Beyond the Cusp

February 4, 2017

Two States for One People Solution

 

The world through governments, leaders, politicians, statesmen, reporters and editorialists all tout the “Two States for Two People” as the agreed upon mantra for the solution of the Arab Palestinian-Israel Conflict. As an example, under the heading “What is the two-state solution?” New York Times journalist Max Fisher defined the two principles as being the same: “The two-state solution would establish an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel — two states for two peoples.” Would but such be true the conflict would have very long ago been settled. Unfortunately, this is the side taken by only one of the sides in the debate, the Israelis. The Palestinian Arab leadership has a very different set of parameters for a solution. Perhaps a short list of their favorites would be in order. There is their “River to the Sea, Palestine must be free” solution in which there is one Arab state named Palestine founded upon the graves of over six-million dead Israeli Jews. Even then the Arab Palestinians would have another set of problems, what to do with these Jewish bodies and what to do with the Jewish bodies which have been interred within these borders throughout history back into antiquity. One need understand that when the Arabs claim there must not be one Jew on their precious and pure lands that includes on top, alive or dead, or beneath it no matter how long dead. When Israel surrendered Gaza they were forced to reinter their dead which only added to the calamity and sociological shock suffered by the Jewish communities which were uprooted even unto their dead friends and relatives. Imagine being forced from your home, your place of work being destroyed and having to dig up friends and family from their resting places and rebury them locating them sometimes a great distance from where they resettled making their graves now difficult to visit and tend. That was part of the horror of the plan to solve everything by simply giving the Arab Palestinians the Gaza Strip so they could prove how they could be productive and live peaceably beside Israel. Simply stated, that experiment was a dismal failure.

 

The New York Times once again in an article, “The Two-State Solution: What It Is and Why It Hasn’t Happened,” would have one believe that the Palestinian Authority government fully supports the idea of “Two States for Two People” solution to the conflict with Israel. But what do Arab Palestinian leaders have to say on the Two State Solution? Back in July 2011, Senior Palestinian Official Nabil Shaath slammed the French peace initiative because it called on them to recognize the Jewish State, so he told ANB TV that the French Initiative had,

reshaped the issue of the ‘Jewish state’ into a formula that is also unacceptable to us — two states for two peoples. They can describe Israel itself as a state for two peoples, but we will be a state for one people. The story of ‘two states for two peoples’ means that there will be a Jewish people over there and a Palestinian people here. We will never accept this — not as part of the French initiative and not as part of the American initiative.

Additionally Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas also was quoted in 2011 stating, “I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. I will never recognize the Jewishness of the state, or a ‘Jewish state.’” Both of these were statements directly contradicted what French President Nicolas Sarkozy stated in 2012 where he clearly underscored this difference between the statements made by Palestinian Authority (PA) leadership and the generally accepted beliefs of the Western World when he posited,

It is not enough to have two states; there must be two states for two nations. I know very well that there are two ways to destroy Israel: from without and from within. This is why the two-state solution is not enough. We need to have two states for two separate nations. One for the Jewish people and one for the Palestinians.

There is an additional slander which claims that Israeli complaints about the PA instigating violence have no basis in credibility. This has been the mantra of many reporters, editorialists, and largely European political leaders. This can be proven ridiculous simply by playing this now infamous video of Mahmoud Abbas and others speaking in the language nobody outside of a select few Westerners are capable of translating, Arabic (see videos below). These two videos are but a small example of the horrific statements almost always stated in Arabic knowing full-well that the European and American leftist and mainstream medias will pretend they are unable of making heads or tails of such statements only quoting that which these leaders of the Arab Palestinians feed them in English. We wish we could attribute this to their being lazy except with the proof of what was said already translated by MEMRI, they have no excuse other than a severe anti-Israel and thus anti-Semitic bias. Finding the lies could not be easier either, simply visit CAMERA and read almost any coverage they show about Israel and the Palestinians. Be prepared for news you may not have seen before and for much of what the nightly news has fed you to be upended with quotes and references.

