Saturday, May 5, 2012

Bibi's Election Miscalculation

There's a well-known Jewish joke with lots of truth to it:
(#1116) Tradition
Rabbi Gold is conducting his very first service at one of London’s oldest shuls. All is going well until he gets to the ‘Shema’ prayer - only half his congregation stand up. Those still seated start yelling ‘sit down’ to those standing and those standing start yelling ‘stand up’ to those sitting. Although Rabbi Bloom is knowledgeable about much of the law, he doesn’t know what to do. He thinks it must be something to do with the shul’s tradition.
After the service, Rabbi Bloom consults Abe, the shul’s oldest member. "I need to know, Abe, what the shul’s tradition is with regard to the Shema prayer. Is the tradition to stand during this prayer?"
Abe replies, "No, that is not the tradition."
"So the tradition is to sit during Shema?" says Rabbi Bloom.
Abe replies, "No, that is not the tradition."
"But," says Rabbi Bloom, "my congregation argue all the time. They yell at each other about whether they should sit or stand and ..."
Abe interrupts, exclaiming, "Aha, THAT is the tradition!"
And here in Israel, setting dates for elections is the same...
Dry Bones, 1984
It's rare for an Israeli Government to survive a full term. Over the years many have been shaky, just over the minimum of sixty Members of Knesset, so as soon as a crucial vote would come up, which didn't get full support from the coalition MK's the government would fall.  Or an opposition party would make a deal with coalition MK's to vote for a "lack of confidence bill" to force the Prime Minister to call early elections.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has a large stable government.  Conversation around our Shabbat table questioned why he has agreed to call early elections, and davka why is the date so early in September?  Of course, by the time he makes his official announcement, the date may not be the September 4th that has been in the news.

Arlene Kushner has also been wondering about the elections.  She sees pressure coming from Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman:
Prior to the announcement about beginning the elections process, a struggle had ensued between the Prime Minister Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Lieberman, head of the Yisrael Beitenu party, which is a part of the coalition.
Lieberman has a reputation as a maverick, who speaks out as he sees fit.
The issue at hand in this instance was something known as the Tal Law, which provided military exemptions for ultra-Orthodox people who study in yeshivot. That law had just been shot down by the High Court and the question was what was going to happen next...
...Lieberman, who is solidly for universal IDF service, became restive with the pace of what was happening and began to make noise about this. Some claim he threatened to break apart the coalition by leaving. He says he did not threaten this but was simply pushing for resolution of the issue.
Whatever the case, it was immediately following this that Netanyahu began to talk about elections. The conclusion drawn was that Netanyahu was showing Lieberman that he wouldn't permit him to either challenge his authority or damage the coalition -- he would, instead, dissolve the coalition and begin again...
...What I [Kushner] think happened is that he [Bibi] looked around and saw all the benefits for himself and his party in holding elections now, and utilized the tensions inside the coalition as a rationale for doing so. I think he knows that he is now at the height of his popularity and didn't want to risk losing that -- he wanted to emerge even stronger than he is now.
I think that Netanyahu is over-confident because he is doing so well in the polls.  Yes, now he is, but he is forgetting that the Korach faux Social Justice Left is preparing a summer of "fun" and brainwashing for the Israeli public.  Last summer's activities, free camps and entertainment were just the rehearsal for this summer's election campaign.  In September, the Left will be revitalized and their voter turn-out will be much higher than usual.

The Israeli public won't be interested in the truth.  They will also deny that  our economy is stronger than in most other western-developed countries.

Dry Bones, the Economy 2012

Some people think that Netanyahu wants the elections when U.S. President Barack Obama is busy with his own, so he won't interfere.  If that's the case, then October, after the Jewish Holidays would be better for our elections.  Yes, I understand that whomever is elected in the states will then start pressuring during our coalition negotiations. 

The truth is that we must stop looking to other countries.  That's the key.  We must do what's best for the State, People and Land of Israel.  Bibi's too busy watching his tail, rather than leading us forward.


NormanF said...

There are three problems. They could be solved by switching to a presidential system giving the president - elected by popular vote a six year term.

The Knesset would serve for five years.

And the next step would be to adopt a mixed representation system to give voters a local representative and to increase the PR threshold for party representation to discourage minor parties.

Israel would then have stable four year governments at the least and a strong executive that could make long term policy decisions.

If politicians run for re-election the moment they win, nothing gets done. Israel both needs a strong leader and fewer parties.

Batya said...

Norman, I have one important response
I'd hate to see what distorted regions the Israeli politicians would draw. They would make the Israeli government much worse than today's.

Anonymous said...

The recurring statements that Israel must do what seems best for Israel and forget the USA can not happen. BiBi knows this. It would be almost impossible for Israel to survive without American money and firepower. Pipe dreams of complete non-reliance on USA help is foolish. America demands something for its help, whatever it may be. We do not get something for nothing.

Batya said...

a, why not? America isn't G-d
We did better without America's rotten advice. Since when did they win a war for their survival?

Anonymous said...

In 1945. Of course America is not G-D!. Don't be absurd. America is the only powerful entity in the world that does any thing for us..Where do you live? Underground? America is going to give us 1 Billion USD for expansion of the Iron Dome..Who else in the world would have done this? You can not live isolated from the rest of the world. We would not last a week against the total number of enemies we have in the area..

Batya said...

1945? That was an international war that America could have done a better job if it hadn't waited so long. It's nothing like the threat Israel is facing.

Iron Dome? That's not a way to defeat our enemies!

Anonymous said...

America was attacked by Japan at Pearl Harbor. Then it was a long battle to defeat them. Waiting has nothing to do with it. What do you want? No defense against missiles from the enemy?

Anonymous said...

Your Leftist video against Iron Dome is nothing but propaganda. I was un-impressed. Enough. I am going to find people that do not live in fairy-land.

Batya said...

a, you're in fairyland.