Beyond the Cusp

September 22, 2019

Avigdor Lieberman, the Deal Breaker

Filed under: Israel — qwertster @ 1:54 AM
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Introduction of Issues
As leader of the Yisrael Beitenu Party, Avigdor Lieberman has decided to use the leadership position to mount attacks upon the Haredi and religious Israelis. His complaint revolves around a set of complaints including that public transport be allowed to operate on the Sabbath; the recruitment law which requires every citizen, including all Haredi, serve in the IDF; and for all Yeshivot students and other Torah and religious oriented education students be required to attend regular general state education system which allows for their Torah and religious specific education on their own time. One can only but imagine what his next demand might be at some future critical points such as, well, cutting all public subsidizing of religious oriented schools which are not licensed as having certified general education systems and then Synagogues and on and on. Perhaps he would call for expanding on the court order demanding co-ed seating at a religious concert where the vast majority preferred separate seating and most others might feel some disappointment but worthwhile to hear the concert in Synagogues, the Western Wall and everywhere else where this practice of separation is currently enforced.

 

Avigdor Lieberman

Avigdor Lieberman

 

 

Dear Avigdor Lieberman

 

Avigdor Lieberman, you have been moving inexorably leftward to such an extent that these claims of being conservative is starting to ring hollow. We understand that you support the IDF and this is commendable. But your rubbing elbows with the Blue White Party, a group which has stated their support for the Two State Solution paradigm with surrendering lands to provide the Palestinian Arabs their own state up to the, as Gantz stated very early in the campaign, Separation Barrier. You entered into vote sharing with the Blue White Party which completes cementing your leftward drift reaching a point well past center. Your claims, just as those of the four generals and Yair Lapid, that you support the right-wing and the Israelis living in the Shomron appear as valid as the claims of the average apparatchik spreading disinformation. Your demands of Netanyahu for your support in the April elections was not made with any degree of honesty. You knew that those demands would force the Haredi Parties out of the coalition leaving Bibi with about the same situation we are facing once more, the only government available would be a unity government with Blue White which would break-up the Likud Party with many of the religious and honest conservatives fleeing to the other right wing parties which stand stronger on these issues. Your antics will eventually lead to Jewish Home, National Union–Tkuma and New Right gaining in strength where they will be able to control the discussions and sooner or later take over some future, sooner rather than later, coalition. These are your positions and the items upon which you have decided to take your stand. One of your main complaints is that the secular population and non-Jews not be forced to lead a religious life by the state. Allow us to discuss this point even if it is but the smallest part of your crusade.

 

Your demands go far beyond freeing those who would rather not be put out by religious laws and be free to desecrate the Sabbath with the blessings of the law and the State. Instead, you would instead force by the law to reside in a secular state which would force their allowing vehicle traffic on their streets on Shabbat and that Torah education be pushed into the region of an elective such as after school clubs except with a heavy study load. You have left no room, by your own admission, and refused to allow for any compromise or middle ground. Maybe there can be some middle ground such as allowing each city, township, community and neighborhood be permitted to decide such laws concerning Shabbat and whether they preferred to observe the Sabbath. Also, perhaps a certain amount of secular education could be considered to be met by any Yeshivot and other Torah or religious oriented education, in order to receiver accreditation or certification which could make them more attractive to those who desire a balanced education. The schools which fail to meet the standards would not be shuttered and those which choose to remain with their current education system be permitted to do so. People could decide for themselves which educational opportunity they wish for their children. All that is needed is for more free choice and as broad a selection be allowed to be presented to the public. There has to be some happy medium by which both communities, religious and secular, be allowed to choose for themselves. As far as the draft issue, a real sticking-point for the past few governments, could be set allowing for a percentage of the Yeshivot and other Torah or religious oriented education systems be permitted deferments. The enlistment from the Haredi and religious communities has been rising over the past decade and is predicted to continue as their communities have been slowly moving towards what you would call normalization. Your stance that it is unfair that the secular public is forced to obey religious laws and your solution is for the religious community to live under secular laws, which often makes their lives impossible as they would prefer to live them. You are simply demanding that everything be done under your preference and who cares about those who have different views and desires.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

May 31, 2019

Trump Peace Plan Strikes Israeli Election Dysfunction

 

President Trump had announced his intention to present his much-anticipated peace plan after Ramadan and the Israeli elections. Israel had their elections and the idea was to wait for the end of Ramadan and then let loose the plan. Then there was the hiccup, Israeli elections are requiring a redo. The just completed election provided current and potentially rechosen Prime Minister Netanyahu with sixty Knesset Ministers joining a coalition. The problem is he required half of one-hundred-twenty, plus one equaling sixty-one. The holdout was Avigdor Lieberman with the five Ministers of the Yisrael Beiteinu Party. What makes this turn of events all the more frustrating is that it was Avigdor Lieberman’s pulling out of the last coalition which initiated the slow collapse which was terminated when Likud Party leader, Bibi Netanyahu, finally pulling the plug leading to this past inconclusive election. The telltale lack of a confirmation resulting from the election is that had the Blue-White Party managed to form this coalition with every Minister remaining which Bibi Netanyahu could not land, they too would have a result of sixty, one Minister short as well. All of this begs a question of whether the Israeli system has some difficulties beyond that of other parliamentary systems?

