Beyond the Cusp

March 18, 2015

Long Night Births Hard Questions on Israeli Election Results

Filed under: Administration,Ahmed Tibi,Amalekites,Anti-Israel,Anti-Semitism,Anti-Zionist,Appeasement,Appointment,Arab Appeasement,Arab Authority,Arab World,Aryeh Deri,Assimilation,Avigdor Lieberman,Bayit Yehudi Party,Benyamin Netanyahu,Building Freeze,Calaphate,Civil Unions,Civilization,Class Warfare,Commander in Cheif,Condemning Israel,Conflict Avoidnce,Count Ballots,Defend Israel,Defense Minister,Dhimmi,Direct Elections,Ditherer in Chief,Divided Jerusalem,Domestic NGOs,East Jerusalem,Elections,Eli Yishai,Equal Responsibility,Equal Rights,Equal Treatment,Equality,Europe,European Governments,European Pressure,European Union,Executive Order,Finance Minister,Forced Solution,Foreign Funding,Foreign Minister,Foreign Minister,Foreign NGOs,Gender Issues Lobby,Government,Hanin Zoabi,Hatnua,Herzog,History,Holy Sites,Housing Minister,Internal Pressures,International Politics,Iran,Islam,Islamic Pressure,Israel,Israeli Capital City,Israeli Interests,Jerusalem,Jewish Heritage,Jewish Home,Jewish Leadership,Jewish State,Jews,Jihad,Jobs,Judea,Justice Minister,Knesset,Labor Party,Leftist Pressures,Likud,Mainstream Media,Media,Meretz,Middle East,Minimum Wage,Ministers,Muslim World,Nationalist,Netanyahu,Obama,Old City,One State Solution,Oslo Accords,Palestinian Authority,Palestinian Pressures,Parliamentary Government,Peace Process,Politicized Findings,Politics,Post-Zionist,President Obama,Prime Minister,Promised Land,Recognize Israel,Record Vote,Samaria,Same Sex Marriage,Secular Interests,Security Prisoners,Settlements,Shas,Shooting,Support Israel,Taxes,Tel Aviv,Temple Mount,Temple Mount,Tribe,Unemployment,Union Interests,United Nations,United States,United States Pressure,Validate Elections,Victims,Voting,War of Independence,World Opinion,World Pressures,Zionism,Zionist — qwertster @ 3:15 AM
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With virtually all the votes counted we have the preliminary picture but the lines are fuzzy and the results produce more questions than answers. Likud is leading the pact with 29 seats with the “Zionist Camp” of Labor and Hatnua following with 24 and the Joint Arab List has 14 seats, followed by Yesh Atid with 11, Kulanu with 10, Jewish Home has 8, the Haredi parties Shas and United Torah Judaism tied at 7, Yisrael Beytenu has 6 and Meretz closes out the list with 4 seats and unfortunately Yachad party will be left out. The raw numbers would indicate a huge win for Netanyahu and loss for the “Zionist Camp” falling well behind due to Likud exceeding its lower polling and Labor-Hatnua equaling expectations. A closer look reveals where the Likud came by its higher numbers and it appears that Likud gains came at the expense of largely Jewish Home and potentially prevented Yachad from making threshold. The other obvious change has been that instead of preventing the fragmentation and reducing the number of minor parties the raising of the threshold only served to drive the smaller leftist, anti-Zionist Communist and Post=Modernist parties into a single block under the name of Arab Block and given them two to three additional mandates making Zoabi and Tibi appear all the stronger. These raw results are meaningless until the different parties, unions and blocks make their desires and support clear to President Rivlin producing a clearer picture who should be given first shot at forming a coalition.

 

The raw data would make Likud out to be the victor and to the victor go the spoils, but what spoils? The name of the game is coalition making and hopefully doing so with in kind minds and supporters of your positions. This means that any seats gained by Likud at the expense of Jewish Home makes the resultant total possessed by the two presumed to be allied parties no different and all the Likud gains from Jewish Home losses as simply rearranging the chairs on either a cruise ship or the Titanic. The truth is that Netanyahu does not really want the religious, Zionist, nationalist allied parties to be the base of his support when forming his coalition. Netanyahu wants to have as much political leeway allowing him to go in whatever direction provides him with the easiest path in the new government. By Netanyahu weakening the standing of Jewish Home, when forming any coalition now would make Yesh Atid’s Yair Lapid and Moshe Kahlon’s Kulanu parties more important and carrying a greater influence than Jewish Home and making Naftali Bennett’s voice virtually powerless and squelched while Yair Lapid and Moshe Kahlon will be the roaring lions in the government and also place them ahead of Jewish Home in choosing the Ministerial position of power in the cabinet. This will give Netanyahu the leftward freedom to ignore the demands of the Religious Zionists as he desired. Netanyahu’s ploy of assailing Jewish Home voters laying any loss he might face to Hertzog and Livni at their feet just as he had done previously except this time he did so with no apparent loss in voter totals that he faced in 2013.

