Beyond the Cusp

December 31, 2018

Israeli Politics of Ineptitude and Improbabilities

 

Just a few weeks ago, the leader of the Jewish Home Party, Naftali Bennett, threatened the governing coalition headed by Bibi Netanyahu, at a time immediately after Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman resigned pulling his Yisrael Beiteinu Party from the coalition making things shaky at best leaving exactly the minimal sixty-one mandates required to have a ruling coalition, that if he did not receive the Defense Portfolio he and his number two, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked would leave the coalition taking their party and the coalition would collapse. Well, Bibi had a heart to heart with Naftali and Naftali had a change of heart and remained in the coalition. That was a few weeks back and since then Bibi had made a recovery and again appears to be the strength of Israel, so his ruling party, Likud, collapsed the coalition sending Israel into an election cycle. This made Naftali Bennett appear weak and ineffectual after caving to and basically appearing to be played by Bibi, a position many an Israeli politician has felt as Bibi made out best in a test of wills and power. Netanyahu, if nothing else, knows exactly what everybody’s weakness is and how best to exploit their vulnerabilities.

 

But all of this was about a week ago and things have really gone full circle and entered the realm of the absurd. Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked recently announced their split from Jewish Home where they had been the leaders of the party and are forming a new party they are calling The New Right, no points for originality, no points for pizzazz but they do get points for simplicity and being cryptically vague. Their complaint about Jewish Home was that the party caved too often and had been played for the fool by Bibi Netanyahu, an interesting charge from the people who set the policies and were making all the decisions over the past year. But when making a fresh start in politics, you burn your bridges behind you and set fire to the castle and the fields on your way out and then try to rise above it all by standing on the very rubble you created. Since their split, the rumors have been flying from all directions and this is not what we wish to discuss, as it is basically irrelevant and all for the effects it may cause in the voting patterns of the electorate. There is always the problem of producing a new base if you cannot take the former one you had built in your last party. Thus Bennett and Shaked are striking out to claim they were hamstrung by the religious nature of Jewish Home, the religious Zionist party they had led for the past half a decade plus, and now they were going to form a secular version of Jewish Home, which in plain speak is simply another party which stakes its claim to the secular Zionist votes, the same target audience already presumably represented by Likud, but Bennett is claiming that Likud had betrayed that cause and he is the new true and completely faithful leader for the secular Zionist. That is fine as it leaves Jewish Home to be the main religious Zionist party which also welcomes secular Zionists as proven by the two people who just left and were the top two people in the party.

 

Now let us simply talk about some of the idiosyncrasies of Israeli politics. For some unknown reason, such as overly-inflated egos, as soon as elections are called, the right wing Zionist movement splinters into half a dozen new parties plus some old parties come back from the political hinterlands. At the head of each of these parties stands a single, or potentially two, individuals who have name recognition and who claim to be the next great deliverer of Israeli political right, nationalist, Zionist population without whom the entirety of this segment of the Israel population, a plurality if not majority, would be lost and their voices never heard. The splintering of this segment of the population to these separate great saviors results in many of these parties never reaching the threshold and thus not representing anyone and the votes they garnered were wasted on the egos of their top people. Too many of these parties attempt to claim the religious Zionist camp which would be so much better if these many parties would put aside egos and make a united stand. The best method would be to have all the right wing, nationalist and Zionist parties other than Likud to have a primary election to decide the leadership and the order in which the candidates for the Knesset would appear on their combined single list. The problem here is that most of the splinter parties are not democratic but are simply dictatorships where the leading individual or two individuals decide who will be on their list and hope to garner sufficiently well known and liked people such that they reach threshold, something made all the more unlikely as the numbers of parties increases.

