Beyond the Cusp

August 1, 2019

Election Update, Can Bibi be Stopped?

 

We are not foolish enough or so blind as to believe that Bibi will not be forming the next government. This is almost an inevitability. But what can be prevented is his forming a “Unity Government” with Blue White while leaving the New Right-United Right coalition he all but forged himself out in the cold. It is entirely possible, probable even, that between Likud and Blue White parties they will have over sixty mandates likely achieving as high as sixty-seven mandates between the two parties. Such an outcome precludes any other parties being required to form a government. We understand that everyone who proposed such an outcome thus far have had their prediction ridiculed and their acumen questioned. We would rather simply explain our reasoning and allow it to stand or be crushed by the eventual events surrounding the coming September elections.

 

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First, we will admit we feared this when Bibi was unable to cobble together a right-leaning coalition after the elections just passed and failed in forming a coalition. We even see the European Union (EU) having a small hand in these coming disasters. They are the reason that Bibi needs a coalition which he has sufficient control such that it cannot crumble as the plans move ahead. Bibi is facing the Sharon moment when his entire reputation into the future will be affected. Ariel Sharon faced a similar threat to his plan but managed to form a new coalition under a new party without holding elections. He took a fair number of Likud members as the core to his new Kadima Party and formed a unity government around them using the Labor Party as the main partner. This led to the Gaza Withdrawal. One particular factoid which bears remembering is that until immediately before the Gaza Withdrawal was executed, Bibi Netanyahu remained allied with Ariel Sharon only pulling his support when it became obvious that Bibi would have lost his credibility within Likud, something which would have made his run as Prime Minister impossible. Bibi pulling away from Sharon was something necessary for its political expediency and to hold together the power base which Bibi had formed and who would be his springboard back into the Prime Minister position. But Bibi also was impressed by the media attention and the praises lavished upon Ariel Sharon simply for his having permitted Israeli policies to be dictated by the United States, specifically the State Department, and the approving light shined on the Gaza Withdrawal by the EU and its member states.

 

We have always suspected that Bibi Netanyahu plays to two audiences, the core Likudnics who keep him at the fore of his party and the European leaders from their respective capitals and the EU as the voice of Europe. These are also the main controlling forces behind much of the world media, or the result of what the media praises and condemns. Bibi is not solely to blame for far too many of the positions and decisions he makes as we fear that Sarah, his wife, has far too much sway and influence over his actions and even sometimes what he is permitted to think. This may have been the source rumors after the last elections that Bibi had signed an agreement with the EU allowing them to build anywhere in Area C from the Oslo Accords which had designated Areas A and B for the Palestinians to build and Area C was to be reserved for Israel. Of course it did not take the EU and numerous European nations along with the United States State Department, from now on this grouping shall be referred to as “the Beasts,” from decrying that the entirety of the disputed territory was supposed to be given to the Arabs and Israel should just be glad they were permitted to win the Six Day War and Yom Kippur War. Any other nation on planet Earth who had been attacked by around half a dozen neighboring countries would be granted the right to annex whatever lands were considered necessary to provide more secure and defensible borders. The aggrieved nation would also have the right to force the inhabitants of any lands they deemed necessary for their achieving good and decent borders to relocate into the nation from which said lands were acquired without any remuneration. These were the rules by which the entirety of the map of Europe was drawn, actually redrawn, after World War I when the Austria-Hungarian Empire and German Empire were broken up by the victorious allies (see maps below). This redrawing of the map even went so far as to create several nations such as Poland, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia. These nations were formed under the auspices that indigenous peoples required their own nation, the exact reason why at the same time as Europe was redrawn, so was the Ottoman Empire and Israel was to be established as the homeland of the Jewish People. The British Mandate declared that the borders of the state of Israel were the Negev border with the Sinai Peninsula, the Blue Line with Lebanon, the Golan Heights with Syria and the Jordan River with Transjordan (later renamed Jordan). What is most definitely notable by its absence is the imaginary nation of Palestine where Palestinian Arabs presumably are the indigenous peoples.

 

German Empire and Austro-Hungarian Empire Before WWI and After WWI

German Empire and Austro-Hungarian Empire Before WWI and After WWI

 

