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Cross Posted at The Progressive Zionist

Well, if you thought the campaign season here (in the U.S.) was fraught with vitriol, charges against patriotism, all manner of crazed predictions... (as they say) "You ain't seen nothing yet". Welcome tot he run-up to the Israeli Elections to be held in one and a half weeks.

So here is a simple graphic I grabbed from Haaretz that should explain the likely / and unlikely coalitions that could come from the next Israeli Elections (Jan. 22nd):

GRAPHIC ONE - The Hard Right Coalition

So... what are you looking at here in these graphics. Well in the first graphic you have
P.M. Netanyahu (Likud Betainu), Naftali Bennet (Ha Bayit HaYehudi), Ariyeh Deri (Shas) and what looks to be MK Yaakov Litzman (United Torah Judaism). This is a Hard Rightist coalition that would command approximately 64 seats. Would be dedicated domestically to at least favoring a religious agenda (because both UTJ and Shas would hold the keys to keeping the coalition in tact) and on foreign policy and the Occupation would mark a veer away from PM Netanyahu's plan of an eventual Palestinian State on the West Bank (albeit with only 60% of the West Bank and no Jerusalem) and into a solution like that proposed by Habayit Hayehudi who would Annex Area C, Spend millions of Shekls to create connectors in Area's A & B and create autonomous homeland areas (but not allowing for an independent State) within the remaining parts of the West Bank. Economically, it would be very strongly "capitalist" in a country that is basically a Socialist or Social Democratic nation.  

Despite much of the nonsense spread here - this is NOT the Prime Ministers preferred coalition, though it may indeed be the coalition that is most likely to happen. Why? Because, P.M. Netanyahu first of all DOES NOT really want to be dependent on the Religious elements of society to run the government. While he may be a Rightist he is not a theocrat. This coalition would place the stability of his coalition into the hands of the religious (and in the case of Habayit Hayehudi - religious nationialists). ALSO, Netanyahu does have a plan for at least some of the West Bank and Gaza to be a Palestinian State. While it may not be something that anyone will accept it is a plan. If he has to take on Habayit Hayehudi... that plan goes out the window.

GRAPHIC TWO - The Broad Based Coalition

This is the Prime Ministers favored government. It shows Likud Beitainu (34 seats projected), HaTanuah (Tzipi Livni's new party) (11 Seats), Yesh Atid (Yair Lapid's new party) (11 Seats), Shas (10 seats) and UTJ (6 seats) for a solid Knesset majority of 72 seats. While this coalition would still have to hold on to either of the religious parties to maintain the coalition, either party could leave and not crash the coalition. Given the more politically moderate nature of Ariyeh Deri (compared to Eli Yishai of Shas), this would allow for a foreign policy that is more flexible and more security minded than religious nationalist minded.

This would in appearances and policy represent a Center (Yesh Atid and HaTanuah) / Right (Likud - Betainu) coalition. It would be more more socially responsible than option # 1 in terms of national economics, and would have a religious presence but not necessarily a religious - nationalist presence. HOWEVER, when I say this that is not to say that there would be NO religious - nationalist presence there. Likud, in their primaries, purged a few prominent "moderates" and took on a much more rightist perspective with Danny Danon and Moshe Feiglin moving up the ranks. Interestingly enough... Likud Betainu (who are bleeding votes in the polls to Habayit Hayehudi) are now so pissed off that they are threateing the settlers that vote for Bennett's party instead of Likud.

Support for Naftali Bennett’s ascendant right-wing Jewish Home party comes largely at the expense of the Likud-Yisrael Beytenu list and its leader, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — and nowhere is this more pronounced than among the largely Orthodox settler population. Reportedly, the trend has prompted Likud to “play rough” and convey the message that if these Israelis fail to vote for Likud-Beytenu in January 22′s election, the consequences for the entire settler movement could be grave....

...But now, the sources said, “there’s pressure on the settlers. The message is that, this time round, you have to be with us. Otherwise, there will be repercussions for the future of the settlement movement.”

Along with this very direct threat:
Another Likud member was quoted as saying that, after the elections, the party would compare the number of votes it received in various settlements to the number of Likud members in the same locations.
NOW... how will Likud be able to make good on this threat with people like Danon and Feiglin in the mix, I don't know. It seems to me that no matter what, the settlers will have support from Likud-Beitainu.