 

 

 

Now prepare yourself for our small dose of food for thought. In the December of 2000 as President William Jefferson Clinton was desperately attempting to solve the unsolvable Arab-Israeli Conflict he held a series of meetings. The crux of these attempts to bridge the gap between Yassir Arafat and Ehud Barak led to an interesting turn of events during the desperate days in Paris. President Clinton met for hours with Yassir Arafat finally getting him to actually state what terms he would accept believing the Israelis would never in a million years meet these demands. They were for Israel to turn over 90% of the “West Bank” (Judea and Samaria) and all of the Gaza Strip as well as half of Jerusalem to become the Capital City for Palestine. Late in the evening President Clinton visited Ehud Barak and set forth the terms which Arafat had given him. It took some time and arm twisting but in order to make peace Ehud Barak agreed to returning 95% of Judea and Samaria along with all of the Gaza Strip and dividing Jerusalem. Once receiving Barak agreement, President Clinton sent word to Arafat’s delegation that they were to meet early the next morning for a joint session to negotiate face-to-face. Yassir Arafat smelled that he was a rat trapped by his own admissions and ordered secretively for his car to be brought around to the front entrance fully packed, door open, and driver ready to hit the gas as soon as Arafat was in the vehicle. When President Clinton presented copies of the agreement to the two leaders, Ehud Barak reached for a pen while Yassir Arafat bolted out the long corridor. Immediately afterward, Madeline Albright dashed after the fleeing Arafat in an ungainly and borderline hideous limping gallop never closing the distance. She cleared the door to have the cameras of the news reporters recording over her shoulder the black limousine circling out of the drive with Arafat seated in the back seat. A subsequent offer was tendered from Taba later that week which was not even dignified with a response and thus ended the Presidency of William Jefferson Clinton. But wait, there’s more.

 

Next comes along President George W. Bush and the ending of his term. He has successfully forced Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to turn the Gaza Strip over to the PA in exchange for some sweet words and fourteen promises written in a letter as an understanding between the two offices. This was supposedly an agreement between governments and this one won overwhelming affirmation from both houses of Congress garnering a total of comfortably over five-hundred votes from the combined Congress. These were the fourteen conditions under which the release of the Gaza Strip was performed and their refutation could have led to Israel retaking all of Gaza or some sections thereof. President Obama did indeed crumple up this agreement and trashed it completely with his assisting the passage of UNSC Res. 2334 during the closing days of his administration. This act will likely leave an unpleasant taste in any world leader’s mouth and be seen as a dire warning against accepting the world of any American President for the foreseeable future, especially one would hope Israeli leaders if no others. So, in late 2008 President George W. Bush and his Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice were pressing Israel once again to make the necessary sacrifices for peace. Again an Israeli Prime Minister, this time Ehud Olmert, made the supreme sacrificial offering of dividing Jerusalem and again over 90% of Judea and Samaria with land swaps for the remaining lands. This time they were dealing with Mahmoud Abbas, presumably a more reasonable and honest broker simply because instead of wearing fatigues and having a revolver strapped to his side, Abbas wears a business suit. Well, the apple did not fall far from the tree and Mahmoud Abbas proved to be a suitable (all inferences to a pun intentional) follow-up to Yassir Arafat as he officially received the offer and never even bothered to reply or make a counter offer. Instead he simply closed the negotiations with no further communication except to threaten to take the entire matter to the United Nations and the Court of The Hague and internationalize the conflict.

 

Division of lands between Israel and Semiautonomous Arab Zone

Division of lands between Israel
and Semiautonomous Arab Zone

 