Even the wars Israel was forced to fight simply to be born in 1948, again in 1967 and once more in 1973, after this loss the new tactic of terrorism and destroying Israel in stages became the order of the day. So, let us list the combatants in each of the wars Israel has survived and it just may be educational for us. The war of 1948 has euphemistically called the Israeli War of Independence simply because the war was launched mere hours after Israel was formed and had declared their independence from the British Mandate and British rule. A more accurate description of the war was given by Azzam Pasha, Secretary-General of the Arab League at that time, who stated, “It will be a war of annihilation. It will be a momentous massacre in history that will be talked about like the massacres of the Mongols or the Crusades.” The proper name for the 1948 war is it was a War of Annihilation where the Jews would be wiped from the map of the Middle East and the world. Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen who were further aided by irregulars such as the Holy War Army, Arab Liberation Army and other militias plus what were called foreign volunteers consisting of the Muslim Brotherhood, Pakistan and the Sudan. Then in 1967 came the Six Day War, so named because it took six days. The combatants on the Arab side were Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon along with aid from numerous other Arab nations and several militias. The war in 1973 was launched in a surprise attack by the Arab forces on the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur when virtually everybody was either in Synagogue or at the beach if they were less religious. For the history challenged, this was before cellphones and the IDF commanders sent trucks with loudspeakers atop announcing the universal call up as Israel was at war. IDF soldiers were seen running through the streets to their homes to grab their military gear and then they met up and formed impromptu units with whomever they had and set off to turn back the invading Arab armies. These included Egypt and Syria with expeditionary forces, a nice way of saying they did not send everybody, from Jordan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco and Cuba with the entire effort supported and armed by the USSR. This was the time when the Russian leader Leonid Brezhnev called Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir demanding that Israel cease fighting their poor innocent Arab allies by noon Thursday or face the wrath of the Soviet Union. The call was made on Tuesday and Golda Meir simply replied to Leonid Brezhnev asking, “Why wait?” or so it was reported. The Soviet Union did not join the war. But reviewing the names of those who fought against Israel and one notices the absence of anything remotely Palestine related. The claim that Israel was founded over top of what was Palestine hold no validity either as before the lands became Israel, they were a part of the British Mandate and before that the Ottoman Empire. There has never been a nation called Palestine in all of history. But the world is dead set on inventing it and working with the Arabs to replace Israel with Palestine.

 

This is the reason that the EU pressed Israel to provide them permission to build in Area C where their intent is to place Palestinian towns such that all the Jewish communities are completely cut off from Israel and can be suffocated when the next round of violence starts. The EU has already been building a number of these communities without permits or any arrangements for making them habitable. They do serve well as a propaganda and political message as the Arabs will place themselves in these towns and guides bring EU officials, heads of state and UN officials through these communities pointing out their dearth of utilities or anything which might make them habitable. Since these communities have thus far been simply thrown up anywhere the EU can find open areas, preferable at hill tops or other critical places all without permits or making arrangements, these communities lack roads, electricity, gas, water, sewage or any other niceties. They even lack cable television. When the tours are given, the lack of utilities is blamed on Israel and these officials gobble that up without checking the validity, after all, the Jews are denying these poor people utilities, why look up the facts when it is so obvious to these anti-Semites. But this is apparently about to change, and why, because the EU and the UN and far too many leaders around the world to even try to list have all claimed that all of the disputed area must not be returned to Israel. But now the EU desires having these communities and all future EU constructions to be provided with utilities, roads and everything to make them habitable and thus new facts on the ground supporting the claims by leftists and anti-Israeli, anti-Zionist and anti-Semites that none of the disputed territories have any relation which could imply Israeli ownership of these lands. These are all parts of the efforts which began almost immediately after the San Remo Conference set the lands between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River as set aside for the Jewish State. Even Egypt and Jordan recognized that they had held Gaza and the Shomron (West Bank) actually belong to Israel as they relented all claims to these areas which they had illegally occupied from 1949 until Israel liberated them in the 1967 Six Day War. The only remaining action under international law which remained to be executed was the relocating of the peoples back into the redrawn borders placing them under their proper national control. But why allow a little thing such as international law be applied to Israel which, according to so many in this world of ours, has no right to exist on any land no matter how small an area. The main country which has made any moves towards recognition of the Israeli right to these lands has been the United States and largely due to the support given Israel by Congress since the early 1970’s when United States aid and allying with Israel initially began.

 

For those who believe that the United States has always had Israel’s back, here are a few facts which belie such thoughts. Yes, the United States voted for the UN patrician plan which would have taken the lands west of the Jordan river and divided it between Israel and a new Arab state (see map below). They then proceeded to place an arms embargo on the entire Middle East which allowed the Soviet Union to back their Arab allies and left Israel basically alone. Israel was originally provided aircraft by France who sold Israel some Mirage jets. The United States took an interest in Israel after the Six Day War as Israel appeared to be worthy of American support against the Soviet backed Arab states. It was when Israel was about to put the Lavi fighter, an indigenous production by Israeli industries, that the United States had second thoughts. The Lavi would have been in direct competition with the F-16 on the international arms market that caused the United States to propose a deal with Israel if she would stop their production of the Lavi even before they had started to produce this indigenous fighter jet. America offered F-16’s plus F-15’s and they promised that Israel would always have air superiority supported by the United States. This promise has recently fallen by the wayside as the United States is providing Saudi Arabia and Egypt with F-35 JSF’s, the same aircraft they have provided Israel thus making the Arab air forces having more F-35 JSF’s than Israel possesses. For this reason, economic reasons and simply dependence on nobody else are reasons that Israel must immediately make plans to produce their own aircraft once more. This would provide for thousands of high paying jobs for everything from production line personnel to the engineers required to design the next generation of jet fighters and other support aircraft. This would make Israel more independent and no longer having to rely on the United States aircraft meeting the Israeli requirements for their own air superiority.