 

The main problem is the requirement to patch together a coalition of half of the total Knesset plus one. Reaching that sixty-one figure is challenging enough in a country which has so many parties which all receive four or more Ministers as each party has some area of disagreement with most of the other parties thus the conflicting demands are difficult to find a workable solution acceptable to all. But there is another difficulty which makes it more difficult for both the left-leaning parties and the right-leaning parties, the Arab parties which have never joined either side in a government and usually garner anywhere between six and fifteen seats. This past election their lists came close to ten Ministers who were never going to join either side. Now the requirement to make a government, instead of sixty-one from one-hundred-twenty, it became finding sixty-one from one-hundred-ten which meant garnering fifty-five plus percent. That might not be such a challenge in countries with two or three main parties needed to form a government. This last Israeli elections, the only combination requiring less than four or more parties would have required the two main adversarial parties to have worked together in a new government, not something which was even remotely likely, though some feared that this might be the means by which the chosen party might decide to form what are laughingly referred to as a unity government, something they truly are not. This past election, any chance of a coalition between the two main adversarial parties was completely impossible. As it was, the larger party which rose to second place was actually three parties merging so as to be capable of defeating Bibi. Even that proved insufficient. Additionally, there was mention of bringing the Arab parties on board a left-leaning government and even going to that extreme would have still only registered sixty providing they could get Lieberman to agree, the problem Bibi was unable to solve.

 

The other item was scheduled to coincide with the new Israeli government being seated and the end of Ramadan on Tuesday, June 4, 2019. This has been pushed off until some point after Tuesday, September 17, 2019 assuming that the next elections prove definitive.

 

BTC Israeli Election Banner

 

So, that begs another question, what is the likelihood that the next elections will not simply return more of the same. The ramifications of the last week and the theatrics and everything else the Israeli public witnessed which was being passed off intelligent disagreements over the draft and the numbers of deferments provided the Haredi population so they can pursue Torah scholarship will hopefully be reflected in the voting of the public in September. Unfortunately, much of the Israeli public, just as it is in many other nations, are dedicated to their chosen party election after election. This makes the difference in the totals merely a marginal amount between left and right parties. The two sides do have some fluctuations as to which party takes the lead and the relative strengths of the individual parties. For an extended period, the Labor Party ruled the left but has lost support in recent years. What does not move anywhere near as quickly is the public moving across the center line between right and left. As this takes quite a while for such changes, this is a good time to point out that the Israeli public has been slowly moving to the right, becoming more religious and becoming less concerned with what the Europeans, United Nations and other outside influences think Israel should act. This has resulted in a current near balance between those on the left plus the Arab lists compared to those on the right. If we had to make a concerted guess, we would place the divide at between fifty-five to sixty percent right or right-leaning and the remainder opposed.

 

This often begs the question as to why the right does not simply win outright. The answer is actually one of the most basic and simply reasons for so much of the troubles in world politics, egos. There were two right-wing parties which did not clear threshold. Between them, they cost the right wing somewhere between four and six seats which would have made the five Ministers allied under Avigdor Lieberman unnecessary which would have made him far more agreeable. One did not clear threshold mainly because Bibi Netanyahu cut their support from under them in the final two days before voting partially as revenge for past ills between Bennett and Netanyahu and partly to take the votes and the other party simply refused to merge with other right leaning parties over slight differences and an over-reliance on the polls which gave him false hopes. This will be somewhat different come September as there are now rumors that Bennett will merge his party into Likud, which we will believe when we see the report that the deal has been signed, sealed and delivered to the public. Whether the other rogue right-leaning party will join with the United Right-Wing Parties or remain on his own tilting at windmills remains to be seen. There are also rumblings that the marriage which formed the Blue-White Party may be starting to fray around the middle. Our best guess is that Lieberman and his party might find their gambit backfiring and his party not making threshold or barely getting by losing one seat. Further, Netanyahu and the Likud will very possibly be penalized by the voters costing them as many as four to five seats. These seats will mostly go to either Bennett or to the United Right-Wing Parties. The next Israeli government, without some unforeseen seismic shift in the population, will be a right of center, Zionist and nationalist government with a strong religious flavor. With the shift moving to the supporting parties from Likud, Netanyahu might finally have to find some modesty and no longer act as if the government is his plaything which must do what he demands. This could prove to be an improvement as Bibi will also need to fulfill his nationalist promises about extending Israeli civil law to the settlements, all the settlements, just as he promised. Having an increased religious-Zionist interest possibly rivaling either of the Haredi Parties, this could prove to be most interesting. The only thing left is to wait and see how everything settles out.