 

So now we wait and see who will be chosen to form a coalition first and then suffer through six weeks of excruciatingly boring power plays which we already see Jewish Home and the Zionist and nationalists being mostly sidelined while the personal aggrandizing Yesh Atid and Kulanu parties empowering Yair Lapid and Moshe Kahlon loudly impressing their demands and thus control over the most critical areas in the next government. Lapid may demand Treasury Minister for himself and two other high position Ministerial position for his main people with Kahlon likely to demand Foreign Minister or Defense Minister and two other major Ministerial positions for his list leaving Jewish Home with second pickings of the scraps for the supporting members and a middle level leftover for Naftali Bennett. The one certainty is that the governing coalition will not be the nationalist, Zionist government that Netanyahu once again ran on but will once again claim he is prevented from pursuing due to the lack of support from, you guessed it, a weakened and ineffectual Jewish Home. As long as the religious Zionists fall for the Netanyahu cry after running a weak campaign making the certainty of his returning to the Prime Ministership a definitive possibility from the polls and then turning to the supporters of Jewish Home and the other ardent Zionist parties to vote Likud to stave off the leftist challenge then Jewish Home will be forever the bridesmaid and never the bride. Eventually the leader, be it Bennett or be it his successor or beyond down the road, assuming there is a down the road, decides to challenge and present Jewish Home as the new leadership for Israel, Netanyahu will continue to utilize this ploy of siphoning off the votes of those more Zionist than Netanyahu desires to govern with and neutering those Zionist parties from where Netanyahu glides to victory with the stolen support, then the real Zionist political power will remain neutered and voiceless in the future Likud Party led governments. For now we must wait and see what develops but be warned that the expectations of the ardent Zionists have once again been sacrificed to the Bibi and thus lower expectations are their feed in the coming government. The other reality is that it appears that Netanyahu will require Yair Lapid and his treasonous backstabbing to permit a coalition to be cobbled together, so expect new elections again in two or so years when Lapid again sees a wounded Netanyahu for his actions such as the silent building freeze or whatever other sacrifices made presumably in response to a powerful United States President Obama in order to salvage continued friendship from the White House. Anybody else notice that it is only Israel who needs to obey and bow to the will of Obama? Can bowing to golden calves or worse be far behind?

