It's the same in any lingo

בַּת-בָּבֶל, הַשְּׁדוּדָה: אַשְׁרֵי שֶׁיְשַׁלֶּם-לָךְ-- אֶת-גְּמוּלֵךְ, שֶׁגָּמַלְתּ לָנוּ
אַשְׁרֵי שֶׁיֹּאחֵז וְנִפֵּץ אֶת-עֹלָלַיִךְ-- אֶל-הַסָּלַע

How can one be compelled to accept slavery? I simply refuse to do the master's bidding. He may torture me, break my bones to atoms and even kill me. He will then have my dead body, not my obedience. Ultimately, therefore, it is I who am the victor and not he, for he has failed in getting me to do what he wanted done. ~ Mahatma Gandhi
If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, what am I? If not now, when? ~ Rav Hillel, Pirke Avot

This Red Sea Pedestrian Stands against Judeophobes

This Red Sea Pedestrian Stands against Judeophobes
Wear It With Pride

11 February 2009

Here's Another Fine Mess You've Gotten Me Into

Once again the Israeli electorate is screwing the pooch with its ludicrous system, and ideological indecision.

As it stands, Tzipi Livni, the spineless-mass inheritor of the dingdong Kadima Party is sitting on top of a 1 seat majority in the Knesset.  Bibi "I Was a Cheltenham Shoe Salesman" Netanyahu's Likud Party has 27 seats.  The Labor Party only has 13 seats.

Here's the rub.  The right wing parties (Likud, Israel Beitanu, and Shas) have the largest political presence in the Knesset.  Those three parties control 71 seats.  What does this mean?  In the convoluted world of Israeli parliamentary structure it means shitstorm.  

Because Israel has more political parties than Imelda Marcos has shoes (is she still alive?), no single party every receives enough votes to gain a controlling share of the seats in the Knesset.  It is usually up to the party who wins the most mandates on election day to form a coalition bloc that allows them to form a government.  With Likud only 1 seat down at present it may be that the right wing bands together.  If this is the case, Livni would have to cobble together a coalition of minor parties (imagine trying to get 75 Jews to agree on one thing, then try getting them to do that 100 times...if the question were whether the schnitzel was too dry you might have some luck, but this is politics.  In this regard, for every 3 people there are 4 opinions.).  

Tzipi Livni will now attempt a combination of ass kissing, bribery, and blackmail, to woo Avigdor Lieberman and Israel Beitanu's 15 mandates to her side.  If he does you can bet it was blackmail that got him there.  You see, it's very popular in Israeli politics to threaten rivals with prosecution for various crimes if they don't comply (a major reason why Ariel Sharon pushed withdrawal from Gaza and formed the Kadima party in the first place).  I can see no other reason for a man who wants Israeli Arabs (and Jews for that matter) to make loyalty oaths to the Jewish State, or have their citizenship revoked, being demoted to resident status, would join a coalition government with a corrupt party that has negotiations over the Golan Heights on the table, and balked on finishing off Hamas during Operation Cast Lead (toppling Hamas is one of Lieberman's top priorities, same for Netanyahu).

But this presents a conundrum for Bibi as well.  He could probably very easily form a coalition with IB and Shas.  But compared to IB and Shas Likud looks like lefty Labor in some respects (are you confused yet?).  In that coalition Bibi would be controlling a right wing coalition from its left.  

Bottom line is this.  Livni and Kadima may walk away with the most seats of any one party.  But it could be Lieberman who holds all the cards and who would be the one deciding Israel's political future for the next term.  

The fly in the ointment for Livni is that the army's ballot results aren't counted, at least I haven't heard they were tabulated yet.  It's possible Likud could pick up a seat.  Certainly Netanyahu has the easier path to forming a coalition than Kadima.  This could come down to Israeli All-Star wrestling: Livni v Bibi in the steel cage.  Ironically, though she is a spineless weather vane like Olmert, I think she'd take Bibi down.  Of course, she'll take Israel down with her.

But let's not count out Likud.  Bibi knows how to bust balls, and could very well end up in the Prime Minister's chair when the smoke clears.  Right now this is just too close to call.  The only thing we know for certain is that Labor, under Ehud Barak, is joining the opposition to whomever comes out ahead.  This hurts Livni's chances for political survival.  Labor's 13 seats would have gone a long way, but Kadima is a rudderless ship and Barak knows it.  When in doubt, choose contrarianism.

I cannot say which way this will go at the moment.  If Livni can't get the majority coalition she's screwed.  As usual, we probably won't know who will be running the Knesset for possibly a month.  In the meantime, I suggest making some hummus, tahini, falafel, and a some ful.  This is gonna be interesting.  What does seem clear is that the majority of Israelis voted for right wing parties.  They want an end to the terror kleptocracies in the West Bank and Gaza.  They are tired of rockets and suicide bombs, and they know that giving up land for peace with Hamas or the Palestinian Authority is a dead end (dead being the operative word).

I guess Americans can take comfort in the fact that we only get fucked by two parties instead of twenty thousand.

1 comment:

varniklili said...

2009 Israeli election ends in Kadima-Likud stalemate
watch here