 

The new elections will prove revitalizing for the Jewish Home Party which was all but destroyed for the month after Bennett and Shaked left taking one more of their Knesset Ministers with them for the ride and formed his New Right Party. After some arguments, blame setting and finally deciding on the person desired to take the lead, all they had left was to convince their choice that he desired rebuilding the party. The initial answer, if the rumors are correct, told the representatives for the Jewish Home that he had no desire ever, and especially not now, to be in politics, let alone in such a responsible decision. This simply motivated the people within Jewish Home involved with the decision and they approached this gentleman again imploring him to take the challenge as it required a man of his stature and his reputation for honor, honesty, straight shooting, nerve, resolve and most of all for speaking what is in his heart and keeping to his promises as his word is his bond. Some were skeptical that any man could fill the epic hole at the heart of the party. The skeptics were dead wrong, Rabbi and retired IDF General, combat helicopter pilot, and IDF Chief Rabbi Rafi Peretz was everything that had been advertised. We here at Beyond the Cusp were amazed at the reactions we ran into when Rabbi Peretz name was mentioned for the first time to people immediately after he finally accepted the challenge. The positivity was actually amazing and now that he will have three and a half months to make speeches and be seen and heard by the average Israelis instead of having to campaign with a mere three and a half weeks to go until Election Day as he was given for the just held election. This will be an interesting election as September approaches as in Israel, elections are made or lost in the final few weeks. More to come as summer’s end nears.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

July 31, 2013

Obamacare and the Slippery Slope

When the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), aka Obamacare, was first passed it was Democrats against the Republicans and passed purely by the Democrat unstoppable majorities. The Democrats had a large majority in the House of Representatives and a filibuster proof sixty vote majority in the Senate. This was used by many in the Republican Party as their campaign cry which blew them through the midterm elections allowing them to take the House of Representatives and ended the Democrat domination in the Senate. The call was that the Republican politicians were going to kill Obamacare by hook or by crook. Well, here we are after another Presidential election and approaching another midterm election and Obamacare is rumbling towards the people unabated. Even with President Obama overstepping his constitutional limitations granting exemptions to preferred friends, large campaign contributors, unions, and other friendly entities and just recently granting a one year reprieve for employers from the Employer Mandate requirements, he has already proven there is no limits to what he will do, legal or not, to fulfill his dream of Government mandated healthcare. After losing the Presidential elections and only controlling the House of Representatives, the Republicans have come up with a different way to prevent Obamacare being inflicted upon the American populace, either by depriving funding by omitting it from any budget or from any continuing resolutions or if they are unable to pass a budget which specifically excludes any funding for Obamacare, then shutting down the government until such an agreement can be forced through the obstinate Democrat majority Senate.

 

But there are problems developing in the Republican ranks as many recall the Gingrich government shutdown that reflected poorly on the Republicans as President Clinton used it to berate the Republicans and demonize them. What makes matters even more complicated is that there is another faction within the Republican Party who believes the best way to put Obamacare in its grave and make any future ideas for the Federal Government to enter the healthcare industry bring back memories of the worst blundering fiasco ever produced by mankind is to allow it to be implemented and fail. Their obtuse plan is to allow Obamacare to proceed to implementation as it stands and allow it to collapse, implode, fly completely out of control or catastrophically fail as an example of government gone horribly wrong. So, which would be the best route to address the monstrous, government expanding, cataclysmic program; prevent its release on the American public or allow it to be inflicted upon the American public and allow it to flail as it displays the worst side possible of government gone wrong. With the health exchanges scheduled to be deployed this October 1 and the remainder of Obamacare rolling out at the start of the New Year, any actions to prevent the actual attempt to implement Obamacare needs to start immediately after the August recess at the very latest.

 

The very first step requires the Republican Party to decide on which way they want to address Obamacare from the options they are currently considering. The Republicans cannot afford to be split with separate factions going in one direction while others are off in another direction. This is especially pertinent when you consider that some decide that the best plan would be to prevent Obamacare by any means necessary while others want to allow it to be implemented and utterly fail. These two plans are about as incompatible as possible. The Republican leadership has a proven track record of being absolutely unable to solidify the rank and file behind a singular approach. This means that the only thing that can herd the Republicans into an organized group behind a singular approach is by the American people speaking up loudly and making their desires heard. This means that the 9/12 groups, the Tea Party groups and the individual precinct captains all get out, organize and make some noise. It might also be advisable for the leaderships of these separate groups to get together and get behind a singular mode of attack. Of course such efforts are only necessary if the desired end is to prevent Obamacare from being deployed as if anyone simply agrees with the let it loose to fail away, then there is no need to do anything as that is the default position which will happen without any interference. But to stop the disaster before it is loosed there is plenty of work to be accomplished and not much time in which to implement the plans. But there is one more group that needs to join with the Republicans if Obamacare is to be prevented from destroying the United States, those Democrats who also love their country and know that this monstrosity will bring down the United States just the same as government provided centralized healthcare eventually bankrupted much of Europe. If the people do not stand and make sure they are counted now, then they will have no honest right to complain once Obamacare has been implemented. And for those who are claiming that they have decided to let it fail gloriously and use it as an object lesson, name one failed Federal Government program that upon failure was not simply propped up by throwing more and more money at it? Face the truth, the Federal Government never admits they failed, they simply bellow out their call of last resort, “It just hasn’t been sufficiently funded, throw more money at it and it will work, you’ll see.”

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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