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

January 18, 2015

World’s Lynching of Israel Continues at the ICC

Filed under: Administration,Ahmed Tibi,Amalekites,Anti-Israel,Anti-Semitism,Anti-Zionist,Appease Islamic Interests,Appeasement,Appointment,Arab Appeasement,Arab Authority,Arab League,Arab World,Arabist,Arabs,Avigdor Lieberman,Blood Libel,Boko Haram,Calaphate,Civilization,Condemning Israel,Court Order,Courts,Defend Country,Equal Responsibility,Equal Rights,Equal Treatment,Equality,Europe,European Council,European Governments,European Pressure,European Union,Executive Order,Forced Solution,Foreign NGOs,Gaza,Government,Hague,Hamas,Hamas Charter,Hanin Zoabi,Haniyeh of Hamas,Hate,History,ICC,IDF,IDF,Infiltration Tunnels,Internal Pressures,International Criminal Court,International Politics,ISIS,Islam,Islam,Islamic Jihad,Islamic Pressure,Israel,Israeli Capital City,Jerusalem,Jewish Leadership,Jewish State,Jews,Khaled Mashaal,Land for Peace,Leftist Pressures,Mediterranean Sea,Middle East,Military,Muslim World,Muslims,Netanyahu,Netherlands,Palestinian,Palestinian Authority,Palestinian Liberation Organization,Palestinian Pressures,Peace Process,PLO,Politicized Findings,Politics,Promised Land,Protective Edge,Recognize Israel,Regulations,Resolution,Russian Pressure,Saudi Arabian Pressure,Secular Interests,Security,Slective Choice,Smuggling Tunnels,Support Israel,Syria,Tel Aviv,Terror,Third Intifada,Union Interests,United Nations,United Nations Presures,Victims,World Government,World Opinion,World Pressures,Zionism,Zionist — qwertster @ 3:24 AM
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We all knew this day would eventually come and now it has arrived, the conducting of an investigation by the International Criminal Court (ICC) into Israeli actions during their wars against Arab forces which instigated these wars and skirmishes by their terrorist activities. The area of scrutiny will be this past summer’s war between Gaza Hamas terrorists who had initiated the conflict with the launching of thousands of rockets into Israeli towns and cities aiming not for military targets but for civilian homes, businesses as well as schools, camps, daycares, hospitals and other civilian locations. ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said her office would conduct an “analysis in full independence and impartiality” into supposed war crimes by Israel, including accusations from Hamas’s most recent terror war against Israel last summer. The Honorable Fatou Bensouda is currently one of the Chief Prosecutors of the International Criminal Court where she had previously been a Deputy Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. She is a native of Gambia and attended law school at University of Ife Nigerian Law School International Maritime Law Institute. Some might wonder why the ICC has dedicated their Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda on an investigation of Israeli actions and not assigned a prosecutor to investigate Bashir al-Assad and Syria, ISIS, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or Boko Haram for their far more obvious criminal actions and threats they pose to the societies and nations in their vicinity. Could one of the mitigating factors be that Israel is a liberal democracy with freedom of the press and is an open book making any investigation much easier and that Israel offers a safe location in which to perform ones investigations and a ready supply of functioning five star hotels perched right on pristine beaches with an active and cultured night life while investigating these other far more worthy targets for crimes against humanity and war crimes are far more dangerous, have limited accommodations while conducting the investigation and simply looking into actions of these entities could easily result in great danger to those conducting such investigations. I am sure such creature comforts and relative safety had little to do with the decision to investigate Israel and none of these other entities. If I were to be detached and honest about the choices in prosecuting Israel over Syria, Boko Haram, ISIS or al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula by the Honorable Fatou Bensouda, I would completely agree with her choice as by comparison any groundwork to be performed in Israel, even if it included daytime trips into Gaza and seeking Hamas members for their giving interrogatories and affidavits, I too would most certainly decide to investigate Israel and would take my sweet time about it even knowing and being fully aware even before I started that if any irregularities or infractions were found and Israeli officials, either or both political or military, were made aware that Israel would immediately begin their own investigation and prosecution if one were seemed warranted. What many in the world might find hard to fathom but I feel I can predict this accurately and with little risk of being disproven, if the ICC demanded to be privileged to the entire investigation and to co-investigate the Israelis would welcome the assistance and expertise the ICC investigator could provide. Would any of the other entities which the ICC has thus far refused to launch any investigations be anywhere near as cooperative or even assure the investigator and their support staff’s safety to anywhere near the level that they will receive in Israel?

 

The reason being provided by the ICC’s Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, “A preliminary examination is not an investigation but a process of examining the information available in order to reach a fully informed determination on whether there is a reasonable basis to proceed with an (actual complete) investigation.” Needless to point out, Israel has deplored the needless investigation and pointed out that the Palestinian Authority is not a nation and thus may not call for an ICC investigation nor can it actually receive ICC membership. It was also pointed out that the war in Gaza pitted Israel against Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists who consistently ignore all the laws of warfare and regularly target civilian Israelis while utilizing the civilians in Gaza as human shields for their fighters and rocket launchers and have regularly placed their leadership within a bunker built underneath Gaza’s largest hospital to assure Israel will not target the Hamas leadership. Further, it is noted that Israel uses their military to protect their civilians as proven by the Iron Dome systems and their saving of Israeli civilians in the last war and that Hamas and Islamic Jihad use their civilians to protect their weapons of war and fighters. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu stated emphatically that, “Israel rejects the absurd decision of the ICC prosecutor. It’s absurd for the ICC to ignore international law and agreements, under which the Palestinians don’t have a state and can only get one through direct negotiations with Israel.” Earlier in the day Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman took to the offense accusing the ICC of starting an investigation in order to “try to harm Israel’s right to defend itself from terror.” He further accused that the ICC was “solely motivated by political anti-Israel considerations,” and he further stated he would advise against any Israeli cooperation with the probe. Cooler heads will prevail as nothing will be gained by refusing to cooperate. But should the investigation prove to be more witch hunt than honest seeking of information and truth, then expect a very public explosion of accusations from across most of the political spectrum against the Honorable Fatou Bensouda and her staff and expect them to be invited to depart from Israel controlled areas. Since Israel removed themselves from membership in the ICC they are not obliged to offer cooperation or to subject their people to rulings or trial by the ICC and should the ICC convict any Israelis of war crimes or crimes against humanity they will be investigated by Israel as well and if found guilty of such crimes the ICC will be the least of their troubles. Surprisingly, the United States, even including the State Department, have come out in complete agreement with the Israelis in that the Palestinians are not a recognized nation nor a state by the definitions of statehood. And oddly, there is an actual treaty which is accepted as providing the legal definitions of what an entity is required to meet to be recognized as a state and thus be accepted by international conventions, agendas, treaties and other legalities. The definition for recognizing an entity as a state they must first meet the definitions within the Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States, something which virtually every international lawyer and is used by the United Nations and the majority of nations. Just in case anyone is curious, the Palestinians do not meet the requirements in the Montevideo Convention to qualify as a state.

