Beyond the Cusp

April 14, 2020

Israeli Political Stalemate Strikes Again

 

 

When nothing has changed between now and whenever President Rivlin finally surrenders to reality, these are our observations and thoughts. Should everything remain as it appears, Israel will be going to a fourth set of elections. It appears that yet another election will likely leave things the same without anyone able to form a coalition numbering sixty-one or more Knesset Ministers. These past three elections fit neatly into the Einsteinian definition for insanity, performing the same tasks expecting different results.

 

We here at BTC are going to go out on a limb and predict a winning side; but first, our reasoning behind the change we see coming. Former Blue-White leader, Benny Gantz, performed the political pirouette going back on any number of his former promises. There is one main U-turn which will damage him and lose him followers. This U-turn came when General Gantz (ret) attempted to form a government by allying with the Arab List. Even with this attempted new alliance, Gantz ended up unable to reach the magic sixty-one majority. This attempt also blew apart the Blue-White alliance leaving the former alliance torn asunder back into the component parties. This breakup comes at the same time as Labor and Meretz ended their alliance as well. Meanwhile, the parties making up the right-leaning alliance are well as in tact for as long as Bibi Netanyahu honors the promises made to them and not take away their ministries so as to bribe left-leaning parties to join the coalition. Breaking these promises would be the quickest means for destroying the right-leaning alliance.

 

We at BTC are actually looking forward to a new round of elections. These elections, we believe, will be held sometime in either August or September. The reason for holding the new elections that late is for any number of reasons including an end to the COVID-19 pandemic allowing people to feel safer being in groups and still allow for some time for campaigning. Granted, the vast majority of Israelis are set in their voting choices. So, what changes have we noted, despite the difficulties caused by the pandemic? The most obvious has been the breaking apart of the main left-leaning party, Blue-White, and another leftist alliance where one of the members is unlikely to break threshold. Of course, there is always the chance for any slip to come along and change everything.

 

Bronze Star of David

 

Well, guess the time has come to predict the results of any fourth Israeli elections. Top of the list will be Bibi Netanyahu yet again with sixty-two to as many a sixty-five mandates. The Arab List will remain between fourteen and seventeen mandates leaving less than a mere fifty mandates, falling completely from contention. Hopefully, Bibi can get past his paranoia suspecting that others are trying to replace the leadership of Likud into the future. While having Netanyahu returning one more time as Prime Minister may not be the most desirable, one last tour to collect more cigars and champagne and getting even deeper in trouble with the media; after Gantz’s recent self-destruction, there really is no other choice.

 

Taking the nearly identical results from the previous elections, the fourth elections will be predicted to simply be yet another repeat, yet we believe it could easily be the charm. What we advise Bibi Netanyahu, or any other right-leaning leader, to do is better Israel politically and place her beyond physical threat. The first effort should lead to completely annex all lands west of the Jordan River while providing any Palestinians desiring to leave with aid to assist their relocation. As for the remainder of time to the next elections, it would serve Likud and the right-leaning political wing to replace Bibi at the helm and promote a new leadership. Meanwhile, Israeli politics will remain one of the most absurd and delusional found on this Earth.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

December 9, 2019

A Quick Look Around the World

Filed under: Israel — qwertster @ 2:54 AM
Tags: , , , , , , ,

 

Even reading just a few articles this morning, we see that things have not drifted too far during our absence. Despite this static appearance, we realize it may take some time to get back in gear. Apparently, Turkey still wants to destroy the Kurds and the world is mostly just shrugging. We stand with what we have always stated, we support the establishment of the nation of Kurdistan. Of course, the world would never take such an honorable and wise move.

 

Our Idea for a Proposed Kurdistan

Our Idea for a Proposed Kurdistan

 

Apparently, Israel is still heading to the next election, which we fully support. As has oft been attributed to numerous people who worked and wrote around the times of the American Revolution, “The government which governs best governs least.” Without any currently empowered Knesset, we need not fear new rules and regulations, just a government finally working with relative efficiency. If that appears to be cynical, we plead guilty as charged.

