Beyond the Cusp

August 21, 2019

Barak’s Democratic Union Opposes Judaism and Jewish History

 

Right up front we feel it necessary to mention that most of our staff belong to Jewish Home and this writer is quite fond of Brigadier General (ret.) Rabbi Rafi Peretz. My support for Rabbi Peretz was greatly enhanced after meeting with him both before and after a Central Committee meeting where all told we probably spoke for at least thirty minutes. In the time I was able to watch him, he never rushed anyone and patiently spoke to all who wished his attention. Many of the other candidates on our Knesset list were far less approachable and most hurried from the meeting as if the building caught fire, exactly what we have come to expect from politicians who unfortunately believe they are more important than the rest of us. Perhaps this, in the end, served him well when he permitted Ayelet Shaked to take his spot at the head of the ticket seeing that polls depict her leading to greater acceptance and more mandates. It was quite interesting that the day after Ms. Shaked took the top spot, the poll showed her receiving four less mandates than predicted when she was not leading the ticket. The earlier polls, in our opinion, were designed to force Rabbi Peretz to step aside while knowing full well that the difference was a mere two to three seats between the two and we figure that it would make a negligible difference in the actual elections. Now, back to our regularly scheduled article.

 

Ehud Barak heads the Democratic Party and invested great efforts to find another party to ally with so as to assure his making the next Knesset should one ever be formed. The Blue White Party declined his requests, the Labor Party declined his offer, and he finally found one which agreed to accept a merger, and that party was Meretz. Together they will use the moniker of the Democratic Union. A spokesperson for the party released their statement stating, “The education minister this morning is moving a system meant to educate our system another step towards a system devoted to brainwashing,” So, what could possibly have been introduced by Education Minister Rabbi Rafi Peretz that brought such an extreme reaction from our friends at the far left? For that we will quote Rabbi Peretz, the Education Minister, directly. He explained, “The connection to our heritage and history is the bedrock of our existence and is the glue that connects us as a society. We have the duty of education to safeguard it.” Additionally, Minister Peretz added as he spoke to Galai Tzahal on Army Radio, “Judaism is an ocean of wisdom. Students will be exposed to many values, morals and love. These values will help us establish a more values and moral society here.” What could possibly be so sinister in such a curriculum as to be considered brainwashing?

 

The first item which has to be considered is that both parties in the Democratic Union are a fair distance from supporting the religious world. The majority of their members are either purely atheist or secular humanist with merely the slightest belief in Hashem. They view religion in general and Judaism particularly as threatening to their beliefs and supported lifestyles. Torah morality does not support the many diverse and often indistinguishable genders as proposed by the leftists. Their usual depiction that Torah is hateful is the ban on sodomy. Of course, they never couch what Torah states as considering sodomy as a sin but claim that Torah teaches hatred of all gay people. That is so far from the truth. Torah teaches us to love and accept all, particularly all Jews, and to accept and treat all strangers with respect and acceptance asking only that they obey the Noahic Code and live under our rule respectfully. The teaching that sodomy is a sin is not and never was targeting the gay community as it also applies to heterosexual couples, or simply put, it is indiscriminate to sexuality as it bans all forms of sodomy. There is no law or even commentary that we are aware of which teaches Jews to reject gay people and especially no call for their hatred. If only the far left were as kind to the religious our society would be far more homogeneous and caring for each other.

 

The Democratic Union also complained that Rafi Peretz is ignoring such problems as class size, improve the status of teachers and that Rafi Peretz “introduced the racist Nationality Law into the high school curriculum.” The Nationality Law was passed this last session by the Knesset and as such, the teaching of the law and what it contains and does not contain is of importance as it is amongst the Basic Laws which define Israeli society and governance. The Basic Laws which define Israel are hopefully all taught and discussed by our high school students. Or does the Democratic Union believe that the Basic Laws should be kept a secret. We are willing to bet that students are taught about the number of seats make up the Knesset; how a Prime Minister is chosen; the duties of the President, Prime Minister, Knesset Members and the Ministerial positions with their duties. Further, Torah and the Bible are histories of the Jewish People and their Nationhood. The remaining history of the Jewish People after the Roman dispersion is equally important and deserves a place in the classroom. This is the idea behind the Edmund Burke quote, “Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.” Perhaps the Democratic Union is in favor of making the same mistakes over and over again. Their insistence that the education of our children should be bereft of Torah and Bible which represent almost two thousand years of early Jewish history reaching back to Abraham, Isaak, and Jacob along with Moses the lawgiver and on to Kings Saul, David, Solomon and beyond, the Prophets and Judges and so much more as well as covering the Zionist Movement’s history from before the Balfour Declaration through the British Mandate to independence and the 1948 war to annihilate the Jews and their nascent state and everything since is as ridiculous as it sounds at face value. The Jewish People have near to four-thousand-years of history which would take more than one class to cover. Without the history and all the trial and tribulations we went through and the perils which have struck the Jewish People in the past, how can the next generation avoid these same mistakes without a solid understanding from whence our people came, how we were defined and what ideas and ideals we hold dear? The simple answer is that such would be impossible.

