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Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The Ultimate Protest Vote

The surprise of the Israeli Elections, the Ultimate protest vote was the Retirees Party. Many people still walked out the polling booth, after putting the little paper in the envelope still didn't know which set of politicians could be trusted to run our beleaguered country. The undecideds decided to vote anyway, so they voted for a party that was established to protect and support the people who really built Israel, The People's Party of Retirees, pensioners, the Gimlayim!

They ended up with an unbelievable eight (projected) seats!

Outside of better pensions and other related issues, they truly are the party without ideology. Kadima's Meir Shitrit claims that his party is the one without ideology, but he's wrong. It does have an ideology, it's the "me and now and who cares about tomorrow or our forefathers" party. Kadima is selfishness to the extreme. People who voted for the Retirees care about tomorrow, at least they want those who contributed, whatever their roles, to be compensated with dignity. There's no dignity in Kadima.

From what I understand, the Retirees Party the only one that seems sincere about getting J. Jonathan Pollard home to Israel. His former Mossad "handler," Rafael Eitan, is one of the party leaders. But even he has stated that outside of their specific socio-economic issues, the MK's will have the freedom to vote however they choose. I hope that they do improve the pensions and other old-age benefits. I'm getting closer to the "official age," and many of my friends are retiring after the required thirty years as civil servants. I only began teaching English a few years ago and won't have a "pension" from my previous jobs. I wonder if people like me will benefit from their proposed laws.

Every Israeli election has its new "big" party, and they've all been buried: Free Center was one, and Shinui was the most recent. They all have similar ideologies, and in every case, between internal personality conflicts and a lack of "historic" ideology, they go out of favor very quickly. I presume that the same will happen with the Retirees Party.

And why did Likud lose so badly, shrunken to 11-2 seats? Very simple, it just lost its "popular touch." Bibi showed his toughness in slashing subsidies to the poor and large families, and Limor showed her total lack of "reality engagement" by engineering and supporting the destructive Dovrat Education restructure Plan. And the rest of the politicians there were just weak and pathetic, allowing Sharon to bulldoze the once proud, pro-settlement party into the one that destroyed Gush Katif and the Northern Shomron. It only stands for memories. Almost thirty years after Menachem Begin finally brought it into national power for the first time, it seems to be breathing its last, though one never knows in Israeli politics. One thing for sure, it doesn't seem to have a strong "next generation." By betraying its original ideology, it has nothing to offer. After Begin gave the Sinai to Egypt in exchange for the world's praises and a promise to develop Gush Katif and preserve YESHA in Israeli hands, its fate was sealed.

Enough has been said over Kadima, the politicians who will promise anything but a Land for its people. It's not really a "party," since its "Let's imagine there's no..." Ideology won't keep those ambitious and scheming opportunists together for long.

Now for Avigdor Leiberman and his Yisrael Beitenu Party. It's a great name. Israel is Our Home, which it should be. Party leader, Lieberman lives in a community that is not on the "ghetto" side of the wall being built, but he has been preaching "compromise," and it's not clear exactly what he really wants, besides power. In his own words, he's "open to all offers...."

Finally for the NU-NRP, which did very poorly in the election, only getting maybe eight seats. The National Union would have done just as well on its own without the NRP, which repulsed many voters to vote for Marzel's National Jewish Front, which didn't make it in again. Think of all the wasted votes. Many people I know voted NU-NRP with great trepidation, wary, since the ailing Rav Benny Alon made a very poor agreement with the dying NRP. By giving the NRP life, it destroyed Moledet, the party which did the most to try to stop Disengagement.

So, to boil it down, I think that, should we G-d willing survive, we will see more changes in the Israeli political spectrum. Likud is always stronger in the opposition, and its only chance of survival is to use those instincts. It still hasn't recovered from Sharon and Olmert and the "cancerous cells" they left in it still haven't been eradicated.

The political scene is just the thing to make our children even more cynical. There will be great changes, and demography is in our favor.

G-d willing we will survive
v'hamoshiach yavo b'mhaira, b'yameinu
and we will be redeemed, speedily
in our days...

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Cynical??? The Israelis just voted to commit suicide. Olmert no longer needs to be nice. He will let metal clubs and bullets speak for him. The real question is whether the settlers love their lsnd enough to fight for it.

Yehoshua Friedman said...

Despite the advantage to right over left, it is not going to be easy for Olmert to form a government. He only has 28 seats, a vary narrow base. In addition, in his own party, a lot of people are probably asking themselves, "Who the heck is he? I could do the job just as well!" He will get the business from everyone.
The Pensioners' Party is apparently very hypocritical about Pollard. Its head, 79-year-old Rafi Eitan, was Pollard's former Mossad handler. Today he says the country hasn't done enough to get him free. But back then he was quoted as saying that it would have been better if Pollard would have been killed rather than risk the problems he caused.
A whole slew of rabbis have told us who to vote for and who not to vote for. The hareidi rabbis said to vote for UTJ and Shas, the national-religious rabbis said to vote for NU-NRP. They all warned us not to vote for Marzel because he wouldn't get enough votes to qualify, thereby wasting our votes and helping the large, anti-Torah parties. They were highly disingenuous. Had they said to vote for Marzel, Marzel would have been in. They didn't want him and didn't have the courage to admit it. I'm shopping for a new rabbi. I'll also soon be looking for a new place to live. G-d help us all.

Batya said...

"a," It's not the "settler'" sole responisbiilty to "fight for the land." Tel Aviv and Rechovot are also part of the land.

Yehoshua, great points.

josh said...

Thanks Batya, I agree on almost everything. And that's a first since I've been visiting here.

My wife and I voted Marzel, we even pulled two people who weren't planning on voting off the couch to vote for him too. We have no regrets whatsoever. Accusing Marzel's 24000 protest votes for the failure of the entire right is misleading and mere scapegoating.

Rosh chodesh Nissan. Many great rabbis are saying that this year, and probably this Nissan, is the best time in a long time for mashiach to appear and our geula to pick up speed.

If not, then I see us doing a tikun for the meraglim chet that will hurt really bad. Most of the nation is in snooze mode, the erev rav is in its twilight days but still has much power while our demographics slowly kick in only a generation away. Olmert is a conniving swine that must continue to be exposed (he had the chutzpah to go to the kotel first thing, and then say the prayer for the welfare of the state of Israel at the end of his 'acceptance' speech - which is a bit ironic). We know that there are multiple prosecutions being set up and then, lo and behold, we get Peres back.

Our Rabbis forgot about the spiritual explosion we unleashed during the explosion and put their full support on 'man' these elections. It is too bad that most don't think like Lazer Brody and put their trust in Hashem. The elections were merely for deciding who gets to play with the budget money. The direction we go in depends on the entire nations will, not periodic elections.

May we hear b'sorot tovot ASAP, we will need them.