 

The American Presidential carnival, provided for our perusal by the Democrat Party, has slimmed in numbers but not in coming amusement. We look forward to gaffs, but their positions of higher taxes and less freedoms are going to be a hard sell. All that will be needed is some honest reporting, who are we kidding, or other politicians simply revealing the reality they are peddling.

 

On another front, the United States is still as divided as ever with a sizeable number of Americans so opposed to Trump that they will never forgive him for winning the election. Israel is also divided in such a condition that electing a new government appears impossible. This is further indemnified by a number of parties and candidates running under the claim that they simply are not Bibi Netanyahu. These coming elections in the two nations will bear watching and writing our commentary as they proceed.

 

Well, we may as well be honest and admit that typing and publishing is posing to be a greater challenge than expected, or just as difficult as suspected. We will eventually either return to posting somewhat rambling articles or, and more likely, we will learn brevity and staying on subject. Until our next venture into parking in computer chairs and making new posts, hopefully with a good dose of foresight, we hope this small taste of our returning to our abnormal sense, we hope we can make this trip together.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

October 7, 2019

Israel Government Election Potentials

 

Israel held their second elections in order to attempt and allow for some governing coalition to be possible in mid-September. The April elections were inconclusive as the so-called right-wing parties; the religious, nationalist, conservative and/or Zionist parties, reached sixty mandates, one short of the necessary sixty-one mandates. The main reason that no government was able to be formed was due largely to two distinct reasons. The main reason which the media latched onto almost immediately, that Yisrael Beiteinu under the leadership of Avigdor Lieberman made demands which, if adopted, would have cost the support of the Haredi parties and cost the coalition more mandates than Yisrael Beiteinu could add to the attempted coalition. His main efforts demanded that the Haredi lose all or virtually all their deferments from IDF service, requiring all students attend public schools with their Torah and religious schooling being relegated to an after-school activity and other demands for mainstreaming the Haredi communities even against their resistance. The September voting realized the same divide as the April elections and left the sole formation of a government requiring what is called a unity government with Blue-White and Likud sharing the office of the Prime Minister and working together despite their disagreement on virtually every point of governance. Perhaps this is the ideal time to try and explain and define the differences which has the Israeli population so evenly split in halves making forming a government difficult, not impossible, just very difficult.

 

BTC Israeli Election Banner

 

The main points demanded by Avigdor Lieberman is a good starting point as all his policy proposals are largely based on a single premise, forcing the Haredi to meld with the whole of the Israeli society and removing the exceptions they have earned from previous governments. The two main points were education and IDF service. Avigdor Lieberman is making these demands despite strong evidence that the Haredi communities are inexorably moving to meld into the mainstream society even if at a fairly slow rate. He demands that the Haredi be forced to immediately meld into Israeli society losing all deferments for Torah scholars, their religious schools being replaced by the students being placed into the public-school system relegating Torah and religious studies to an after-school exercise. To a neutral observer, one would have to believe that Avigdor Lieberman holds the Haredi and religious communities in contempt and desires to destroy their independence and separation from normative Israeli society. He has attempted to force some of these concepts into law with little if any success and has now decided to demand these concessions up front, taking no chances. As noted above, the Haredi and religious communities have been slowly but surely moving towards melding with the rest of Israeli society without any pressure from the government. They are following the same process as the rest of Israeli society no matter their origins. No matter which groups one would choose to observe, be they the Russians, Haredi, Western European, Eastern European, Ethiopian, North American, South American or some other more exotic of Jews returning to their homelands of Israel, after three, four or at most five generations they are mostly merged with the rest of Israeli society. Their former native tongue is less used even at home except when the grandparents visit as their Hebrew leaves something to be desired.