The real question is whether Lapid and Livni will "play ball" with Netanyahu and his plans. Both are relative moderates on foreign policy issues (which includes the Occupation). Neither one wants to Annex the West Bank into Israel and create a demographic nightmare that would effectively force Israel to become a minority run state. SO, I am not sure how I can see Livni in coalition with Danon, Feiglin or Lieberman (that already did not work out once).

Also, Given Netanyahu's record of absorbing more moderate groups in (Kadima and Labor), I am not sure how far either of them can trust the Prime Minister to work with their agenda's. I think that if either of the two "centrist" parties do go into a coalition government with Likud - Betainu they would try to exact some heavy promises from that group however, as Shaul Mofaz, and Ehud Barak found out... those promises from Likud don't really amount to much.

GRAPHIC THREE - The Left/Center Coalition

Personal Note: (this is the coalition I personally support).

This coalition has virtually no chance of happening however... it is nice to see. This coalition as shown would consist of Shelly Yachimovich (Labor) (18 Seats) heading up a government consisting of Livni, (11 seats), Lapid (11 Seats), Shas (10 Seats), UTJ (6 seats), and Zehava Gal On (Meretz) (5 seats) for a total of 61 seats. A bare majority that would strongly be beholden to the religious parties on those issues.

This has a low likely hood of happening for two reasons. The first is that Likud/Betainu would be able to put together that Rightist coalition without any of the Center - Center Left parties on his own and since it is pretty obvious from the polling Likud - Betainu will win a strong majority of seats they will have the "first crack" at building a government. ALSO.... as the chart indicates the religious parties seem to both prefer that Likud be given the first shot at the government and I don't think would hold out for Yachimovich's very secular and leftist economic platforms. Still it is a nice dream.

GRAPHIC FOUR - The UNITY GOVERNMENT

This is an interesting situation because I think this would probably not happen but... it would have Likud-Betainu (34 seats), Labor (18 Seats), Lapid (10 seats) and Livni (11 seats) plus the religious parties (16 seats). This would give 73 seats NOT counting the religious parties (89 seats with the Religious Parties). Why do I see this as not probably not happening?

Well first of all, I can't see Labor EVER going back into coalition with Likud given their previous experience. I don't see how Yachimovich and Co. could co-exist with Danon and Feiglin, it just doesn't make sense. Plus, Yachimovich has sworn not to enter into a coalition with PM Netanyahu (though we all know how much politicians promises are worth) and to lead a strong opposition. For a long time, Yachimovich and Labor were not outspoken on the Occupation and Settlements, preferring a more neutral path and in fact had not touched the settlement budget but, in response to ever growing criticism (as Assaf noted in a diary a few weeks ago I believe) she has now come out as opposing increased settlement activity and promises to take steps opposite that process.

One might also ask "Where are the Arab Parties and Hadash (a combination of Arabs and Jews with a Communist bent) in this discussion? They sit at 11 seats total. As any observer of this will tell you, all of these parties are non-Zionist in nature and do not accept the idea of Israel as the National State and Homeland of the Jewish people. Because of that, or until they change that, they will never, ever, ever, ever be asked into or be part of an Israeli Ruling Coalition. It just won't happen.

SO that is a very brief rundown of what is happening in the Israeli elections. Of course there is much more to this and I hope that our Israeli Kos folk will add to this and enlighten us with some more info.

IMPORTANT NOTE: THIS IS NOT A DIARY FOR META I/P WARS - IT IS INFORMATIONAL IN NATURE. IF THE INFORMATION IS WRONG, THEN CORRECT IT IN A POLITE MANNER. IF YOU HAVE SOMETHING TO ADD THAT CAN HELP SHOW RESOURCES - GREAT. HOWEVER, IF YOU WANT TO "RAIL" ON THE NATURE OF ISRAEL OR THE META I/P ISSUES, PLEASE FIND ANOTHER PLACE TO DO SO AS THAT IS NOT WELCOME IN MY DIARY. THANK YOU IN ADVANCE.

8:14 PM PT: I just found a great little election guide at Haaretz here: http://www.haaretz.com/...

Click on that... It has a quick guide to the parties.

Originally posted to volleyboy1 on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 12:23 PM PST.