 

Wailing Wall with Soft Pale Blue Star of David Writ Large

Wailing Wall with Soft Pale Blue Star of David Writ Large

 

The left has a similar problem but to a lesser degree. The two main political powers on the left are the Zionist Union and Meretz. There is also the Joint List which is a collection of several Arab parties, a communist group and some other parties who by banding as one garner fifteen to twenty mandates. This Joint List, as a rule, never joins any government preferring the opposition where they can condemn every action as most of their party members have openly called for the destruction of Israel replacing it with an Arab Muslim state. By the Joint List insisting they will never join a coalition, they make forming a coalition that much more difficult as now instead of sixty-one out of one-hundred-twenty, you need sixty-one from one-hundred-five or just one-hundred. On the left, there is always a struggle over who should lead the Zionist Union, which while being a union of the Labor Party and Tzipi Livni’s Hatnuah Party, is not exactly a traditional Zionist group as they favor giving the Palestinian Authority ever increasing regions of authority even, in some opinions, to Israel pulling back within the Green Line and simply surrendering the Shomron to the Palestinian Authority and taking over a half-million Israelis from their communities, homes and often jobs. Tzipi Livni’s Hatnuah Party was formed when she split from Kadima which was wilting after Ariel Sharon suffered a stroke. Kadima was a splinter group from Likud and a collection of leftist parties including Labor which was formed in order to carry out the Gaza Disengagement, and we all know how well that worked out and the obviously monstrous results with which we suffer to this day. But the left has its prima donnas as well. The main difference is that a number of these are former IDF general officers whose claim to fame was being a battle hardened soldier who knows everything about the Israeli struggle for survival. What is amazing is the numbers of these generals whose views are about as far to the left as one can get without falling off the end of the political scale. They are almost to a man, the ones who come forth to the the great leader of the leftist camps, favorable in pulling back to the Green Line and gifting the entirety of the Shomron to the Palestinian Authority and uprooting over a half-million Israelis as noted above. These are the same generals who while not running for political office are touring the United States talking to every leftist Jewish group and synagogue collecting nice fat fees while gathering contributions to the leftist political positions, mostly NGO’s favoring a complete pull out back to the Green Line, which end up being the very NGO’s which support their run to lead the nation. One would think that there would be laws against using foreign donations to run for office in Israel, and there are but the NGO’s are not covered directly and will claim they are not directly tied to these campaigns which receive their blessing and praise. There should be a degree offered in Israeli Political Theater as that is an accurate assessment of the situation, it is theater and at its best, it is also a tragedy, almost on the same level as Shakespeare’s Hamlet, or would it be King Lear. Thus far, this time around we have retired General Gant forming a party and former politician and possibly returning to head whatever party is set on committing voter suicide, Ehud Barak.

 

Israel is just as poll happy as the United States with an average of six or more polls coming out daily once new elections are announced. They are even more meaningless here in Israel than they are anywhere else. Many a respondent does so in an attempt to make the poll appear as ludicrous as possible which means that all too many are not leading to accurate results. Sometimes one can look at a poll and just know it is a simple reaction to a sudden and previously unexpected turn of events such as the poll the morning after Bennett and Shaked announced their departure from Jewish Home and founding the New Right, the combined tally for both parties cleared easily the numbers from two days prior had shown for Jewish Home before the split. One has to wonder if they are really pulling voters away from Likud when every poll has consistently indicated that Likud will coast to an easy victory and then form the next coalition. In other words, Bibi will get to pick his coalition and punish those who have fallen out of favor. That leads us to making two predictions. The first is that Bennett and Shaked will merge their party with Likud receiving a waver to the three-year waiting period before holding political office such as Minister in the Knesset. That is the weaker of our two predictions. Our other prediction is that Bibi Netanyahu is on the verge of pulling an Ariel Sharon and completing his inexorable, tendentious and tediously slow slide leftward and away from traditional Zionist views to those views of the leftist camp. This will lead Bibi into making a coalition which will be made up by Likud along with Yesh Atid, Shas, Yisrael Beiteinu, Gesher (split from Yisrael Beiteinu) and last but not least Benny Gantz’s Hosen L’Yisrael giving Bibi a sixty-three to sixty-seven coalition mandate and forming a slightly left of center government. It would not surprise us if the Zionist Union would not request to join such a coalition which would simply be icing on the cake and pushing the coalition numbers up to around seventy MKs.