 

I guess we have reached the point where I get to get myself in trouble by making predictions which could also qualify as guessing or taking stabs in the night while blindfolded. The Honorable Fatou Bensouda will spend over four months and demand Israel provides more documentation than any reasonable person might find necessary. Numerous prolonged trips to Tel Aviv and Jerusalem to gather information and to research the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and their actions in Gaza this past summer will be required with most coming during the winter months when Tel Aviv is nice and warm and the ICC home in the Hague in the Netherlands is experiencing wonderful winter weather with near or below freezing temperatures and horrific rain or snow and Tel Aviv has weather suitable for swimming in the Mediterranean. Well, as long as one is not a skier or ice skater, where would you rather be in the middle of the winter, freezing in the Netherlands or swimming in the Mediterranean even if it requires you to visit Israel. Me too and I already live less than five blocks from the Mediterranean in Israel but fortunately not Tel Aviv. The Honorable Fatou Bensouda will refuse to comment quoting regulations and restrictions which do allow for the Prosecutors’ Offices from commenting on an ongoing investigation. She also will not want to let out that she has completed all the investigation necessary to reach a determination but with next winter arriving in a few months why give up on a reason to escape the worst of the winter weather swimming in the Mediterranean. The inevitable result will be, at the worst, one or two potential investigations which Israel will have completed proper investigations and have prosecuted any deserving soldiers or commanders which will negate the need for an ICC intervention. There has already been one investigation launched about six weeks ago into a potential situation which may require hearings or even a trial. The earliest hearings were held against a commander who was exonerated from the charges of refusing to pass information which may have caused investigations within his units to higher-ups but the investigation resulted in turning up the actual paperwork which had been filed with his superiors negating any suspicions or need for further actions. When the ICC Prosecutors’ Office releases their report signed and approved by the Honorable Fatou Bensouda revealing that no discrepancies or criminal investigation has been determined to be required and that the IDF has been cleared of any wrongdoings over their actions during the war with Hamas and the terror entities in Gaza during the Protective Edge operations over the summer there will be denounced and the Arab Authority, PLO, Fatah, Hamas and other Arab spokespersons will take turns denouncing the ICC for being duped or controlled by the Israelis or by the Jews who have infiltrated the Prosecutors’ Offices and tainted their impartiality. The Arab League will convene an emergency meeting to address the crisis caused by the obviously politicized lack of findings of guilt of war crimes committed by Israel during the summer war. It would not be surprising for the Arab nations or the Palestinian Liberation Organization to take a petition to the United Nations General Assembly demanding that they pass a resolution demanding that the ICC act on the crimes against humanity and war crimes which they must have discovered during their investigations and immediately make those crimes known to the world such that those guilty Israeli soldiers are able to be tried by European nations who claim international jurisdiction and demand that the IDF can be roundly condemned by the United Nations General Assembly in lieu of any action from the ICC. At the least the condemnation will be passed by the General Assembly and potentially there will be another resolution demanding the ICC release the entirety of their presumably confidential findings complaining that the summation and report they provided was inadequate and the General Assembly desires to review all of the evidence to determine what crimes were overlooked by the ICC under duress exerted by Israel and the Jewish world lobby. The grousing by Abbas, Erekat, Haniyeh, Mashaal and the rest of the Arab spokespersons even to include Ministers of the Knesset Zoabi and Tibi and others that there must have been dubious findings which had to be the result of evil influences which forced the ICC to issue their report exonerating the IDF which obviously had to have committed war crimes and crimes against humanity. The overwhelming evidence, they will claim, was evidenced by the lack of Israeli civilian casualties compared to the overwhelming numbers of civilian casualties suffered by the citizens of Gaza. This disparity can only be explained by war crimes and the IDF targeting the civilians and could not have been the result of Hamas using their civilian population as shields for their rocket launchers and terrorist fighters or by the Iron Dome intercepting virtually all of the Hamas and Islamic Jihad rockets fired which were likely to strike inhabited areas. There will be some European justices who will accept the Arab accusations and will issue warrants for the IDF hierarchy and potentially issue warrants for Israeli politicians in high office or holding Ministerial positions. Eventually everything will calm down and the warrants will lapse or be cancelled outright and the end will come when the Arab whining politicians have wrought all the media coverage they can from their whining about the evil Israelis and treacherous Jews. By then there will be something else with which to condemn Israel and demand that Israel be forced to conform to any and all demands made by the Arab Authority.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