With the ample assistance proffered by President Barack Hussein Obama, Mahmoud Abbas has done exactly that, internationalized the conflict such that any European nations, the United Nations in any of its near infinite capacities and anyone or anywhere else can jump in and demand Israel make concession after concession receiving nothing but threats and violence in return. The world is internationalizing the conflict quite adequately with city after city in Europe and numerous colleges conducting some level of boycott against Israel, often all Israel claiming all of Israel is responsible for there being no solution. Technically, from the Arab point of view, they are correct; the fact that there is an Israel which makes the statement that it is the Jewish Homeland, that is sufficient to make peacemaking impossible as the Arabs of the PA and the Arab World demand the end of Israel as Jewish. They will accept an Israel provided the Arabs rule and the Jews, if permitted, remain as Dhimmis, second class citizens with restricted rights who may be executed at any time by whim of any with the authority to do so, often meaning any Muslim. Since this United Nations Security Council Chapter Six Resolution 2334 which blames Israel, particularly the “settlements” which are simply Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, legal under International Law, for blocking the path to peace, the Arab Palestinians are free to demand anything while doing nothing and the world gets to blame Israel for not appeasing the Arabs sufficiently through boycotts and calls for “Kill the Jews.” What is surprisingly illegal are any claims made by the PA and other Arab representatives as while they have legal rights to their property, they have no legal leg to stand upon claiming self-rule or requiring an independent state. The reality, as we have stated near endlessly, and are working on endlessly, is the lands all belong to Israel for use as the Jewish State and that the only means by which any of the land can become an Arab State is if Israel signs a treaty relegating our claims and rights to these lands. And one does not need believe us, but one might feel inclined to take the wording of a decision made by the Third Chamber of the Court of Appeal of Versailles in a case brought by the PA against the French companies Alstom and Veolia for building Jerusalem’s light rail system. Their final decision was also a warning to the PA that Israel has the sole claim to all of Judea and Samaria and that they would do best not to take this into any court of law. The fact this came from the friendliest court system the PA was able to find makes this all the more impressively important. Please take our kind invitation to read for yourself a copy of the Court Ruling. Furthermore, in an earlier case brought before Egyptian Judge, Justice El Araby, and the International Court of Justice (ICJ), who sat in judgement as part of the panel which heard the case where the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) sought an advisory opinion in 2003 from the ICJ on the legality of the security barrier erected by Israel; the Honorable Justice El Araby warned the UNGA and others, including Mahmoud Abbas and the whole of the PA, that filing further ran some risks, as he stated,

“The international legal status of the Palestinian Territory (paras. 70-71 of the Advisory Opinion), in my view, merits more comprehensive treatment. A historical survey is relevant to the question posed by the General Assembly, for it serves as the background to understanding the legal status of the Palestinian Territory on the one hand and underlines the special and continuing responsibility of the General Assembly on the other. This may appear as academic, without relevance to the present events. The present is however determined by the accumulation of past events and no reasonable and fair concern for the future can possibly disregard a firm grasp of past events. In particular, when on more than one occasion, the rule of law was consistently side-stepped. The point of departure, or one can say in legal jargon, the critical date, is the League of Nations Mandate which was entrusted to Great Britain.”

 

Mandate of San Remo for French and British including actual treaty demarcations for each nation

Mandate of San Remo for French and British including actual treaty demarcations for each nation

 

Things are not only not as they are portrayed by far too many in the Western Media Enterprise, but actually quite the opposite. Israel is not the occupier; the Arab Palestinians are the actual occupiers. International Law which is constructed from treaties, conferences, agreements and other contracts between men and nations is usually understood to have some leeway or allowance for differing opinions. The fact that Israel is defined on her east by the Jordan River and on the west by the Mediterranean Sea is an exception as it is delineated and spelled out with diagrams and maps in several agreements, conferences, treaties, Mandates and even Article 80 of the United Nations Charter. As the border of Israel is accepted as stated above in the United Nations Charter Article 80, the recent UNSC Res 2334 is invalid as the United Nations individual bodies cannot overrule the Charter thus in any instance where there might be a conflict, such as the statement that the Jewish communities defined as “settlements” due to their location east of the 1949 Armistice Line, also called the Green Line, is invalid as these communities are all west of the Jordan River and thus legally on Israeli lands. All of Judea and Samaria by default are Israeli lands unless Israel gives them away in a treaty, not agrees to talk about the possibility but actually agrees, until then the lands remain as an integral part of Israel. Those are the hard and true facts and the only lands that Israel signed away has been Gaza. How anybody can even think for a second after the catastrophic results of the Gaza giveaway that repeating the same motions this time with Judea and Samaria including the tactically significant Judean Heights and the Jordan Valley and its overlooking mountains has to be suffering from some severely debilitating mental disorder or actually desire to plot the end of Israel and her Jewish population. Gaza has proven that once the land has been signed away, no matter how severe the resulting rocket barrages and other acts of warfare committed against Israel, any reaction by Israel will be condemned by the world bodies and numerous governments where the best Israel can expect is half a dozen friendly nations, possibly the protection of the United States Veto in the Security Council (not an automatic despite what anybody says as Presidents change) and the great sacrifice some European nations and a few others might take by abstaining from a vote to condemn Israeli defense of her citizens from attacks. Former Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Abba Eban said it best stating, “If Algeria introduced a resolution declaring that the earth was flat and that Israel had flattened it, it would pass by a vote of 164 to 13 with 26 abstentions.” Abba Eban, having resided for a period in New York City, was able and took the opportunity to enlighten and grant the New York Times a singular piece of literary brilliance along with a moment of fresh air in the form of actual truth concerning Israel when he was quoted stating,