 

The Secular Humanist idea is to not teach history as it actually happened but to redefine events to fit closely with their brave new world. Their syllabus for most history classes is formulated to highlight minority contributions while ignoring much of the people who formed governments and principles in the lesson plans. I witnessed such with my children in school in the United States in a quite progressive (read far left) area where the Secular Humanist agenda was the mainstay of their curriculum. Her year of American history did not include a single lesson where George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin or any other Caucasian from American history other than Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Delano Roosevelt and very little reference to the Constitution, Declaration of Independence, the Federalist Papers or anything written by Ben Franklin including Poor Richard’s Almanac. There was not a course in world history even offered. We will not even get into the mess which is the result of the newest math except to say that none of it made sense and I majored in math. They were told in algebra to guess until they found the answer, which works great if your answer is a whole number but not so well if the answer is the square root of -9 (which is 3i). Needless to say, we spent a fair amount of time teaching math and additional lessons in American and world history much to their chagrin. There is nothing wrong with teaching additional classes in the history of the Jewish People, both recent and Biblical and from all areas of the Diaspora with the greatest amount of straight honesty as possible (see maps of historic Israel below). This writer stands strongly against softening the history of our people for whatever reason is presented, be it to protect the student’s impressionable mind, to make everything less traumatic, or the real reason, to deny the students the standing to understand from whence they came and their long and impressive history so as to make the student more easily accepting to their newest ideas and concepts as well as believing that Secular Humanism is the most advanced societal philosophy and that Judaism, Torah and the Bible are nothing more than folk tales of little to no importance. Having seen how well such an approach to education in the United States and the products from their institutions of higher learning such as Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez; we would prefer our youth have a better grasp on history and how to shape the future.

 

Israel Through the Ages

Israel Through the Ages

 

Never would we want to have any member of a ruling coalition putting forth the mistaken belief that Israel was a present given to the Jews by the European powers as an apology for the Holocaust when the reality is that it was part of the returning of lands to their indigenous peoples. Two of such promises caused the greatest amount of pushback from the Arab world; Israel and Kurdistan, both of which were also opposed by the British who were responsible for establishing both nations. Kurdistan fell when they discovered oil in Mosul and the Iraqi leader promised the British that J. Paul Getty could have the drilling rights. The British did much to mollify Arab opposition but Zionism won out and Israel did not suffer an identical result. Students need to know what lands were promised Israel which are the lands west of the Jordan River, what lands were promised us in the Bible, what lands we controlled at the various stages from the conquests under Joshua to the Greater Israel of Kings David and Solomon and that the term Greater Israel applies to that era of our history and has no meaning to modern Israel. These are some of the vital statistics and facts which our leaders of the future need to know in order to properly lead this precious nation. There are so many other facts which could be listed here, but they can also be found in numerous of our articles. We want future Israelis to have a solid knowledge of their roots both modern and Biblical and the philosophy of and what it means to be a Jew. Judaism is so much more than a religion as it is also a people and a family. Zionism is something to be proud about despite what many leftists claim as they do not believe in nationhood and desire a one world government under the auspices of such as the European Union or United Nations. They desire open borders and an end to the belief in Hashem and all religion for their concept of the perfect future. The future they envision has been attempted on a national scale before and has always resulted in a dictatorial governance and more often than not in mass killings to cull the populations and we will give you one guess who were considered unnecessary in such governance. Yes, we were most often amongst those targeted as it has always been easy to target the Jews as they were often few in number and never had political power under these systems. Atheism is the antipathy of Judaism and it is easy to tell those who believe in Hashem and those who believe that the human beings are the highest power in the universe (until the promised ET’s arrive) and we have seen these types before as they were the Hellenists from Greek culture during the times of Alexander the Great. They worshiped the human form and believed it to be supreme over all else while Judaism also values every human being but believe that every Jew can only be good if they practice being a good and religious people and act accordingly following Torah. We must also teach our children how Judaism and Torah formed much of the basis for civilization and the guiding principles of our Bible were the referenced liberally by Founding Fathers of the United States in the writing of the Declaration of Independence and numerous other principles incorporated in the founding of America. Why anyone would desire to have such knowledge denied to our children is confounding and implies some ulterior motive which often will end regrettably. Knowledge is the aim of education and our history and the founding writings of Torah, Bible, Talmud and the many other writings have a deep level of knowledge and provide a framework for making good and solid decisions. We ask again, why would we wish to deny such to our children?

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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.

 

BTC Israeli Election Banner

 

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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