 

Israel Through the Ages United Nations Proposed and Arab Rejected Partition and Israel as Promised by International Treaty Israel on Morning of May 15 Before War of Annihilation

Israel Through the Ages
United Nations Proposed and Arab Rejected
Partition and Israel as Promised by International Treaty
Israel on Morning of May 15 Before War of Annihilation

 

Meanwhile, Bibi Netanyahu has already begun working on the means for permitting the EU to build facts on the ground in Area C. In a recent Cabinet meeting, Ministers set guidelines for approval of construction of housing units for Arabs in Area C. This is the necessary step required to make these EU communities legal and becoming fact on the ground. Once there have been guidelines set, they can be twisted, spindled, folded, torn and manipulated in order to provide cover for any and everything the EU desire to build and the eventual cutting off of the Jewish communities in Area C such that they will become unsupportable and have to be relinquished upon which the Arabs will take them over as well. The end result of this is to allow for the creation of an Arab Palestinian state covering the entirety of the disputed lands. The only area which would remain disputed would be East Jerusalem. This is where the PLO and PA demand that their state have its capital city. Should the Arabs succeed in making East Jerusalem part of their state, it would mean the Western Wall, Temple Mount and numerous other historic and biblical places being placed beyond the reach of the Jews just as it was when Jordan occupied these lands. Gaza has already been surrendered and Hamas with Islamic Jihad hold this region from which they launch attacks upon Israel often at the behest of Iran. Should the EU, UN, world busybodies and whomever else is pressing for the establishing of a new Arab state cut from the midsection of Israel succeed, which with Bibi’s assistance is inevitable, then Israel will have been forced back to the initial borders she faced at the onset of the Six Day War. This would make Israel nine miles in width at her narrowest point centered on Tel Aviv. This would place Tel Aviv in direct fire from rockets shot off the Judean Hills overlooking the center of Israel. Once Hamas backed by Iran took control of these areas, Israel could expect rockets to be launched whenever Iran felt it necessary into the heart of Tel Aviv where should they manage to destroy a single skyscraper Israel would be counting the dead in the thousands. Whenever such an attack takes place, we can assure you that the EU, UN and much the rest of the world would be demanding that Israel not be disproportional in their response. We discussed the irrationality of not using disproportional military response in this article. We know from experience that whatever the response by Israel to such an attack would be denounced by most of the world with the EU and UN leading the way. This is where Bibi’s arrangements with the EU will become a dire situation where Israel will have little response which the world will not condemn. How can we say this? Well, it has been the response even from those Israel considers to be friends every previous time Israel has found it necessary to respond to aggressive attacks by Arab forces. There is little if any reason to believe it would be otherwise.

 

Tel Aviv Now Before Green Line Peace and Tel Aviv the Day After Green Line Peace

Tel Aviv Now Before Green Line Peace
and
Tel Aviv the Day After Green Line Peace

 