“Nobody does Israel any service by proclaiming its ”right to exist.” It is disturbing to find so many people well-disposed to Israel giving currency to this contemptuous formulation. Israel’s right to exist, like that of the United States, Saudi Arabia, and 152 other states, is axiomatic and unreserved. Israel’s legitimacy is not suspended in midair awaiting acknowledgement by the royal house in Riyadh. Nor does a group such as the Palestine Liberation Organization have any juridical competence to accord recognition to states, or withhold it.
A majority of the 155 states in the modern international community are younger in their sovereignty than Israel, which was the 59th member of the United Nations. There is certainly no other state, big or small, young or old, that would consider mere recognition of its ”right to exist” a favor, or a negotiable concession.
What Israel is entitled to have in return for the increase of its territorial vulnerability is not verbal recognition but an effective security system, to be arrived at by negotiations.
Back in 1967, when the world community adopted its unanimous policy for the Middle East in Security Council Resolution 242, some members suggested that Israel should be satisfied with a solemn declaration of the right of all states to exist. They added that Israel might, if it chose, regard itself as included in that definition. At that time, hardly any responsible government in the Western world or elsewhere accepted that definition of Israel’s rights as adequate…”

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

January 10, 2013

What Are the Israeli Choices in Coming Election?

There are a great many factors which indicate that the election in Israel coming in about two weeks might just be one of the most vitally important while offering great opportunities to choose a new path and depart from the old paths which have proven to be fruitless. The electorate are facing the challenge and will decide with their votes whether or not Israel has turned over a new leaf and is ready to bear the consequences and difficulties of plowing new fields which will have their share of rocks and other obstacles or if they will vote for the comfort of the known well-worn path which has only produced thorns and weeds leaving nothing of worth to harvest but at least the challenges are familiar. Our feelings are that the time has come for drastic change and parting with the old and futile ways as the threats are growing and if there is no change, the future will be favorable for Israel’s enemies who will continue to press forward and slowly strangle the Nation of Israel and the Jewish People. For these truths the time has come to till the land and plant new seeds that will be resistant to the choking weeds that are currently strangling the lands and people of Israel.

The race for Prime Minister is not yet decided despite the media reports of a certainty for the reelection of Prime Minister Netanyahu. There exist other paths to the office of the Prime Minister which can be taken provided certain people or groups choose to work tirelessly and with a laser-like focus on that goal. The problem, as we perceive it to be, is that of all the candidates at the head of the major party tickets which have been said to have a possibly viable route to the Prime Ministership hold to the old school and well-worn path which Israel has tread since the end of the Six Day War. They all believe in the failed and disastrous Oslo Accords roadway with the mantra of, “Land for peace with two countries for two peoples living side by side with peace and security for both.” Poll after poll indicates that the majority of Israelis have absolutely no faith that such a concept has any possibility of being a viable concept worth pursuing. Unfortunately, almost all of the current party and ticket leaders still hold to the empty promises of the Oslo Accords.

