the EU and the US to deal with it while at the same time failing to learn the lessons of the failed policies of the Oslo era.

If most polls show Israel as having veered to the right and as opposing a Palestinian state, that is simply a response to the actions of the Palestinians and their fellow Arabs over the last 15 years.

Simply put, the majority of Israelis have gone from believing that peace was possible back in the 1990's to realizing that no matter how much land it gives up,no matter how many Jews it uproots from their homes, no matter how many terorrists it releases from its jails it will never be enough to have the Arabs accept allowing Jews to live in peace in the Middle East...until they see there's no alternative.

It was Ze'ev Jabotinsky,founder of the Jewish legion that fought with the allies in WWI and the father of the Haganah who predicted this back in 1923 after the Arab pogroms against Jews in Israel when he said of the Arabs that "they would accept Zionism only when they found themselves up against an 'iron wall," or in other words, when they realized they had no alternative but to accept the Jews right to live in peace in Israel.

He was entirely correct and a majority of Israelis realize it, but one of the choices they will make on election day is whether to acknowledge that reality or whether to continue to live in the fantasy of Oslo.

Another decision the Israeli electorate is going to have to make unfortunately has to do with their relationship with America.

In spite of how it's been characterized,the Bush Administration and Condaleeza Rice were hardly all that pro-Israel. The Obama Administration is likely to be even less so. Obama's appointments of Susan Power and George Mitchell as well as his craven 'outreach' to Iran and the rest of the Muslim world are clear indications that one of President Obama's ideas for appeasing Muslims is to pressure Israel to accept
the Saudi Peace ultimatum in full, even if it destroys the Jewish State as it very likely would.

Ehud Barak and Tzipi Livni have already shown that they would be far more amenable to this kind of blackmail. Bibi Netanyahu and Avigdor Lieberman would likely not be, and Netanyahu and Lieberman would also be far more likely to deal forcefully with Iran, even over the Obama Administration's objections. That's why you have anti-Israel writers on the Left like Jonathan Freedman in al-Guardian and EJ Dionne in the Washington Post urging the Israelis to 'vote for peace.'

In reality, a vote for either of the two remaining members of the Olmert troika is a vote for destruction, not peace. However, it might very well also be a vote for friction with the Obama Administration.

President Obama has thus far upset our allies in Poland, Czechoslovakia and India. Israel could very well be added to that list.

Israel is a parlimentary democracy. What that means is that coalition governments are the norm, and the magic number is 61, a majority of seats in the 120 member Knesset. While the party that wins the most seats normally gets the Prime Minister's slot, it is normally necessary to cut deals and bring other parties into the government by offering ministerial portfolios or other concessions to get to a majority.

Thus far, the polls show Netanyahu slightly ahead of Tzipi Livni and Kadima, but with Avigdor Lieberman and Yisrael Beiteinu a strong third, ahead of Barak and Labor.

What that means is that if Netanyahu wins,he will likely have to form a coalition to the right with Lieberman and the religious and nationalist parties that woiul dpreclude any further giveaways of Jerusalem or in Judea and Samaria (AKA the West Bank).

Another rumor I'm hearing is that Kadima has a plan to give away the store and pay whatever Hamas wants in the form of releasing terrorists in order to get Gilad Shalit back as a boost to their election prospects.

We'll see what happens...stay tuned.

6 comments:

Amerisrael said...

You are right about the anti-Israel writers being busy. Logged on to the Drudge Report and saw this link:

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=washingtonstory&sid=aeKTFmR61kD0

The writers there are under the assumption that Likud will win and Bibi will be Prime Minister. They are concerned and worried that he might not roll-over for Obama. Steve Clemons of the New America Foundation said,
" At the end of the day Obama must be willing to put the screws to Israel."
These moonbat leftists, they are in such denial, they don't get it that the conflict is really ideological and steems from what is in the Koran and Islam.

Anonymous said...

Joshua 'Czechoslovakia' !!
WtF !!

Slovakia split off from the Czech's several years ago

Freedom Fighter said...

Mea culpa...what is it,the Czech Republic now?

BTW, I'm not alone...AP still refers to it as 'Czecholslovakia'!

Ymarsakar said...

Israel is a parlimentary democracy. What that means is that coalition governments are the norm, and the magic number is 61, a majority of seats in the 120 member Knesset. While the party that wins the most seats normally gets the Prime Minister's slot, it is normally necessary to cut deals and bring other parties into the government by offering ministerial portfolios or other concessions to get to a majority.

Exactly what caused Hitler to be made Chancellor. The President of the Wehrmacht Republic couldn't hold a majority come elections.

And also why I don't like parliamentary systems. They suck, without at least a monarch with real powers.

Ymarsakar said...

BTW, I'm not alone...AP still refers to it as 'Czecholslovakia'!

Quoting the AP doesn't exactly do you any favors ; )

Freedom Fighter said...

Hey, I'll quote the One:

"It's just words..."