Friday, May 4, 2012

Long Hot Summer, Election Mode

I guess it's pretty official by now.  Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will end shiva (the Jewish week of mourning) for his father and announce that there will be new elections, a bit early, in Israel.  Ever since Bibi put together his coalition the media and opposition have been predicting that his government wouldn't last. 

Actually this present Israeli Government is strong and stable.  I agree with Benny Begin that it's foolish to hold elections now.
Dissolving the Knesset and calling early elections is a mistake, according to Likud Minister Benny Begin, who is thus far the only government minister to speak out against Prime Minister Netanyahu’s call for early elections last week.
“Early elections are a mistake,” Begin told the Hebrew daily Makor Rishon. “The current government has set a record for stability not seen for 30 or 40 years. That is my opinion and I will not conceal it.”
Although Israeli media reports indicate that many Knesset members from various factions are displeased with the decision to hold early elections, parliamentarians have largely abstained from speaking out on the subject, and it is now widely believed that nothing will stop the early election momentum now.
MK Yitzhak Vaknin of Shas told reporters: “If you held a secret ballot, 118 [of the 120] MKs would vote against early elections.”
Most of the public also supports Netanyahu, or at least they don't think any of the wannabe PM's should be given the chance to rule.

Asked which candidate is most suited to hold the job, 48 percent of respondents said Netanyahu. That is considerably more support than the other three candidates received put together.
His closest rival, Shelly Yacimovich (Labor ), got only 15 percent support. Next came Avigdor Lieberman (Yisrael Beiteinu ) with nine percent, and finally Shaul Mofaz (Kadima ) with six percent. That is a blow to Mofaz, who has been presenting himself as Netanyahu's only realistic rival.
No doubt the Israeli media will do its best to brainwash the public that they are wrong.  The big question there is which former journalist/media star will get the most backing, Shelly Yachimovich or Yair Lapid.  Kadima's Shaul Mofaz hasn't a chance, and his party will only weaken.  Kadima is neither new, like Lapid's or sufficiently veteran, nostalgic like Labor.

None of those parties mentioned, including Likud, will get my vote.  Now I have to wait to see what's happening on the Right.  I'm upset but not surprised that NU MK Ketzale (Yaakov Katz) is trying to take over the NRP, now called "Jewish Home" via the backdoor.  He joined with the National Union, Ichud Le'umi for the last elections and gave it some very needed energy, but he's really an old time NRP type; they just wouldn't give him a good spot.  So, not for the first time, there's talk of the two parties joining forces.  Been there; done that.  It was awful, because the NRP guys (no gals) are terribly entrenched in their habits  and refuse to recognize the fact that the public has outgrown them.  Also, not all Right wing, pro-Jewish rights in the Land of Israel voters are Bnai Akiva, the recruiting ground for NRP.

That's not my background at all, and I'm against political parties being "religious" or "secular."  I don't look for those labels and policies.  I vote for Nationalist, pro-Jewish Rights in the Land of Israel.  That's my priority and we can't afford to split the pro-Jewish rights in the Land of Israel voters into two parties divided by religion.

No doubt, there will be many more posts from me and others on this topic.


Yoni said...

Ben Ari is the only true leader. It does not matter who will be prime minister, but who will build a political block with a clear message. Moshe Feiglin's strategy of changing things from within has not really worked - The result: 3 years of leftist government in nationalist clothing. It would be best for all pro-Land of Israel elements to leave the Likud and join the National Union, thus leaving the Likud as a second version of Kadima. And all lovers of the Land of Israel should vote for the National Union instead of the Likud. In this way there is a real chance of the National Union getting 6 -8 seats (in addition to the 2-3 seats of the Mafdal).

Batya said...

Yoni, I agree. If the Feiglin people would vote NU it could end up being a large party instead of Lieberman.

Anonymous said...

wow. i actually agree with you on some points in this post.
we should both be very worried. :)

no reason for early elections, altho it may work in the rights favor, as there is no real 1 opposition party.
the state hasnt been this stable, peaceful, and prosperous in, well, forever.
reqil descul

Batya said...

a, I think that Bibi's making a mistake by making them so early.

Anonymous said...

Batya- this is Netivotgirl. I agree- calling elections now is a REALLY big mistake. Having said that I must also admit there's nobody I'd want to vote for in aforementioned elections. BTW, I feel the same way about the elections abroad. This may be the 1st time since age 18 when I won't vote. Obviously Hussein Barak is a no-go, but I can't see myself supporting Romney. McCain I respected (Palin was trash but at least McCain I respected.)To say I'm frustrated is an understatement..............

Batya said...

Netivotgirl, I think that you've mixed up Israeli elections with the American one.

In the Israeli elections, you try to find the party you agree with and trust, almost never allowing yourself to compromise. While the American elections you vote for the lesser of two evils.