December 2, 2014

Existential Crisis Most Likely to Bring New Elections

Filed under: Abdullah Abdullah,Absolutism,Abu Mazzen,Act of War,Administration,Al-Aksa Martyrs Brigade,al-Aqsa Mosque,al-Aqsa Mosque,Amalekites,Appeasement,Appointment,Arab World,Arabs,Ariel Atias,Aryeh Deri,Avigdor Lieberman,Balanced Budget,Ballot Access,Barbarian Forces,Bashir al-Assad,Battle of Khaybar,Blood Libel,Borders,Britain,British Mandate,Budget,Cabinet,Cabinet,Caliphate,Chancellor Merkel,Civilization,Class Warfare,Coalition,Colonial Possession,Corruption,Count Ballots,Courts,Crusades,Danny Danon,Debt,Divided Jerusalem,Economy,Employment,Equal Responsibility,Equal Rights,Equal Treatment,Equality,Estonia,Eugenics,Europe,European Governments,European Union,Executive Order,Failed State,Fatah,Fatah Charter,Fayyad,Federal Reserve,Financial Crisis,Fiscal Cliff,Foreign Trade,Gaza,Germany,Golan Heights,Government,Government Control,Government Shutdown,Government Worker,Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Hussani,Green Businesses,Green Line,Haaretz,Hamas,Hamas Charter,Hate,Hatnua,Health Care,Herzog,Hevron,Hezballah,History,Holy Sites,Hunger Strike,IDF,Inquisition,Internal Pressures,Internationalist,Intifada,Iron Dome,ISIS,Islamic Jihad,Israel,Israeli Capital City,Israeli Interests,Israeli Media,Jerusalem,Jerusalem Day,Jewish Heritage,Jewish Home,Jewish Leadership,Jewish State,Jews,Jordan River,Joseph’s Tomb,Judea,Judean Hills,Justice Minister,Kever Yosef,Knesset,Labor Party,Land for Peace,League of Nations,Lebanon,Leftist Pressures,Likud,Mahmoud Abbas,Mainstream Media,Meaning of Peace,Media,Mediterranean Sea,Mercaz Harav Yeshiva,Meretz,Middle East,Middle East Media Research Institute,Ministers,Ministership,Moshe Feiglin,Moshe Yaalon,Mount of Olives Cemetary,Muhammad Abu Shahala,Muslims,Nablus,Naftali Bennett,Nahariya,Nasrallah,Nationalist,Negev Desert,Netanyahu,New York Times,Old City,One State Solution,Oslo Accords,Palestinian Authority,Parliament,Parliamentary Government,Partition Plan,Peace Process,PLO,PLO Charter,Pogroms,Politicized Findings,Post-Zionist,Power,President for Life,Price Tag Crimes,Prime Minister,Prime Minister,Prisoner Release,Promised Land,Protect Citizenry,Protective Edge,Public Service,Rabbi Yosef,Ramallah,Recognize Israel,Red Lines,Refugee Camp,Refugees,Religious Jews,Response,Response to Muslim Takeover,Response to Terrorism,Right of Return,Rock Throwing,Rocket Attacks,Roman Empire,Rome,Ron Prosser,Run-Off Elections,Saeb Erekat,Samaria,San Remo Conference,Sanctions (BDS),Security,Seige of Vienna,Senate Majority Leader,Senate Minority Leader,Separation Barrier,Settlements,Shas,Shechem,Shelly Yachimovich,Siege of Vienna,Single Payer Plan,Speaker of the House,State Legislature,Statehood,Support Israel,Syria,Tel Aviv,Temple Mount,Terror,Terrorist Release,Third Intifada,Threat of War,Tribe,Tzipi Livni,United Nations,United States,Uri Ariel,Validate Elections,Vote of No Confidence,Waqf,West Bank,World Opinion,World Pressures,Yair Lapid,Yasser Arafat,Yesh Atid Party,Yisrael Beiteinu,Yuli Edelstein,Zionism,Zionist — qwertster @ 3:40 AM
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Prime Minister Netanyahu and Prime Minister in his own mind Yair Lapid had their fateful meeting where the real Prime Minister basically laid out what would be required from Yair Lapid and his party members in order to continue the current coalition. One of the problems which have struck the coalition has been the idea by the other party leaders that they should be the Prime Minister and run the government. Yair Lapid was rumored to even have attempted to patch together his own coalition and exercise a coup of sorts and take over the government through a deal with opposition parties thus forcing a new government without having new elections. Then we have the twisted dreams of Tzipi Livni who believes that she is fated to be Prime Minister because she honestly feels she has been robbed of her opportunity to lead the nation and will likely continue to pursue this phantom reality for the rest of her political life. There is the expected leader and head of the opposition parties Yitzhak Herzog, the leader of the Labor Party, has already claimed his rightful position as Prime Minister in waiting convinced that new elections will serve as the cleansing of the government of Prime Minister Netanyahu and instead bring a liberal wave sweeping Herzog into the Prime Minister slot. He was quoted speaking of the inevitable results of new elections stating, “The Labor party will lead the bloc that will win the election and give hope and a new reality for the citizens of Israel.” Apparently these Prime Ministerial candidates holding these delusional beliefs have either not read any of the polling done or they believe, as Yitzhak Herzog stated just the other day, that the polls are meaningless as they have sampled those they know and all of the people in their circle agree that new elections will place them at the head of the next government. If I were to ask those closest to me if I would win the coming elections and get to form the next coalition government I am sure that at least one or two would play along and assure me that I was not delusional, but they would also realize I was joking. Unfortunately for Israel, these Prime Minister wannabes are not joking and believe their own propaganda that they are the next chosen one.