Prime Minister Netanyahu at one time at least spoke of truth and the need for Israel to hold all the lands from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea to include all of Jerusalem and its suburbs, the Golan Heights, Judea, and Samaria. Unfortunately, that is not the Netanyahu who is leading the merged parties of Likud and Yisrael Beitenu. We now have the new version Netanyahu who now stands unmovable on the failed ideas and fruitless policies he spoke in his Bar-Ilan Speech which was his surrender speech where he fell before the pressures and demands of the United Nations; the European Union; UNRWA; President Obama; the Russians; virtually every European government, leader, and notable person or politician; the Arab League and individual Arab governments and spokespeople; the Palestinian Authority; the semi-accepted terror groups such as Hamas, Hezballah, Islamic Jihad, al-Qaeda in Gaza, and the PRC; the Muslim Brotherhood; Iran; among a multitude of NGOs, political entities, associations, universities, and spokespersons from virtually every direction. Considering the pressures and the never ending pounding Prime Minister Netanyahu has faced during his many years of excellent and inspired service to the State and People of Israel, it is no wonder he finally succumbed to the impossible burdens under which he has worked for decades. But what about the other offerings for the office of Prime Minister, is what they offer any different?

The presumed second largest of the parties vying for supremacy in the Knesset has, for most of the run-up to the elections, been the Labor Party which is headed by Shelly Yachimovich. She has been adamant that she would not serve in a coalition that included Prime Minister Netanyahu and his supporting party members unless she was the one to hold the office of Prime Minister. Shelly has made offers to every politicians and personalities who have appeared to be interested in joining a party or forming a new party and entering the coming elections. Ms. Yachimovich has made the offer of the number two slot on the Labor Party ticket at one time or another to Tzipi Livni, Yair Lapid, Ehud Olmert, and even President Shimon Peres. Each has either responded directly and politely declining the offer or has announced their decision or lack of interest in running for any position in the upcoming elections. As far as new ideas on the most pressing of problems facing Israeli existence, Shelly Yachimovich offers a far weaker stand than has Prime Minister Netanyahu and has based her campaign for leadership by promising that she would invest the vast majority of her efforts on reestablishing the social safety-net which she accuses Netanyahu of having destroyed showing contempt for the average Israeli and their needs. Ms. Yachimovich claims that the main problems facing Israel are internal and can be solved with more intervention in the day-to-day lives of Israelis and issuing financial assistance for almost every staple need in Israeli lives. She paints a picture of returning to the Labor Party vision of a socialist Nirvana with the Government nurturing and guiding Israeli businesses and the lives of the people. She has stated her intent to roll back the financial progress made over the past decade of freeing the economy from the suffocating interference from the government. Her position on the Palestinian problem is to simply follow the ideas and ideals of the Oslo Accords while offering land and the formation of a Palestinian State as quickly as possible even if doing such requires the destruction of most, if not all, of the Israeli communities beyond the Green Line. Allowing for such would result in an unimaginable disaster.

Tzipi Livni heads her own new party named the Hatnua Party. Ms. Livni has also offered the number two slot to Yair Lapid, Ehud Olmert, and President Shimon Peres meeting with similar results as had Shelly Yachimovich. Tzipi Livni has populated her party with members who have been referred to as stolen Kadima MKs. Truth be told, one cannot blame any of the current Kadima members from fleeing the sinking ship and joining any other party as Kadima is not even expected to meet minimum requirements necessary to gain entrance in the Knesset. The real problem with Tzipi Livni is that she has been pursuing the same exact tactics she had applied to her position as opposition leader while she was the head of Kadima after Ehud Olmert had resigned which consisted of an attitude of, “Just say no,” and taking the opposite of any and everything Prime Minister Netanyahu took as a position. This has shown her to be unimaginative and rather hollow with little originality or personality of her own. Her position is similar in its treatment of foreign policies and threats as that of Ms. Yachimovich. Tzipi Livni is a strong believer in the Oslo Accords and would likely proceed with the land for peace folly making ever more generous offers to Mahmoud Abbas and might even meet many of the preconditions placed between the two sides by Abbas. This would be simply a disaster as should Ms. Livni show such weakness by granting the overt and ridiculous preconditions set forth by Mahmoud Abbas would only result in more extravagant demands and a higher bar to clear in order to tempt a meeting. In the end such a path would fail and not lead to peace and would leave a disastrous set of precedents which would drastically hinder any following Prime Minister in much the same way as the overly generous offers made by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert or Prime Minister Netanyahu’s bending by freezing construction in Judea and Samaria thus their setting dangerous precedents which have now become the starting point demanded by the Palestinian leadership. Tzipi Livni is another who is not offering any changes to the poor performance and directions of past Israeli governments.