 

There exist numbers of Haredi entering the IDF completely voluntarily despite being eligible for deferments. Haredi women have already been working with their forming companies themselves such that they can have a comfortable work environment. The Haredi men are lagging behind their better halves, but the number of Haredi men entering the workforce has increased year after year. But this rate, despite showing signs of increasing, apparently is not sufficient for Avigdor Lieberman who would prefer to force it into an established fact already achieved. The Haredi, according to him, have become too large a liability and, if not addressed by the secular community, will soon bankrupt the economy. But, even some in the Haredi community have already realized that their communities are threatened should they continue resisting normalization and are making sure that their children are adequately educated to enter the job market. We expect with time that the male Haredi communities will also form their own start-up companies just as their women are already pursuing. The problem with caving to the demands by Avigdor Lieberman, and similar demands from Yair Lapid of the Blue White Party, is it will very probably cause the slowing of the normalization of the Haredi community as they react to what they perceive as an attack on their way of life. Sometimes, attempting to force change on a community results in the retarding of their changing in the desired direction.

 

The question is why Avigdor Lieberman is pressing to force things on the Haredi communities which they are already starting to do on their own. The reason is almost purely political. His Yisrael Beiteinu Party had been losing support as their membership aged. His very public insistence on forcing the normalization of the Haredi community, including attacking their school systems, is designed to bring additional voters into his party, or at least voting for his party. Lieberman is tapping into some of the far left and far right and other pro-secular (read anti-religion) Israelis in addition to his normal voting support. His tactic has worked to this point, but only time will tell if this choice will prove all that advantageous with time. The surprise was that Yisrael Beiteinu would not be part of any right-wing coalition without some major concessions. This has been the sticking point making the forming of a coalition by Prime Minister Netanyahu as Avigdor Lieberman has all but refused to join such a coalition unless the Haredi Parties and communities allow for his life-changing new laws demanding their complete surrender to a secular life. This would lead to the Haredi not sitting in a coalition where Avigdor Lieberman’s demands were being met. On the other side, Blue White Party cannot form a government even with the mandates coming up just a few votes short. In order to form a governing coalition, Blue White Party would be required to persuade the Arab Parties, or at least a fair number of these parties consisting of Arab, Communist and other parties. The problem with such a coalition is that once again Avigdor Lieberman. Should he ever sit in a coalition with Arab Parties, his support would all but evaporate and it would be the end of his political life. This is the conundrum faced by both the Likud Party and the Blue White Party in forming a ruling coalition.

 

Some have suggested that Blue White might persuade one or both Haredi Parties into forming a coalition with their holding the Prime Minister office. Should Blue White attempt such a coalition, they would run into a large difficulty. Avigdor Lieberman is far from the only politician who desires forcing the immediate normalization of the entirety of the Haredi communities. Another politician who has made much of his name by making these demands is Yair Lapid, the number two (or three depending who you ask) person in the Blue White Party and one who would share the office of Prime Minister should they manage to form a coalition. Blue White would be required to disband their relationship with Yair Lapid and his Yesh Atid Party. This would severely cripple any hopes of forming a coalition even should they be able to bring the Haredi onboard. The only other means, according to almost all observers, is for the Likud Party and Blue White Party to ameliorate their differences and find some common ground. Yair Lapid would be required to forgive his demands on the Haredi and Likud would need to back off their promises for annexation of the Jewish communities in the Shomron (West Bank) and both come to terms on several other issues including some concerning economic policies. This eventuality, to us, appears to be next to impossible. Yes, the two parties might manage to reach sufficient agreement to form a unity government, but any such governing coalition would be unstable and unlikely to last more than a few months, maybe a year. Such a government is not a solution and there may not be any viable solution considering all the particulars.

 

That leads to consideration of what might resolve this situation of such an evenly divided nation. The first point which is required to be considered is how seriously the average Israeli has been affected by there not being a coalition or Knesset, Israeli parliament, addressing any problems or difficulties since April and now a second hung election not producing a coalition. If the numerous people we have interacted with are any example, Israel is mostly functioning smoothly without any ruling coalition and a functioning Knesset. The government is still functioning largely fine as the several departments remain staffed and are simply quietly doing their jobs and providing their services. There will not be any new laws or regulations without the Knesset, but many would claim that such is a good thing. There is a better than even chance that there will be no government formed from the September elections and yet another election may be required.