 

This crisis was brought to a head when the proposed Jewish State Law which was intended to restate and reaffirm that Israel is the home of the Jewish People as well as a democracy where every citizen is guaranteed their respective rights as citizens. To any casual observer this law would be a no brainer but instead it became the initial protest vote where both Yair Lapid and Tzipi Livni threatened their voting against the Jewish State Law should it be brought to the Knesset for a vote. This led to rewording the bill in attempts to make it palatable to the few who insisted on remaining unappeasable. The reality is that both party leaders were actually more upset that the governing coalition refused to tow their line and follow their agendas and instead were following the agenda put forth by the Prime Minister and originally voted for as part and parcel of joining the coalition upon its formation. So, it now appears that Israel is about to go into another election with all the usual posturing and backstabbing starting with each party holding their disparate meetings or votes or some combination thereof in order to present their list of proposed Knesset Ministers for well past their polled expectations to receive once the election results are finalized. The expectations from current polling, something that is almost meaningless as elections have historically brought surprises and twists beyond belief, has Likud remaining the largest block of Ministerial positions and thus most likely to be chosen to form the next coalition. There are indications that the next largest party might be Jewish Home which will be a surprise to the leftist parties who are expecting the Israeli voters to cast off both Likud and Jewish Home in favor of Labor, Meretz and Yesh Atid. The polling has also indicated that Lapid’s Yesh Atid Party will only manage to win half the number of seats in the Knesset than they did in their initial and surprising success in their inaugural presentation before the voting public in the last election. These polls also depicted Tzipi Livni’s HaTnuah Party as barely making a minimal entry number of seats if even breaking the threshold required to be represented in the Knesset, let alone receive the nod to form the next government. The one hope all of those vying to be the next Prime Minister can invest their aspirations upon is that the least likely thing which was unexpected by all the pollsters, party leaders, experts and prognosticators and initially dismissed as insignificant can still resonate with the Israeli public while remaining below the radar and surging forth on election day to produce the unexpected results in the next elections completely throwing all the news outlets an unseen curve which they will be at a loss to explain. The elections may prove once again that there is no such thing as a sure bet when the voting public gets to make the decisions.