Finally, after the coming September election, the situation will be that Likud will be unable to form a right centered coalition. This will be the result of the attacks which have already begun to come targeting the right-wing coalition of the Unified Right and the New Right with Ayelet Shaked at the top of their list. We will be witness to one Likud person after another denigrating this coalition of parties as not including every party. This is due to three right wing parties who have refused to join the larger coalition. These include Otzma Yehudit, Zehut and Noam, likely the furthest right party, all of which have thus far simply refused any reasonable offer in stead choosing to run independently despite all polls showing their not clearing threshold. The Likud attackers will continue to press the idea that the union which has been formed is not up to the expectations of Likud to consider them a rightful partner in any future government coalition. Why would the Likud be denigrating what many see as their natural allies? Because Bibi knows that these parties would never permit the programs and future which Bibi is hoping to form as his legacy. Yes, we are speaking of Bibi and his legacy building. The past history of Israeli politics has been centered on those who worked hardest to recognize the Arab claims to the lands which make up Israel. The Oslo Accords became the legacy for Simone Perez while the Gaza Withdrawal is the legacy for Ariel Sharon. Bibi Netanyahu has a legacy as being the longest serving Prime Minister, but he desires something far more difficult to be surpassed by a future Prime Minister. Establishing an Arab state, be it along the Green Line or the Security Barrier, would make for a legacy, whether evil or for good we would see, which could not be surpassed by any future Prime Minister. The attacks on the right-wing coalition will continue as should Bibi and the Likud Party succeed in diminishing the votes received by this right-wing coalition as well as destroying any hope that Otzma Yehudit, Zehut and Noam have of clearing threshold and gaining Likud a mere three or maybe four mandates will make forming a right-wing coalition impossible without gaining the support of a leftist party such as Yisroel Beiteinu. This will set up the situation where Bibi will simply claim that forming a right-wing coalition has become impossible, impossible because the Likud continues to attack their own seeking to wring every last vote possible for Likud. Bibi’s actual desire would be to form a coalition where the Likud was the sole party. Lacking such freedom, Bibi will likely form a Unity Government with Blue White. When General Gantz announced the founding of his party, a central part of Blue White, he stated that he had learned much during the Gaza withdrawal and believes he now knows how to better enact such withdrawals and can see areas where similar actions would work to bring about the two-state solution. Never mind that Mahmoud Abbas and the entirety of the PLO and PA leadership do not desire and never have desired making their own state, they simply want only one thing, the destruction of Israel and the removal of the Jews. This has been their desire since day one and it is not about to change. They desire the destruction of Israel after which they will leave the land for Egypt and Jordan to decide who gets which parts while the PLO continues on their path of murdering every Jew who currently resides in Israel. This is the explosive package which Bibi appears to desire to pin his legacy upon, that he was able to make the Arab state from within lands belonging to Israel under international law. The reason for the pressure under which Bibi is about to fold is due to the fact that unless Israel formally surrenders claim to any of the land between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, these lands are legally belonging to Israel and the Arabs residing in the Shomron should be legally relocated within Jordan.

 

One final note about the attempts to form this Arab state. The PLO and PA recently announced that leaving the region will no longer be permitted. Any Arab who attempts to leave the regions controlled by the PLO and PA will be charged with the crime of desertion and prevented from leaving and face jail or potentially execution to make an example of anyone who attempts to seek a better life elsewhere. This was in reaction to rumors that President Trump intends to allow Arab Palestinian to relocate and find a better life in a new location with a monetary bonus to assist their relocation. This is part and parcel of the PLO and PA efforts since the onset of the Oslo Accords, namely to put in place impediments which are meant to make any settlement of the Arab Israeli conflict impossible for as long as any solution permits the continued existence of the Jewish State. When the PLO was formed in September of 1964, it made no claim to Gaza, which was occupied by Egypt, or of the Shomron, occupied by Jordan and renamed West Bank, and only claiming the remainder of the lands between the river and the sea, or simply put, all of Israel. The PLO and PA continue to have this as their aim, the complete replacement of Israel with some Arab rule followed by the eradication of all the Jews residing within. Bibi is about to grant them their first in what they see as the eradication of the Jewish State in stages. Once they have gained the Shomron and East Jerusalem, their next claim will be the Galilee and then the Negev. This would make Israel the Tel Aviv metropolitan area completely surrounded by Arabs ready to use terrorism to drive the Jews from the lands by any means necessary. This is the reality that Israel faces and should Bibi form a unity government with the Blue White Party, then Israelis would be best served in forcing new elections by whatever means are necessary.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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July 10, 2019

Israeli Election Midway Report

 

As many have realized or have been told, most of us here at BTC are Religious Zionists and this author belongs to HaBayit HaYehudi (Jewish Home) Party and, as previous writing made obvious, thinks very highly about Rafi Peretz as a capable and outstanding leader. That should take care of relating from what perspective we are viewing the political field and the events within. Most of the activity appears, by the reporting we have seen, to be taken on the left-leaning side of the political landscape. Still, there are some events on the right-leaning side of the map which are moving equally slowly as it appears neither side is in any hurry to actually present a final picture to the Israeli public. What is apparent on both ends of the political spheres is to shore everything up forming the largest coalition to present to the public in their attempts to assure that their side receives the mandates necessary to control the next Knesset and choose the Prime Minister. Fortunately, both sides are having an apparent equal measure of difficulty in herding all their parties into a single coalition such that no votes go unrepresented. As close as the last elections were, which was unsuccessful in forming a majority coalition forcing this unprecedented election immediately following an election; hopefully, no matter which side it turns out to be, this coming election will present a winner and Israel can once again have leadership which will hopefully also be an improvement over the current limbo we find ourselves suffering.