 

We told you that Israeli politics is seldom what it appears to be from the outside. One of the reasons that we can foresee such a move to the left by Bibi Netanyahu, often seen as a lion of Zionism, though how is beyond our ability to fathom, is something he said once himself. He claimed that one of his mentors was Ariel Sharon and that he believed that Sharon showed integrity and strength. Sharon also showed another making the slide to the left and he gave up Gaza creating the problems being faced today in southern Israel and the Hamas threat goes much further than just southern Israel as their largest rockets can now reach Haifa. Could it be that just as Sharon did before him, Bibi Netanyahu will be the one to completely compromise Israeli security and gift the Palestinians a state overlooking the heart of Israel. The only thing which could prevent such would be for some of his hand-picked Likud members to revolt and bring down the government standing to oppose such a disaster. Then there is always the possibility that Bibi could then do as Sharon did and make a new party out of the remnants from Likud and bring in everyone who would permit such a sacrifice of Israeli sovereignty and security all in the false name of peace, as it will bring war and not peace. The precedents are all there and of late Bibi’s actions, or lack thereof, have begun to spook us as he all too often appears ready to make good on his June 14, 2009 Bar-Ilan Speech where he stated, “In my vision of peace, in this small land of ours, two peoples live freely, side-by-side, in amity and mutual respect. Each will have its own flag, its own national anthem, its own government.” Many had hoped that statement was a simple bromide to appease a hostile and unappeasable American President Obama. But our fear comes from the apparent reluctance of Bibi to act by annexing Area C at the very least if not the entirety of the Shomron while Israel has a President in the White House and his United Nations Ambassador who both would give Israel cover for such an act. But Bibi appears too hesitant as if he awaits permission to act which is not leading but simply taking commands from foreign interests, not a viable means for ruling a nation successfully. May we be proven wrong because giving the Palestinian Authority the ability to rule and rain down rockets on the greater Tel Aviv metropolis would lead to a war of proportions which would quickly spread to Gaza and then Lebanon as Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Hezballah all joining in an attempt once more to eradicate Israel. Heaven forbid such a calamity for both Israel and her antagonists.

 

As for the remainder, we will need to wait for the elections. It is our concern that Jewish Home (our preferred party) does not suffer setbacks because of the grandstanding of our former top two going it in a new effort taking with them at least one and as many as four other of our MKs as this is a blow. The good side to this is that we will not be bound to gift top spots to any single individual and the primary elections will also choose who will lead the party, a true democratic forum is coming which could breathe some fresh faces into the top positions of power. With change comes opportunity. We can only hope that Jewish Home takes this opportunity to grow stronger and present an open and welcoming face to the public at large. We will always favor the annexation of the lands which were promised to the Jewish People in the Mandate. We desire no more but also no less. The Arabs residing in these regions should be offered three alternatives from which they can choose. The first offer is to take what you desired and the Israeli government will arrange transportation to your desired location as well as provide you with a monetary package for you to use to assist your move. The second alternative is that you may remain within Israel and be able to vote in your local election but not in the national elections and be considered a resident legal alien citizen. You will be obliged to live by the Noahic Code and obey Israeli laws or face deportation. Immediate deportation will be handed to anyone attempting to or actually carrying out an act of terrorism. That will receive zero tolerance. The final choice is made by refusing the first two. That places you in the position of opposing the right of Israel to exist as the State of the Jewish People and as such, you have chosen to be at war with the Jews of Israel. We must inform you that this will be a war whereby we will follow the rules from Biblical times. We hope that is frightening enough for you to at the very least consider taking advantage of offer number one as your current path will result in your no longer having the capability of choosing anything. That is what a war under Biblical rules means. We are to present the first two choices before implementing the third and the fact we are not simply asking the leadership of the Palestinian Arabs is because we get the impression that you all do not represent the average Arab and further, when these people are choosing their future, wherever they choose, you Mahmoud Abbas and those who have assisted your terroristic ways will already be removed from the scene. This is the path to liberation for Israel and the Arabs receive improved living conditions and freedom to choose their new leaders at the local level. With time, the Arabs who decide to remain may be granted full Israeli citizenship providing they meet certain prescribed goals. There cannot and will not be any Arab statehood west of the Jordan River, as any such state would pose an existential threat to Israel and her people as it would be able to operate as the staging area within Israel which any enemy, such as Iran, could attack while not being required to cross the Jordan River or breach the cliffs on either side. The Jordan River valley is a natural barrier protecting Israel from any eastward origins of attacks.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

1 Comment »

  1. Reblogged this on Oyia Brown.

    Like

    Comment by OyiaBrown — January 8, 2019 @ 9:30 AM | Reply


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