 

Of course new elections are not yet guaranteed as it will take a vote in the Knesset to dissolve the parliament and hold elections and there is the possibility that Yair Lapid will return to the fold and swallow his pride for the good of the coalition and by such an action garner some new supporters which always is a desired result for any politician. Lapid was given five acts he must agree to if he desires to avoid new elections. These were to stop attacking the coalition and especially to end his criticisms of the building plans in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria and the Israeli relations with the United States. Next he was to transfer the six billion shekels to the defense budget as promised for their development of Iron Dome systems and armored personnel carriers. Third was to release the funding for the IDF relocation to the new Negev as was agreed upon by coalition agreements, something Lapid was blocking going so far as to have frozen this funding taking what he referred to as a principled stand. Fourth was for him to support the final version of the Jewish State Law. Finally he would be required to surrender and shelve the zero percent VAT relief bill he had been pushing for very determinedly. This final demand is expected to be the last straw and the one Lapid will refuse to meet thus likely forcing new elections.

 

One reading the polls would expect that Lapid would find it easier to remain in the current coalition where his Yesh Atid Party enjoys nineteen seats in the Knesset, a far cry better than the nine seats which many polls have indicated he would receive from new elections. The guessing here believes that Yesh Atid would probably suffer an even bigger embarrassment and only manage six or maybe seven seats and be on its way to extinction unless Yair Lapid could find a path back to the promises and apparent ideals he initially presented as the guiding essentials set forth in the last election. Those who suspected that much of the Zionist and nationalist line that Minister Lapid had professed was more ruse than ideological foundation as it was presented. These suspicions proved to be valid as once in the government Yair Lapid appeared to inexorably veer to the left and discard much of his nationalist agenda and instead attempt to inject his liberal slant into policy even at the expense of manipulating the budget which he had promised certain arrangements and allocations which he in the end did not deliver on. And this may only be the tip of the iceberg of potential changes which might be produced by holding new elections. The largest changes are always the ways in which the factions and parties arrange their own coalitions’ makeup. The most evident breakup has already taken place in which the one-time marriage of Likud with Yisrael Beiteinu which will also mean that Avigdor Lieberman will be leading his own party rather than being second on the combined ticket with Bibi Netanyahu taking the top slot. Netanyahu is probably expected by most to continue to take the top slot on any Likud ticket but that may not be as guaranteed as one might believe. There will be a credible challenge to Netanyahu in the voting for the Likud ticket as Danny Danon is expected to give Netanyahu a challenge from the right and even more nationalistic Zionist side of the party. We could potentially see a Likud ticket with a new face at the helm which may signal a changing of the guard within Likud even should Danny Danon fall short in his challenge. Danon is definitely one of the future leaders in Likud and the time is rapidly approaching for these new leaders to step forth. Other than the breakup of Likud and Yisrael Beiteinu, there may be other alterations to more parties and combinations than could be readily covered in this article and are best left for after the parties have all filed and made public their intents. Then there will be the leadership challenges in parties other than Likud. We have to wait and see if the somewhat controversial leader of Jewish Home, Naftali Bennett, remains the top man on their ticket and whether they will continue with their current makeup or if some factions might go it on their own. Then there may be a contest for the leadership position of the Haredi parties, largely concerning in Shas and whether the more liberal and left leaning Arye Deri remains in the number one slot or if Eli Yishai or Ariel Atias will make a successful challenge from the more nationalist and right leaning side of the party. With the passing of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef there can now be a true contest for the leadership of the Shas Party. Labor just recently had a change in leadership with Yitzhak Herzog taking the top spot replacing Shelly Yachimovitch. After all is said and done the next government may very well have a similar outward appearance to the current coalition but within there will be some changes, just how many and how far this difference proves to be remains to be seen. If Likud has a new person topping their ticket, such a change could excite the electorate or perhaps the shock of Bibi Netanyahu being replaced will be too much for the Israeli public. Then there are some polls which have shown Jewish Home Party actually replacing Likud as the leader in the Knesset and thus very likely making their first name on their Knesset list the next Prime Minister. It still remains to be seen if that name will continue to be Naftali Bennett. And then again, there is still hope for yours truly as, after all, those I have talked to still hold out hope for me to be picked to form the next government, and why not? Talk about strange happenings, that would take the cake.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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