Also republished by Team Shalom and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  voting (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    volleyboy1, MBNYC, jlms qkw, Eric Stratton

    I have two co-workers from Israel who have been told they can't vote from the US. Any way they can vote that you know of?

    FREEDOM ISN'T FREE: That's why we pay taxes. I Had A Thought

    by mole333 on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 12:37:33 PM PST

  •  It's really a pity (13+ / 0-)

    the way that Israeli Labour has withered away. Give me a Golda Meir or David Ben Gurion any day over Bibi.

    They're not "assault weapons"; just call them "Freedom Sparklers".

    by MBNYC on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 12:44:42 PM PST

  •  Thanks for this, I haven't been following lately (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    volleyboy1, jlms qkw, Eric Stratton

    So basically Bibi has nothing to worry about in terms of losing his seat?

    "If these Republicans can't stand up to Rush, how can they stand up to the Iranians?" - Redmond Barry

    by xsonogall on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 12:57:40 PM PST

  •  Thanks from me too. (4+ / 0-)

    I've been too busy to follow this and this was very interesting.

    Lamb chop, we can quibble what to call it, but I think we can both agree it's creepy.

    by InAntalya on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 01:03:13 PM PST

  •  Thanks for the interesting diary. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    volleyboy1, jlms qkw, Eric Stratton

    I wonder if US politics would be better if we had more than 2 political parties like Israel. Being forced to form coalitions sounds much better than the us versus them approach that seems to dominate our national politics.

    •  I think so too (5+ / 0-)

      But then again I think if that were to happen the progressives and conservatives would both be at just under 50% and the libertarians (social left, fiscal right) would gain a LOT of power to fill out a ruling coalition

      Never underestimate stupid. Stupid is how reTHUGlicans win!

      by Mannie on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 01:56:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't know that it would be the end of the world (0+ / 0-)

        if Libertarians had some real input into policy. I find many of their policy ideas to be totally unrealistic, but perhaps they could pressure the DC establishment to give up on some of their own foolish, and completely unnecessary policies. Like the drug war.

        A guy can dream, can't he?

        You can do whatever you want to us, but we're not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America.

        by Eric Stratton on Sat Jan 12, 2013 at 11:17:26 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  It would be a lot more chaotic than that (0+ / 0-)

        I imagine the Democrats would become a centrist party, the Greens or something like that would emerge on the left, perhaps a new union backed party too, the hardliners would split the Republicans into two parties, the libertarians would have a party, and a bunch of regionally based parties would emerge too.  The vastness of the US would create a much different political environment than in Israel.

        There is truth on all sides. The question is how much.

        by slothlax on Sat Jan 12, 2013 at 11:41:02 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  You're welcome... (7+ / 0-)

      I think it would be better for us to have 4-5 parties competing and building coalitions though not much more than that.

      I think people would have more satisfaction with the political process than the current set up we have today.

      "'Touch it dude' - President Barack Obama"

      by volleyboy1 on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 01:59:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It would be nice (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        slothlax, volleyboy1

        if I could vote for a party that I actually had alot in common with.

        As it is we've got this unruly coalition of white leftists, minorities of pretty much every damn stripe and a few random union guys. The only thing Democrats really have in common is their not totally fucking insane, or at least not as crazy as the GOP.

        You can do whatever you want to us, but we're not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America.

        by Eric Stratton on Sat Jan 12, 2013 at 11:22:25 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  People don't seem to get this (6+ / 0-)

      but our system of selecting candidates by primaries essentially means we have multiple parties in the same group in the US.

      The advantage - we get to see the deals done before they are elected.

      The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

      by fladem on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 09:37:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You are right (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        volleyboy1, MichaelNY

        The parties are coalitions that evolve over the years.  Not coalitions of different, distinct political parties, but coalitions of different political movements and ideas.  Every cycle sees some tweaks and adjustments, with the occasional major shifts like 1984

        There is truth on all sides. The question is how much.

        by slothlax on Sat Jan 12, 2013 at 11:48:29 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Great diary, I have to hit the road now (5+ / 0-)

    Shalom

    Never underestimate stupid. Stupid is how reTHUGlicans win!

    by Mannie on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 01:57:24 PM PST

  •  And we think OUR politics is convoluted (6+ / 0-)

    I will remain forever confused as to why things are allowed to remain so fractured that any coalition ends up dangerously beholden to the most extreme elements. The of course the real issue is the disastrous rightward tilt of the Israeli electorate. It's really, really sad.