 

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The events on the left are hair-raisingly frightening, or threatening, depending on your particular view. What has developed is the potential for ghosts from the past attempting to rise back to their former glory, or at least this appears to be their view of the coming elections. The first sign that the past is attempting a return in the near future was the announcement of a new party on the left formed by former Prime Minister Ehud Barak which will be called The Israel Democratic Party. This is the new wrinkle calling his party by a name which appears to be initiated in order to confuse voters and disguise a new look Ehud Barak attempting to distance himself from his former disastrous political history. Part of the new look presented by Ehud Barak is his growth of facial hair as part of the new look Barak. Ehud Barak has not presented any list of names, famous or obscure, who will be part of who he presents to the voting public. This might be due to the fact that what he is attempting to do is have other parties merge with his new party and use it to chisel out a spot at or near the top of such a merged coalition. Where attempting to find some means of corralling a top spot on a list via new parties or simply stating an intent to be listed in such a list without even bothering to form a party, Ehud Barak is aware that his leading a new party will not provide him much if any of a chance of breaking threshold nor making it into the Knesset. But if we have Ehud Barak pegged accurately, his intent is not just to make it into the Knesset, he will also probably demand a share in the roll as Prime Minister perhaps demanding that he be granted at least one if not a two year stint as Prime Minister for the use of his name which he will claim has gravitas. Of course, Ehud Barak would likely be happy to simply be guaranteed a top portfolio such as Foreign Minister or as Defense Minister should a left-leaning coalition be formed.

 

Ehud Barak and His New Look and Beard with Same Worn Out Two-State Ideas

Ehud Barak and His New Look and Beard with Same Worn Out Two-State Ideas

 

But Ehud Barak is far from the most contentious announcement from the left-leaning side of the political spectrum, at least he formed a party. Approximately six months ago, upon the dissolution of the coalition between the Labor Party and the Hatnuah Party led by Tzipi Livni, Tzipi announced her retirement from politics and her acceptance that her Hatnuah Party had no possibility of reaching threshold. Tzipi Livni has apparently refused offers for the Hatnuah Party to join either the Labor Party, with whom she was previously aligned and has a new leader, or join Ehud Barak and his The Israel Democratic Party and instead making a grand offer, though we are willing to bet she would believe it to be her sacrifice to save the left in Israel. Tzipi Livni has hung out her tempting offer that were the entirety of the left form a grand coalition, she would accept a place within their list from which she would be guaranteed to be a Minister of the Knesset and also, she is likely to demand an important Ministerial position in the Prime Minister’s cabinet.

 

Both Ehud Barak and Tzipi Livni are names closely associated with the “Two-State Solution” as the only means of reaching peace with Mahmoud Abbas and his Palestinian Authority Arabs. Apparently, neither of these politicians has noticed that an ever-growing percentage of the Israeli public has put that era and thinking far behind them and hope to never return there in the future. They have also failed to come to the realization that Mahmoud Abbas, just as Yasser Arafat before him, refuses to accept a Jewish State no matter its borders. The Israeli government could place an offer on the table where all Israel would retain is the greater Tel Aviv metropolitan area and Abbas would reject it as insufficient sacrifice by the Jews. Abbas views Israel and the Jews in a manner resembling that of the Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, namely that the Jews need to be protected by their superiors, the followers of Islam. Like the Iranian leader, Mahmoud Abbas refuses to accept the existence of Israel if it remains ruled by Jews. But both Tzipi Livni and Ehud Barak, as well as Blue-White co-leader Benny Gantz, believe that there is some magic compromise where land for peace can produce an agreement with the Palestinian Authority. One can only fear what their solution to the threats from Gaza and Hamas with Islamic Jihad who are directed by Iran and Khamenei would be. Both of these politicians as well as the former generals, as a rule, are still living about two or three decades in the past when Israelis generally believed that there was some compromise which would provide for peace between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs. After the rejection of the deal offered in 2000 by Ehud Barak and the deal offered in 2008 under Ehud Olmert, Israelis began to realize by in ever-growing numbers that there was no such magical distribution of land between the two parties which would be acceptable and produce peace. For this reason alone, Tzipi Livni and Ehud Barak would actually cost any coalition including them votes as just their names on the list would be sufficient to scare numerous centrist Israelis into voting for the Likud or one of the right-wing parties. Yes, we list Likud separately as there have been some surprising and dismal political experiences which came from the loins of the Likud. There was Arik Sharon who was Prime Minister during the Gaza withdrawal, though, granted, he had to for the Kadima Party in order to manage to allow this to take place. Kadima was a party which took numerous left-wing politicians from Labor Party and some of the centrist to left-leaning members from Likud, one of which was Tzipi Livni, forming a new government without having new elections, something rather peculiar. Should the left-wing of Israeli politics, which is largely secular, continue to hold to the position that land for peace is still a viable path to peace and that surrendering parts of our ancestral home and parts of the lands which were part of the Mandate reserved for the Jewish State and only prevented through occupation by Egypt (Gaza) and Jordan (Judea and Samaria) after the 1948 war of intended annihilation of the nascent state of Israel by six Arab national armies, then they will soon find themselves politically irrelevant.

