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Sunday, December 4, 2005

Never Dull, Election Time

Bibi Netanyahu is trying to delay the elections by forming a coalition of Knesset Members hoping to postpone the inevitable. Political pundits say that the MK's willing to ally with him are afraid that they'll lose their seat after the next elections, so it's worth the gamble to join his coalition. According to the The Jerusalem Post, Bibi denies the recruiting, and Uzi Landau had been working on it. Stay tuned...

Arik Sharon is recruiting for his party. Word is out that he's offering a "safe seat" to an extremist Arab mayor. Kadima is looking more and more like a traif supermarket. Even if it makes a decent showing in the upcoming elections, it won't last. There's nothing holding it together other than the strength of Arik's personality.

And now Arik says that Shetrit's statement that no new housing should be built in Judea and Samaria wasn't right. It's hard to know what he really believes, other than holding onto power and controlling the country.

More signs of Likud's death throes, as "un-named" MK's blame the "loyalist/rebels" and Moshe Feiglin for driving Sharon out. If that's what they think, they haven't a clue. And they also don't have "what it takes to lead" if they insist on hiding their identities.

And for some really good news, the so called "settler population" is growing much more rapidly than the general Israeli one. And if you compare "right wing" demographics to "left-wing" you'll see why they're panicking so. That's what Disengagement was really about, trying to destroy the most vibrant sector in Israeli society.


yitz said...

Today's "Lazer Beams" says that tomorrow he's going to reveal how the Disengagement was/is actually the beginning of the Redemption of our people - this should be interesting!



According to Aaron Lerner of IMRA:
[from Israel Insider]:
Framing elections as retreat referendum could defeat Sharon
By Dr. Aaron Lerner -- December 1, 2005

While Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's plans to carry out a major retreat in Judea and Samaria after the elections certainly appeal to the elements in the Left now supporting his "Kadima" Party, the Israeli public overwhelmingly rejects his scheme.

Turn the upcoming Knesset elections into a referendum on unilateral withdrawal instead of a personality contest and Kadima will plummet.

That's the challenge facing the national camp.

And it remains to be seen if the personalities running the campaigns of the national camp parties will realize that the retreat issue is their only solid hope to whittle down the support this essentially one-man party enjoys to what should be its natural size.

Play the corruption card? Polls show the public knows full well that Sharon is corrupt but they don't care.

Highlight commitment to social-welfare policy? Make this the defining issue of the campaign and you are just another "me too".

Remind voters about the lefties in Kadima? It may convince some voters to "come home" but Sharon is running as the man on the horse who does what he wants, when he wants to, and could give a damn what anyone else says (or for that matter what he himself may have said before), so the composition of his party is of secondary importance.

Israel loves this ultimate man on the horse.

But Israel doesn't want the retreat Sharon is planning.

A poll of a representative sample of 500 adult Israeli Jews carried out by Smith Research & Consulting on 29-30 November and sponsored by ZOA -- The Zionist Organization of America -- finds that 67% oppose carrying out a significant unilateral withdrawal from Judea and Samaria if it is not possible to advance in negotiations with the Palestinians on the basis of
the Road Map after the elections because the PA fails to fight terror.

Among those who indicated that they plan to vote for Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's Kadima Party, 54% oppose and 37% support carrying out a significant unilateral withdrawal under those circumstances.

And the public sees retreat as a defining issue.

A follow up question found that of those who oppose unilateral withdrawal under those circumstances, 75% responded that they would not vote for a party that would support such a move.

Hammer home the message that a vote for Sharon is a vote for retreat and there is nothing he can say that will convince voters that this isn't the case.

Ironically, the very thing that appeals to Israelis: that he does what he wants, when he wants to, and could give a damn what anyone else says or what he himself may have said before -- would then be his Achilles heel.

so what are we doing about this???

yitz said...

One more, from Reuven Koret of Israel Insider, via e-mail:

The times they are a-changin'...

Dear Israel Insider Readers,

The truth is that the Israeli political scene has never seemed less worthy of comment, nor more personally depressing to a once idealistic Zionist. The miasma speaks for itself, and that is not saying much. The papers are filled with polls about how our Fearless Leader, together with his Feckless soon-to-be-imprisoned son, are bound for easy victory in their spanking new Kadima party, soon to be joined by the head of Loser Inc.

On the other hand, the Stalin-mustachioed union leader, who can barely speak a coherent word in proper hebrew let alone english, is being lauded by the pundits and intelligentsia as a "fresh face" with "new blood."

Meanwhile, terrorists enter are suddenly porous southern flanks, Kassam rockets are falling on Ashkelon, missiles are threatened from Lebanon, LAW rockets are soon to be pointed at Ben-Gurion Airport and -- to quote the latest Hollywood matinee idol Chicken Little, the sky is falling.

From the prophet Robert Zimmerman aka Bob Dylan, whose unplugged album lately has been accompanying my frequent drives on Israel's highways and byways comes the reminder the "first one now will later be last" and I hope and pray that better be true in the present case. Optimistically I hearken back to the polls which showed the Likud referendum for disengagement passing in a landslide, only to have it lose in a landslide just a couple of months later.

It is unacceptable that Ariel Sharon, smiling Nero of corruption and deception, should get away with dispossessing the Jews of Katif of their homes and do away with 95% of Israel's biblical heartland.

There are two hopes to ground this juggernaut. One is that reality -- Palestinian terror attacks and diplomatic duplicity -- will remind the Israeli voter that Sharon has presided over the most Israeli deaths from terror in our history and that he is riding headlong to discard our historical inheritance and security margin.

The second is that those who know better -- the religious and the right -- will finally get there act together and form a united bloc. Polls show they could gain between a quarter and a third of the overall vote as a unified bloc and, in the latter case at least, win the nod to form the next government. But who could lead such an unruly bloc?

I am more "confident" in the former than the latter and I also suspect, in an echo of 1981 when Begin ordered the bombing of Osirak just weeks before the election, Sharon plans a "March Surprise" for the Iranians which -- if successful will win the election and/or trigger a regional conflagration of Biblical proportions.

All we can and will do here is to keep you updated about these developments, and try to counter the massive spin we can expect to see in favor of Sharon's fictive party and Peretz' labor union and to give voice to the sober right's still forming efforts to regroup after the disengagement debacle.

As usual, we'll do it without pulling punches. Shavua tov!

Reuven Koret