    •  Indeed bob... I wish there was a higher threshold (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sfbob, jlms qkw, Eric Stratton, MichaelNY

      all though, in this case I think you would see Habayit Hayehudi picking up even more votes as the hard Nationalist Right would coalesce around Naftali Bennett and his party.  There exists on the other fringes the leftovers from National Union (before they were totally absorbed) called Otzma Yisrael (Strong Israel) and this is Michael Ben-Ari and Co. what was left over from the old Kach folks.

      IF that far right coalition gets put together look for some serious shit to hit the fan.

      "'Touch it dude' - President Barack Obama"

      by volleyboy1 on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 04:38:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Lapid is not the same as Livni (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Stratton

    Lapid is willing to tolerate the settlers or at least some of them.

    •  I suspect it will be a coalition (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eric Stratton

      of a bunch of right wing parties and Lapid.

      •  Nope... I disagree with this (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jlms qkw, Eric Stratton, MichaelNY

        First of all no one said that Lapid was the same as Livni. But their policies on the settlements are indeed similar.

        Second, Lapid will support the main settlement blocs (as was laid out in Olmert / Livni's last plan but he stands against the any of the new settlements. Here is some info. on Lapid

        Yesh Atid doesn’t seek “a happy marriage with the Palestinians,” but rather “a divorce we can live with,” Lapid said. “Not a way we can unify with them, but rather a way to separate from them.

        “We must not lose the Jewish majority in the State of Israel,” he added. “The far left and the far right are advancing unchecked — everyone for their own reason — the dangerous and distorted idea of a binational state. With no [peace] agreement, the Jewish and Zionist identity of the State of Israel is endangered.”

        He emphasized that his party will not join a government until peace negotiations with the Palestinians are re-initiated.

        “We will not participate in a government that again dissolves our present and future commitments with excuses,” he said. “[Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu’s charge that ‘there is no partner’ [for negotiations with the Palestinians] is an attempt to escape reality. Which partner is he waiting for? Are there partners hiding in the Palestinian Authority who love Israel, are donating to the Jewish National Fund, and are closet fans of [David] Ben-Gurion?”

        "'Touch it dude' - President Barack Obama"

        by volleyboy1 on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 04:46:47 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks, volley. (5+ / 0-)

    J Street has an Election Guide up, as well.  Good crib sheet for those who don't follow the domestic scene there too closely (particularly since it has been in such flux for the past 10 years -- you can't tell the players without a scorecard!).

  •  Netanyahu government is Israel's most anti-Zionist (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dave in Northridge, wdrath
    The writer and Israel Prize laureate Amoz Oz harshly attacked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as Labor chairwoman MK Shelly Yacimovich.

    "In my mind, the Netanyahu government is the most anti-Zionist government Israel has ever had. It is doing everything so there will be not two states here, but one," said Oz. "It is striking Abu Mazen [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas] blow after blow - violent morale blows, financial blows and political blows. It is strengthening Hamas more and more. Perhaps that is the intention, to stop the chance for two states. They believe that Jews can rule over an Arab majority for a long time. No apartheid state in the world has lasted without collapsing after a few years."

    Oz also told the gathering that if a two-state solution will not be implemented, "there will not be a bi-national state here but an Arab state."

    http://www.haaretz.com/...
    •  Tzipi Livni agrees with you but..... (3+ / 0-)

      please be forwarned... this is NOT an advocacy diary. I was very clear on this. Now, in this instance, I agree with you.

      Here is Tzipi Livni:

      Livni: PM bringing end of Jewish state

      Hatnua Chairwoman Tzipi Livni on Friday warned that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was "leading to the end of the Jewish state," while Knesset Member Binyamin Ben-Eliezer (Labor) said that "Israel is isolated and on the eve of a third intifada."

      The two spoke during a political discussion at the Peres Academic Center in Rehovot, a week after President Shimon Peres warned against the return of a wave of terror attacks and called for the restart of peace negotiations with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

      "Netanyahu is leading to the end of the Jewish state. Israel's citizens have a choice between extremism and Zionism," said Livni.

      "'Touch it dude' - President Barack Obama"

      by volleyboy1 on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 05:00:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  But the Israeli voters don't want Livni (0+ / 0-)

        to be PM.  They want a rightist settler-friendly politician to be PM.