 

Not to be outside, there are equally insane movements and problems on the right side of the political scales. In the position most resembling Ehud Barak, we have two candidates, Zehut chairman Moshe Feiglin and New Right chairman Naftali Bennett. Neither of these two parties were able to clear threshold but should they form a coalition then the chances are very good that they would make it into the Knesset, though it would still be close. They are having a small number of difficulties currently. The first and potentially most serious problem concerns Bennet and his New Right Party which he and Ayelet Shaken formed when they split from Jewish Home. Currently, it is unknown whether or not Ayelet Shaked will remain as the number two behind Naftali Bennett or whether she will be placed on a list without her necessarily joining any party or if she might jump to another party. There were discussions about her joining the coalition in which Jewish Home is a member, the United Right (who comes up with these names?) providing she was placed in the top slot. This was thrown into serious doubt when the chairman of Tkuma, Bezalel Smotrich, publicly stated his total support for retaining Rafi Peretz at the top of their coalition, this pretty much put the kibosh on placing Ayelet Shaked in the top spot. There have been rumors surfacing twice and thrice every week that Ms. Shaked has joined Likud, has returned to the New Right, is going to run with the United Right or some scenario closely aligned. None have proven true as of yet and, if anything, Ayelet Shaked appears to prefer that all the religious-Zionist parties combine and that she be allowed to lead such a grand alliance. Meanwhile, Moshe Feiglin and Naftali Bennett have been having one of the most glorious arguments that has almost been delicious to observe. Both have made the claim that they should take the top spot in any combined list with the other taking the second spot. Why this has been so amusing is that almost no matter how they decide and having done so, actually clearing threshold, the person at the top of their combined ticket is not going to become Prime Minister. But this is just the introduction, the remainder is where it really becomes weird.

 

Ayelet Shaked and Naftali Bennett

Ayelet Shaked and Naftali Bennett

 

Every so often, advice from upon high comes down to the religious-Zionist and right-wing parties. We suspect that this holy advice can easily be traced to the apparent permanent Prime Minister, Bibi Netanyahu. Why and what are we referring to? That we can tell you with a single phrase, unwanted meddling. There comes one of the Likud Ministers every week to ten days advising the political parties with which Likud expects to form a coalition to all of them get over their minor squabbling and just form on nice big amalgamation party and be done with it. Of course, every time one of the Likudnics gives out these pearls of wisdom, the Likud goes up in the polls for next couple of days while a near equal number of mandates for the rest of the political right drop. This is a temporary situation but we expect that somewhere around three days before the September 17, there will start a steady stream of commentary about how the Likud Party needs ever vote that the right can spare and that if right-wing voters really want their votes to count, the Likud is their safest place. We cannot blame the Likud Party for attempting to maximize their list even at the potential loss for our own party, they want to make it clear that Bibi Netanyahu has to be chosen to form the next coalition. This method of scare tactics in the final days leading to the election actually cost Bibi last time as had he allowed for merely one or two percent of the Likud voters to have drifted to Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked’s New Right allowing them to clear threshold, then the Likud might have lost one Ministerial position but the right-leaning parties would have gained a net of three seats allowing for a coalition to have been formed. Bibi will never learn that lesson as he simply insists on running his campaign against the left-leaning parties until three days before the election when he trains his sights on those who are presumably going to be his allies in any government simply because he cannot help himself. Bibi must reign supreme, even at the cost to those who will be supporting him.

 

Meanwhile, Naftali Bennett and Moshe Feiglin continue to argue over who can bring in the most voters. Bennet points to his New Right falling just short of threshold versus Feiglin not even coming close. Feiglin, on the other hand, points out that as Bennett likely will not have Shaked joining him this election, and that she was the main vote getter, not he, thus Feiglin holds the claim to bringing the most votes. If Feiglin proves correct, then both of them better swallow their obviously high-octane egos and merge with one-another if not with the United Right. This is where it will get interesting as should all the parties to the right of the Likud merge, who gets to be numbers one, two and three on down the list. Rafi Peretz probably has the inside track and, in his case, it is not ego as much as it is that he was happily heading his Yeshiva and otherwise retired with little if any interest in becoming embroiled in politics. When Bennett and Shaked left Jewish Home and the party was lurching in need of a stabilizing influence and somebody to strike a definite direction and give the party the organization it required, Rafi Peretz was approached and originally declined and was subsequently persuaded, implored, swayed and finally convinced that he was not only the man for the job, but very likely the only person for the job. We have researched the gentleman and met him finding him gracious, personable but also with a stature and demeaner which while inviting also demands respect. None of this is surprising as just one part of his life, his career in the IDF, would make for a Hollywood movie. Rafi Peretz initially piloted a combat helicopter, quite admirable in its own right, retired from the IDF as a Brigadier General (our answer to the Blue White Party and their four generals) and was the Chief Rabbi of the Israeli Defense Forces. The rest of his life was equally amazing as we covered here when describing the fifteen to twenty minutes we spent speaking with Rabbi Peretz at a Central Committee meeting. We just wish everybody in Israel could spend that amount of time talking with Rafi Peretz, but if that were to come to fruition, then Bibi would need to worry as Rabbi Peretz would quite likely become the next Prime Minister.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