Yair Lapid has formed his own party named Yesh Atid and has played much of his campaign close to the vest. Mr. Lapid was previously a well-known television new caster who has gained great name recognition with this background. He is following almost step for step in the footprints of his father while likely hoping for somewhat better results as his father’s venture into politics only lasted one election as he failed to pass the requirements in his second elections. Mr. Lapid is presumed to be a liberal but to what degree remains to be seen. Seeing as this is his first venture into the world of politics and having come from the media where his presentations were scripted, his actual views still have amorphousness about them which will be cleared away as he takes positions and votes and his core beliefs are placed within the public realm. Mr. Lapid will not be in contention for the position of Prime Minister but might be in the position of King Maker as his party’s votes may prove coalition making. For this reason he and his party could be very important in the next government.

Then there is the triumvirate leadership of the Haredi Party, Shas, with Aryeh Deri, Eli Yishai and Ariel Attias at its head. This party is in an interesting position but will only be able to make their presence felt if no coalition is possible without their votes. Whereas Shas would more likely feel more at home with the religious Zionist parties and Likud, they have difficulties with Avigdor Lieberman and his Yisrael Beitenu Party and their rather secular Zionist and pro-Russian views. The discomfort is mutual which may be made mute as Mr. Lieberman may end up sitting out the elections due to some peculiarly auspicious timed accusations and threats of possible indictment resulting from a twelve year investigation which it has been inferred will also carry a charge of moral turpitude intended to remove him from politics for an additional seven years. There is an interesting transition which spreads over the leftist camp whenever election times come around. During the rest of the time other than elections season, the leadership and notable people who reside on the left of center on the political spectrum often take adversarial positions even to the point of antagonism against the Haredi community and their overly strict morals and like style. There is a special viciousness held for the gender difference evident in the Haredi strict Torah observance which requires a certain and definite separation between men and women and very strict dress for each gender. The custom dress is very bland and provincial with rigid stipulations defining modesty and avoidance of any perceived provocative or stimulating flourishes.

The customary separation of the men and women in many activities infuriates the gender police of the liberal women’s movement. What is amusing is there is a women’s movement within the Haredi community which is every bit as ardent in standing up for women’s rights, protection from abuse, right to equal pay, and a litany of other issues where they would find common cause with their detractors from the left. The Shas Party has been known to stand with either a leftist or nationalist government as long as they receive their due funding and other considerations. They may very well demand a reinstitution of the Tal Law in some manner to protect Torah studying men from forced military or community service. This particular demand has seen itself become more and more weakened as time passes and a new generation of ultra-religious Haredi begin to take their places within the community. Haredi enlistment, though not required until recently, has been steadily rising and the current make-up of many of the combat arms companies consist of substantial Haredi and religious volunteers. What should we expect from Shas in the upcoming election? Where they have made deals with the left the membership within the Haredi and thus Shas has been slowly becoming more interested in being active members within Israeli society and have been steadily growing in numbers of Zionists within their ranks. This may have reached a tipping-point where the leadership of Shas may not think it wise to ally with the left unless the offer tended is one they cannot refuse, though such an offer is highly unlikely. They will likely join Netanyahu should he be nominated to form a coalition.

