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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Shaking Up Israeli Election Scene as The Parties Prepare for January 22

Unlike the rather boring American political scene which has had the same two main parties for about two hundred  years, you need new scorecards for each Israeli Knesset Elections.  Not only do political parties come and go and reinvent themselves with new monikers, politicians and wannabees keep switching partners like in a wild folk dance.

The Likud is again changing its rules.  Last time it changed them post-primaries, so I guess Bibi wants to look more honest so he's trying to prepare the party to give himself some needed "flexibility" to bring in people he wants in the Knesset.

Never dull for sure.

Last night as I was trying to fall asleep, I kept hearing about the Shas "celebrations" since the disgraced, former prisoner, Arye Deri seems to be back in politics.
According to sources close to the housing minister, Yosef asked Attias last week to broker a deal between Deri and Yishai in order to bring a semblance of unity back to the party.
Despite the agreement, Shas insiders believe it will be hard for Yishai and Deri to work together, with Deri’s political cunning and charisma likely to overshadow the more staid character of the present interior minister.
Deri served 22 months of a three-year jail term from 2000 to 2002 for accepting bribes from the Lev Banim Yeshiva during his tenure as director-general of the Interior Ministry and then as interior minister.
Anyone convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude – as Deri was – is banned from running for Knesset for a period of seven years following their release from prison. The coming elections are therefore the first for which Deri is able to run since his release, despite unsuccessful attempts that were made for him to run in the 2009 elections.
An old youtube interview with extreme Leftist Uri Avneri is making the rounds. 

In it Avneri claims credit for mentoring Arye Deri into politics.  According to Avneri, Deri is if anything more extreme Left than himself.

On the ki'ilu sort of or fake Right, the NRP aka Jewish Home Party is getting lots of publicity, because it's planning primaries and has some media savvy candidates in competition for leadership and Knesset seats.  I see the NRP as Likud with kippa and tzitzit.  Push comes to shove, they want cabinet seats and Center policies.

On the Left, Kadima is sinking
If Kadima's downward-spiraling trend continues, its demise in the next elections may mark the most radical disappearance of a political force in Israel's history. Other parties have come and gone, but no party went from 28 seats to none in the course of one Knesset term.

It's no real surprise.  Its comatose founder, Ariel Sharon, is showing more "life" and permanence than the Kadima Party.

With the National Union breaking up, Ketzele and Uri Ariel are returning home to the Mafdal--National Religious Party, I'm sticking with MK's Arye Eldad and Michael Ben-Ari.  As I've written many times before, the only way to keep the Likud from going totally Left is to have a strong Right opposition.  That means that we should not vote for any party that plans on dreams about having cabinet portfolios.

Never dull.  What do you think of the campaign as it heats up?


Amihai said...

Agree with almost everything, except what you write about the split of the Ichud Leumi.
That they want cabinet position isn't in itself problematic.
In fact it's the opposite, because it gives opportunity to change things.
The true problem is what is their true motivation.
If it's just so they can feel important and have a seat in the governement, just for the sake of being minister, it's awful (like beit yehudi).
But that's really not what Ketzeleh want : he aims for a bigger and immediate change.

The difference with Feiglin and the Likud isn't that they are trying to improve something rotten like the likud, but trying to build something new, much more idealistic.

Then, I'm not such a big fan of Ben-Ari. If he's running alone with E.Y.Shelanu, I won't give my voice to a list with which I disagree on a few things.
Especially that the reason he's leaving the others is not because a disagrement or else.
It's just because of the return of Deri, which he want to use as a mean to get a lot of tradionalist usually voting shass...

H'aval he doesn't want to unify with the others, it would only have helped.

Batya said...

Amihai, In actuality it's Ketzele leaving with the name. Eldad and Ben-Ari are the more veteran in the Right following the steps of Rehavam Ze'evi, Moledet.

I've never been a Mafdal NRP voter or fan. The aim of NRP was always to be in the coalition. Ministers don't make changes. The watch their seats or the PM will sack them.

Amihai said...

Moledet still exist and is part of this new union.
So are the ideas : Rehavam Zeevi was a minister when he got assassinated...

The political plateform of EYS is much more narrow and more extreme and has a few differences: for them, only land matters, there are no global vision, especially about the medina (which has no value in their opinion).

I agree with you : it's quite hard to be a fan of the NRP.
But Tekuma and moledet really have a clear ideology and they're not afraid to speak.
And the but of this union isn't just to "enter the coalition", but to get as much as possible MKs so they can really matter, in or out of a coalition.
Especially now that virtually every party will get less than 20 MKs.

BTW, Eldad has confirmed that they're leaving because of fight over knesset seats...

Batya said...

Amihai, the fight over Knesset seats is because NRP dominates, like they did a few elections ago. They have a big organzition, property etc. They want to swallow up Eldad and Ben-Ari and turn everyone into NRP.

Amihai said...

That's probably true.
But now, this can change if Bennett is elected.

Batya said...

Naftali will be window dressing, because it doesn't matter who is the first on the list, the old NRP establishment still rules. A few elections ago Moledet joined to run with them. When we came to work/volunteer we found the establishment refusing to let us do anything not in the nrp program.