 

The divide in Israeli society is not as extreme as these vote tallies appear to indicate. Much of the divide is a result of the ramifications of the devastating Oslo Accords. On the political right, there is a strong resistance to the “Two-State Solution” because of the allowing for an Arab state in the heart of Israel holding the overlooking mountainous region around the Tel Aviv metropolitan region where over three quarters of Israeli population, production, utilities and almost everything else exists. Their fear is simply rockets threatening the tallest skyscrapers of Tel Aviv using line-of-sight-targeting as well as increasing terrorism as a result. Many who still support granting the Arabs a state in most, if not all, of the Shomron believe what their far left leadership claim that by giving the Arabs these lands, despite all their promises to continue demanding more, will bring peace and security if only those religious zealots on the right would come to their senses. For those who wish to know exactly what any Arab state in the Shomron would become, they need look no further than Gaza where the Arabs were given their own region completely devoided of any Israelis since early September of 2005 as a result of the Gaza withdrawal which resulted from recommendations initiated by United State Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and fully backed by President George W. Bush and pressured by them upon the government of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon who was required to form a new government in order to find sufficient support for enacting their insistent demand. Despite such evidence, much of the world still insists that Israel surrender everything and anything the Arab powers demand. There is another divide within the Israeli Jewish community, namely the religious and the secular. Even the religious have a divide between Haredi and the other factions including Reform Judaism, Traditional Orthodox, Reconstructionist, Conservative and other non-Haredi religious Jews. People need to understand that Judaism is different than other religions as the Jews are also a People. This leads to there being Jews by birth but not practicing Judaism as their religion with some actually having joined a different religion while being born and remaining a Jew biologically.

 

What will happen if Israel is required to hold a third election within one year? Well, Israel will be the butt of additional late-night jokes on television as well as at the water cooler. We are used to such things and will survive, if not thrive. The outcome of such a future election will be largely identical to the average of the two former elections. The possibility that there will result a government coalition is fairly slim. What has been frustrating is that the voting has favored a right-wing coalition approaching sixty-percent of the votes cast. With a couple of right-wing parties not attaining threshold, their voters were not included with those attempting to form a coalition. The left-wing and Arab parties formed partnerships such that all their voters would have party groups which would pass threshold. One reason that some of these right-wing parties failed to reach threshold was due to misleading polling which showed them receiving two to three times as many votes as they actually attained. What was interesting was that the further left the polling data, the higher these parties were polled to receive. There are those who believe that these misleading polling numbers were intentional hoping to prevent these parties from accepting joining other parties and thus wasting right-wing votes. So, we have conspiracy theorists here in Israel, we are not surprised. Whether or not the right-wing smaller parties will have learned anything remains to be seen. We can expect the polling results to be just as slanted attempting to reduce the representation of these supporters of these parties should they remain running alone. The other problem is something unique to the Israeli parliamentary system. Both Likud and Blue White were guilty of this problem as they each spent more time attacking the parties who would be their normal parties than those on the opposite side politically. With the predominant campaigning being used to maximize the two largest parties by attacking the smaller parties with similar or more polarized positions hoping to gain more mandates for themselves at these other parties’ expense. This may be part of what has led to the hung elections as it might be costing their potential coalition mandates as a result. Additionally, there are the misrepresentations which are almost always a part of any political contest. Israelis are fortunate that life remains largely unaffected by the political impasse being faced. Still, President Rivlin is pressing the two large parties to find some means of working together in a unity government. Thus far, we are facing a situation where leaders of Blue White refusing to sit in a government where the Prime Minister is under investigation of misconduct, even if the investigations are found to be purely politically motivated. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Netanyahu is not ready to pass the leadership of Likud. Perhaps the upcoming Likud primary election scheduled in the near future will solve that situation by choosing a new leader. The odds of such are almost nonexistent, but stranger things have been known to happen and we will just need to wait and see what the future will bring.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

Next Page »

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.