        •  Nope and Too Simplistic (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jlms qkw, MichaelNY

          That is far too simplistic. If that were the case the PM would be either Naftali Bennett, Danny Danon, or Moshe Feiglin.

          They want someone they think has their security in mind first and foremost. It seems that for most of them that person is Benyamin Netanyahu.

          I think many people would prefer a more moderate PM - remember all data shows that the Israeli populace supports a Two State Solution.

          SO to say they just want a "rightist settler friendly politician" as PM is really not correct. In fact, the settlers and their hard core supporters think PM Netanyahu is some sort of leftist. You should see what they say about him. If you want a comparison to the U.S. - look to what the Right Wing said about Romney. Same thing over there.

          "'Touch it dude' - President Barack Obama"

          by volleyboy1 on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 05:51:57 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  What is their version of a "two state solution"? (0+ / 0-)

            that phrase has multiple meanings.  It could mean two states based on the green line with mutually agreed upon swaps, or it could mean an Israeli state with large chunks of land in the West Bank and a Palestinian state that most closely mirrors an Indian reservation.

            Bibi is not a right of center candidate like Romney.  He is more like a Newt Gingrich, but not as extreme an Allen West.

            Anyhow, you should see what the left wing has to say about Bibi, heck you should see what moderate candidates like Livni have to say about Bibi.

            Livni castigates Netanyahu for abandoning two-state solution
            In speech at Bar Ilan University, where PM in 2009 pledged support for Palestinian state, rival Hatnua leader says he was only paying lip service to idea he never intended to implement
            http://www.timesofisrael.com/...
            •  Ok last warning. IF you are not going to read the (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              jlms qkw, twigg, Thinking Fella, MichaelNY

              diary or it's comments (particularly as they respond to you) then I am going to ask you to step away.

              First off, you say this:

              Anyhow, you should see what the left wing has to say about Bibi, heck you should see what moderate candidates like Livni have to say about Bibi.
              I know full well what the Israeli Left and Center say about PM Netanyhahu. If you took a cursory look at my blog roll you will notice I link to Meretz USA (which is now Progressive Partners for Peace), Avodah, and JStreet.

              ALSO in my first comment to you it was I who stated that Tzipi Livni said that she feels PM Netanyahu has abandoned Zionism. SO your quote is mere regurgitation of my comment posed as if I never said that in the first place.

              SECOND... In the comments I also spelled out what PM Netanyahu's vision of a two-State solution was by stating that it was the Alon Plan mixed with the Lieberman plan. It is not a two State solution that any Palestinian Party would be prepared to or even be able to accept.

              For most Israelis I believe, a Two State Solution would be a negotiated solution along the lines of the Olmert Plan.

              And because there are many different interpretations of just what a Two State Solution would be is part of what makes this far more complicated than "the Israelis want a Rightist settlement loving PM" (paraphrased)

              "'Touch it dude' - President Barack Obama"

              by volleyboy1 on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 06:36:13 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I'm not sure what you mean by this (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                MichaelNY

                could you please elaborate?  I thought we were having a perfectly good nature discussion within the premises of this diary.

                Ok last warning. IF you are not going to read the diary or it's comments (particularly as they respond to you) then I am going to ask you to step away.
                I know full well what the Israeli Left and Center say about PM Netanyhahu.
                And yet you only point out what the settlers have to say about Bibi rather than what more reasonable people have to say about Bibi.  If you want an accurate description of his policies I probably wouldn't highlight the words of the most extreme segments of Israeli society.
                ALSO in my first comment to you it was I who stated that Tzipi Livni said that she feels PM Netanyahu has abandoned Zionism. SO your quote is mere regurgitation of my comment posed as if I never said that in the first place.
                So do you think he is an extremist or something more similar to a moderate Republican like Romney?  I guess I'm not clear on what your position is.
                SECOND... In the comments I also spelled out what PM Netanyahu's vision of a two-State solution
                So do you agree with Livni that Bibi was lying about wanting a two state solution or not?  I thought you said you agreed with Livni?  It's really hard to nail down your position on these things.
                •  I believe I made my positions clear here (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  jlms qkw, MichaelNY, JLan

                  however:

                  And yet you only point out what the settlers have to say about Bibi rather than what more reasonable people have to say about Bibi.
                  umm... look at my response to you above at 5:00 PM.
                  If you want an accurate description of his policies I probably wouldn't highlight the words of the most extreme segments of Israeli society.
                  I am not trying to give you an "accurate description of his policies" (PM Netanyahu's) in this case - my pointing out of their commentary was in response to your comment saying that Israelis wanted a:
                  rightist settler-friendly politician to be PM.
                  I am pointing out that people in the rightist settler friendly community are not big fans of Netanyahu. You are comparing apples to oranges in your quoting me.
                  So do you think he is an extremist or something more similar to a moderate Republican like Romney?  I guess I'm not clear on what your position is.
                  Well this is NOT an advocacy diary, but, my own position on Netanyahu is that he is not an extremist but he certainly is no moderate. I think he is a lot like Romney (who I would not characterize as a moderate) or like George W. And if you look at my diary roll you will see that I am no fan of the Republicans or Mitt Romney.
                  So do you agree with Livni that Bibi was lying about wanting a two state solution or not?
                  Well see, this is a tough one. I think Bibi does want a Two State solution. Not the same one I would want, (and what Livni would want) but I think he does want it, IF he could have his way. The problem is that he keeps feeding the "settler beast" and so continually puts himself in a more untenable situation wrt the Settlements. So I would sort of agree with Livni here and sort of not.
                  I thought you said you agreed with Livni?  It's really hard to nail down your position on these things.
                  Well I am not a HaTanuah supporter though, I am ok with Livni. I support Yachimovich and Avodah (Labor). I do agree with the plan for peace that Livni negotiated during her time as FM in the Olmert Kadima government. I used to feel differently but my feelings have changed over time and I now support that plan.

                  Anyway, as I said that this is NOT an advocacy diary and I am neither advocating for or against the PM here in this particular diary (although I did say I supported the Coalition #3 option).

                  I hope that clears things up for you.

                  "'Touch it dude' - President Barack Obama"

                  by volleyboy1 on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 07:20:36 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Shelly seems is indifferent towards the (0+ / 0-)

                    Settlements.  I trust her about as far as I can throw her.

                    And bibi's policies are empirically settler friendly.  The settlers are upset he doesn't support the most extreme far flung outposts, but there has been a significant expansion of the settlements under bibi.

                    And everyone from a pro-Israel French prime minister (sarkozy) to one of the most high profile Israeli moderates (livni) thinks bibi is lying.  Yet for whatever reason you persist in believing that he really desires a two state solution, despite all his actions to the contrary.

                    •  Sigh.. you really want to have this fight (4+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      jlms qkw, livosh1, MichaelNY, JLan

                      AND portray me as a Bibi supporter... Well have it if you insist. But you are 100,000% WRONG. I don't really know WHY you want to believe it, but, apparently you do. So hey, knock yourself out. If you want to believe that - I can't stop you but I can tell you that you are Wrong, Wrong, Wrong.

                      AND, whether you trust Yachimovich or not is really not my concern. You don't trust her? Great. I can't do anything about that. And actually I really, truly, honestly... Don't care if you do or don't. I did not write this diary to advocate for Avodah.

                      As for PM Netanyahu's plan as "settler friendly". Yes it most certainly is. I believe you will see that I noted that he keeps (as I said) "feeding the settler beast". At the same time you will note that I stated what I thought Bibi's vision of a Two State Solution was and you will also note that I said, I did not agree with it.

                      I do believe that Bibi wants a Two State Solution I just don't think it is (as I have said in this diary had you read it) a solution that anyone would or could accept.

                      Again, as I stated clearly... I now support the Olmert plan for a Two State Solution (that was Livni's last negotiation).

                      You can either accept this or not, but, why you want to get bogged down and fight about Bibi is beyond me. You think he wants a One State Solution? Great. The Israeli Right disagrees with you. Convince them. Then they won't vote for Naftali Bennett.

                      "'Touch it dude' - President Barack Obama"

                      by volleyboy1 on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 07:49:31 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I don't think you support bibi (0+ / 0-)

                        But I do think you sugar coat his views to make the Israeli electorate look less extreme than it really is when they vote for him and other rightist parties later this month.

                        •  I don't sugar coat it. I get my opinions from (3+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          jlms qkw, livosh1, MichaelNY

                          reading both the Israeli Press AND talking with my Israeli friends. The Israeli electorate really is not that extreme, it's like I pointed out in my comment to you... it's about security.