June 18, 2019

Election Roller-Coaster Taking Abrupt Turns

 

There have been a few spins and fast turns of late. Some revealed opportunism while others clarified the politics of others. Some were potentially expected and known while others leave one scratching their head as two leaders of one party appear to be heading for different goals. There are some facing an upwards climb in order to remain at the top while others see them simply dancing on in and taking whatever position they desire making any demand they wish. Some of the above may be hyperbole, but it has been a fun and interesting ride this past week leaving much to ponder. Where it will all fall out is anybody’s guess. Likud still expects to form the next coalition and the United Right plans on retaining what they fought over so desperately to put together. Blue White Party is working on damage control on two fronts. First, they are seeking to tone down the anti-Haredi messages and are requesting that Yair Lapid not be so out front and take a quiet seat allowing the all-knowing generals to lead. This is their, as one writer put it, “Rolling out the Generals.” This was a left-wing tactic which has been used before with the most memorable being Ehud Barak, who as having been a general would know every right move. Well, that one did not pan out as prescribed in the campaign and he was soon voted out of politics, then in, then out again and so on. One person not toning down the we give the Haredi too much so it is time for them to serve in greater number in the IDF is Avigdor Lieberman, who has created his own loop-de-loop, more on this later.

 

BTC Israeli Election Banner

 

Let’s start with Likud, the party expecting to put Bibi Netanyahu back in as Prime Minister. The reality is that they are very likely correct in their supposition unless the unexpected should befall us. Please do not take this as supporting Bibi Netanyahu. What must be granted is that Bibi Netanyahu has fulfilled the expectations that he invented himself. He has made the Likud believe that only he as their leader can lead Israel safely. This has allowed the Likud Party to remain as the mainstay of right-wing political expectations and prevented any mass exodus supporting anyone else. Bibi Netanyahu has also seen to the fact that nobody within the party is permitted to challenge his position. Those who do are often politically decimated or given a position which removes them from contention but also is such that one would be insane to refuse the appointment. This has led to Bibi Netanyahu leading his party for an unprecedented amount of time and as his party is the most prominent on the right, he will be the longest serving Prime Minister in Israeli history and will remain as such for the foreseeable future as his accomplishments politically are unprecedented in a democracy. Netanyahu will remain as the Israeli Prime Minister into the future until he, or Sarah Netanyahu, decide that it is time for him to retire and probably seek the position as President, something he is very likely to be given.

 

Meanwhile, there has been a call for a unity government with Likud Joining the Blue White Party along with the rest of the left-wing parties including Yisroel Beiteinu, where we are to expect their leader, Avigdor Lieberman, to be given the Ministry of Defense. This call was made by Avigdor Lieberman who was responsible partially, if not largely responsible, for the collapse of the last Knesset coalition. Lieberman has been suspected of socialist leanings and only joining right-wing coalitions simply to receive those guarantees of positions and monetary support for the Russian immigrants he represents. He is doing exactly that which party members expect, he is supporting the interests of his members. His problem is that his constituents are slowly decreasing as a percentage of the voting population. Avigdor Lieberman knows that any renowned achievements he might still be able to make have to come sooner rather than later as he might not have a later politically. One thing we know is that he desperately wants to be given the Ministry of Defense as from there he believes he can force Haredi into serving in the IDF. What is not being noticed by the media and others when covering Lieberman and this issue is that the Haredi are entering the IDF and National Service in record numbers without anybody pressing the issue. Reality is that the more the Haredim are pressured, the stiffer and more widespread their resistance becomes. Simply leave things to progress naturally and there will be little difference between the Haredi and the rest of the population when it comes to IDF and National Service entrants. People are very much a liquid of some unknown sort which will naturally flow more easily than being pushed which is immediately pressed back against and resisted. The Haredim entering the rest of society when it comes to working, IDF service and National Service volunteering, will probably be more easily attained the less aggressively it is pressed upon them. Sometimes, simply leaving it all up to Hashem and the problems often cure themselves. If only the entire world would take that very same approach.