Now to the Naftali Bennett who heads the HaBayit HaYehudi (Jewish Home) Party which is presenting a joint ticket with HaIhud HaLeumi (National Union) Party thus uniting the two main National Religious Parties. The winning by Naftali Bennett to lead the conjoined parties has injected sparks of renewal into this sector of the political spectrum, something which has drawn worry on the brow of Netanyahu and his supporters. There has been a meteoric rise in the polls by the HaBayit HaYehudi/ HaIhud HaLeumi Party which has been the great surprise of this elections cycle. Much of this shifting in the electorate has to do with the personality of Naftali Bennett almost as much as the fact that Israelis have become disillusioned with the entire peace process with the Palestinians as they have concluded from Mahmoud Abbas’s actions and unreasonable demands, all executed to avoid negotiations, that the Oslo Accords have died an unnatural death and the whole idea of land for peace forming two states for two people existing in peace and security side-by-side has been a deception woven on lies, prevarications, deceits, and betrayals all colored with false promises and misdirections. The other item is the obvious facts that Mr. Bennett served in Israel Defense Forces in the elite Sayeret Matkal and Maglan units, received a Law degree from the Hebrew University, and co-founded Cyota (an anti-fraud software company) serving as its CEO which was sold in 2005 for $145,000,000. Naftali Bennett has a proven life-record of success and excellence in all his endeavors and has a likeable persona and commands a presence in interviews and in the media. He is the fresh face seemingly even eclipsing Yair Lapid despite his lifetime of media experience. Mr. Bennett has been able to sell the positions of the national-religious parties with a gusto and level of excitement which is contagious and has managed what was previously considered impossible, he has sold the position so well that he has even convinced many secular Zionists to join forces with the religious Zionists, a rare but very powerful combination. If Israel is going to survive the next few years where the country will be facing some very serious and dangerous threats even more challenging than the usual situations, then they may be well served if Naftali Bennett finds high office and acceptance into the inner circle of the Prime Minister. If the unthinkable is the result of the elections and Prime Minister Netanyahu does not ride what was supposed to have been an unstoppable wave back into the Prime Minister’s House, then pray that the reason is that Naftali Bennett is tapped and cobbles together a Zionist coalition, religious or otherwise, as long as it is solidly Zionist and has as a central pillar the Torah commandment to settle the land.

Beyond the Cusp

October 15, 2012

Kadima’s Actions on Election Confusion or Grandstanding?

With the next Israeli elections tentatively scheduled for January 24 of next year, we enter the season where the political parties often take steps just to make the news cycle that just end up leaving most people scratching their heads asking, “What were you thinking?” The first off the mark this cycle appears to be Kadima. First there was talk of maybe bringing Ehud Olmert back to lead the ticket as he poles as the most likely politician to save Kadima from a near death election. Then some suggested bringing Tzipi Livni back as well and returning to their presumed dream team. Then they were going to try to hold yet another primary and find new leadership and finally they decided to instead appoint a committee to select its list for the next Knesset which is very likely to simply go with what they currently chose just a few months back. But this confusing run around the entire gamut of options only to return to pretty much where you started and decide that this was your best hope was far from the strangest actions taken by Kadima members.

In a move that is reminiscent of some of the odd decisions made by Livni when all she ever did was take the opposite side of anything that Prime Minister Netanyahu decided to pursue, there was an interesting display by some Kadima Ministers today. Ms. Livni took the meaning of opposition to heart and possibly a bit too literally and earned the moniker here of Ms. Just Say No. She would even oppose a position she had previously fought for should Prime Minister Netanyahu decide to take the identical actions. It was astonishing and got to be tediously predictable after a while. But a group of four Kadima Ministers of the Knesset, Orit Zuarets, Shlomo Molla, Akram Hasson and Nino Abesadze, took a little trip to the Muqata in Nablus for a meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Palestine Liberation Organization Secretary General Yasser Abed Rabo. It has been reported that all attempts to verify if this meeting was approved by the Israeli Government or the Prime Minister’s Office went unanswered and remains unknown.

Speaking for the group, MK Orit Zuarets stated that the trip was important, “especially now” with the announcement of the coming elections and the situation where the peace talks appear to have completely deadlocked. He stressed that at this time it was “important to highlight that we must not ignore the conflict between us and the Palestinians.” This trip which I would bet was not made with any previously sought permission or even informing the Prime Minister or anyone in the ruling coalition was more likely done in order to garner the top of the news cycle. Such antics begin to look appealing and necessary when your Party is facing elections where polling has indicated you will go from your current twenty-eight seats in the Knesset to very likely eight or less. This will leave most of those currently serving in the Knesset from Kadima out in the cold unless something drastic and epic occurs to change things. With this as their opening volley in what will likely be a string of desperate acts to hopefully stave off irrelevance, Kadima members are likely to be even more amusing than even those joining Yair Lapid in his jump into politics from news casting on Israeli television with his forming the Yesh Atid Party. And, of course, there is always Ehud Barak and his guarantee of misadventures. This is going to be a great follow-up of the United States Presidential Elections in November. That should be just about when the Israeli campaign hits high gear. I wonder if we will see American political advisors assisting those opposing Prime Minister Netanyahu as we saw the last time he was running for reelection as Prime Minister.

Beyond the Cusp

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