 

Ayelet Shaked and Naftali Bennett

Ayelet Shaked and Naftali Bennett

 

Now allow us to discuss the variations for the future of the New Right Party. This was the effort by Naftali Bennett for him to establish a secular and accepting of religious Zionist party. His efforts appeared to many to be as if he was forming a party which would be Likud Lite, the slender and more flexible Likud which would annex most of the major settlement communities in the Shomron. They formed this party by taking the top two people and another of the Ministers from the Jewish Home Party leaving their former party lurching as it sought new leadership. The New Right rocketed immediately to twelve to as much as fourteen mandates in polling. We warned people that this was not going to last and their future would be better invested in remaining with Jewish Home. We were almost universally ignored. Well, Jewish Home anchored a three-party coalition and cleared threshold comfortably while the New Right floundered and failed to reach threshold by the slimmest of margins. Now at one extreme we have Ayelet Shaked, or at least people claiming to represent her, making moves to bring the New Right into the United Right providing that they replace Rafi Peretz at the top of the ticket with Ayelet Shaked. This has not sat well with Rafi Peretz who after being wrestled from retirement with little desire if any to enter politics into leading Jewish Home and their rebuilding after Bennett and Shaked bolted to form their own party. Now that he has taken over this responsibility, the retired General, former Chief Rabbi of the IDF and combat helicopter pilot, he is not the type to leave a job half finished. Rafi Peretz has stated that he intends to remain as the head of the United Right. But wait, there’s more.

 

At the same time there have been reports that Naftali Bennett has been trying to attract Moshe Feiglin to form a coalition of his Zehut Party with the New Right as the almost two mandates which Zehut received would easily put the New Right over the threshold to enter the Knesset. This begs the question as to how one party will be capable of making deals with two separate parties. Perhaps there is some trouble brewing in the New Right leadership. They have apparently forgotten rule one of a partnership, communication. Then there is the other possibility; they may have decided to attempt separate paths taking whichever one proves to show the most promise. In the interests of Zehut, the offer by the New Right would guarantee Moshe Feiglin making his way into the Knesset without having to compromise on any positions as they would go their separate way after the election. This might not work as well for Moshe Feiglin should there be a greater coalition of the United Right including both the New Right and Zehut which might gain the United Right an additional five or possibly as many as seven additional mandates and allow for Likud and the United Right along with the Haredi Parties, potentially they might be able to choose only one of the Haredi Parties forming a coalition without any need for Avigdor Lieberman. This possibility of a right-wing and Haredi coalition without Yisroel Beiteinu being required to clear the sixty-one mandates to form a coalition. This would be the intrigue of the pre-election machinations except for the one known, the real suspense is what ploy will Bibi Netanyahu use in the closing days to agitate and awaken his base and the other question is at whom will Bibi target with his coming emergency, all hands on deck call which we are expecting. Bibi would not let us down, would he?

 

The Labor Party is also running around with much of a frenzied emergency. One of the most successful parties in Israel history and the sole leaders of Israel politics are now facing with the distinct possibility of not clearing threshold for the first time. They are looking both to the right and the Blue White Party and to the left to Meretz Party to find anybody to throw them a life-preserver and help pull them across threshold and back from oblivion. This is one of the major results of the Israel public moving to the right as well as becoming more Zionist and religious. Labor, a secular left-wing party has been left behind. Add in the Blue White Party and the excitement they cause with their four generals and their claim that as generals they are far more suited to lead the nation than Bibi as he never reached such high rank and thus must not be as prepared to face the security threats facing Israel. We predict that Blue White might not be favorable to any approach from Labor Party as it would not provide sufficient number of votes to make the surrender of two or possibly three seats on their party list. Labor and Meretz merging would be a more natural fit and could potentially lead to a permanent merger forming a somewhat stronger far left party. They would bridge the entirety of the left between the Arab lists and the Communist party to the Blue White Party. A Labor Meretz merger would garner them likely two additional seats in the Knesset and is the only means for Labor to guarantee to get anybody into the next government. This has a potential to change in favor for the Labor Party as they are choosing new leadership and with change there is always the possibility of the unexpected.

 

Lastly, one last means of solving the apparent confusion between the two leaders of the New Right, Naftali Bennett who is wooing Zehut and Ayelet Shaked who is making approaches to the United Right and still make Rafi Peretz happy as well. First thing is to set the record straight that Rafi Peretz is and will remain at the top of the United Right with Bezalel Smotrich occupying the second position. Then simply dangle having Ayelet Shaked reappointed to the Justice Ministership as part of their criteria for joining the coalition. This would make many within the parties of the United Right somewhat more motivated, Ayelet Shaked would be receiving something she covets far more than a top slot on the ticket and possibly not becoming Justice Minister to finish her work there and Naftali Bennet could continue to take the remainder of the New Right, those who would not follow Ayelet Shaked, and he could join with Zehut. Making any offer to either Ayelet Shaked or Naftali Bennett after their disgraceful bolting from Jewish Home and almost destroying the party has to be seen as generosity seldom found in politics. The only reason we advise that this is a decent idea is due to the work Shaked has already performed at this post and it would be of benefit to Israel for her to complete her vision. Any further tweaks could be made along the road. The only other item is we bet that this election Bibi Netanyahu emergency get out the vote last minute revelation will target Avigdor Lieberman and might be sufficient to prevent his party from clearing threshold, and providing Bibi with what he believes is justifiable revenge.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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