                          There are extreme elements. I would say Lieberman (Bibi's new partner) is extreme. I think the new Likud is far to the Right of the old Likud particularly with Meriador and Begin gone and the ascendency of Danon and Begin.

                          What I don't do is try to spin it. I am telling you what I really think. What can I say...

                          I am trying to avoid advocacy issues here. That is my main goal.

                          "'Touch it dude' - President Barack Obama"

                          by volleyboy1 on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 08:05:08 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                        •  Even more so... Here is Haaretz Election Guide (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          jlms qkw

                          commentary about Likud:

                          LIKUD

                          Leader – Benjamin Netanyahu

                          MKs in current Knesset – 27

                          Latest Haaretz poll (running in a joint list with Yisrael Beiteinu) - 34

                          HaLikud (The Consolidation), originally Herut, is the party founded by Menachem Begin in 1948 with members of the pre-state Irgun paramilitary group and disciples of Ze'ev Jabotinsky's Revisionist Movement, the long-standing right-wing opposition to the Zionist mainstream. For many years, the party was beyond the pale, gradually gaining recognition after it joined forces with the Liberal party in the 1960s and served in the coalition in 1967-1970. Officially formed in 1973, when a number of centrist and right-wing parties joined up with Herut, Likud first came to power under Begin's leadership in 1977 and has been in government for 26 of the last 35 years.

                          Benjamin Netanyahu is the fourth leader in the party's history. Following Yitzhak Shamir's resignation in 1992, Netanyahu won his first leadership primary the following year, leading the party to victory in the 1996 elections. He resigned after losing the premiership to Ehud Barak in 1999, and returned to Likud's top spot after Ariel Sharon splintered from the party and founded Kadima in 2005.

                          Likud still describes itself as a "national-liberal party," but its liberal faction has long since disappeared. Today Likud is split between four main factions: The first consists mainly of moderate veterans who uphold the party's democratic traditions of civil liberties and the rule of law, and are currently an embattled minority in the party; they will have a much harder time now that ministers Michael Eitan, Benny Begin and Dan Meridor have all been kicked off the list in the Likud primaries. In the interests of his party's image, Netanyahu may try and reappoint one or two of them as ministers, but that doesn't change the fact that Likud's liberal wing has been dramatically weakened. The second group consists of "social" activists who grew up in development towns and underprivileged neighborhoods and stress Likud's ties with the predominantly Sephardi working class. The leading representative of this group was Communications Minister Moshe Kahlon, who recently announced his retirement from politics, making it unclear who will be their standard-bearer in the next Knesset. The third faction is made of right-wing ideologues that oppose any territorial concession or compromise with the Palestinians and support proposals to limit the judiciary's powers and seek to rein in human rights groups. As the most influential faction in the party today, their votes in the primaries are assiduously courted by senior Likud ministers even if they do not actually belong to this faction. Even more to the right is the "Jewish leadership" faction, consisting mainly of West Bank settlers. This faction is led by Moshe Feiglin who regularly challenges Netanyahu for the party leadership (unsuccessfully so far).

                          Despite the party's consistently pro-settlement positions, Likud Prime Ministers Menachem Begin (1977-1983) and Ariel Sharon (2001-2006) implemented the withdrawal from the Sinai Peninsula, following the signing of the Camp David Accords with Egypt, and the disengagement from the Gaza Strip, respectively. In the process, they had to overcome significant opposition within the party.

                          Netanyahu accepted the two-state principle in his 2009 speech at Bar-Ilan University and, following the social protests of summer 2011, he promised a change in the national economic priorities. Despite this, Likud's diplomatic and market-orientated fiscal policies have not changed.

                          According to all the polls, Likud will emerge from the elections as the largest Knesset party and Netanyahu the next prime minister. To the chagrin of many Likud members, Netanyahu and Avigdor Lieberman agreed to run in a joint Likud-Yisrael Beitenu list , which could dilute the influence of the party apparatus and membership.

                          "'Touch it dude' - President Barack Obama"

                          by volleyboy1 on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 08:24:40 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  I thought Sharon left Likud (0+ / 0-)

                            Because it became too extreme...

                          •  Nope.. (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            jlms qkw, MichaelNY

                            Sharon left Likud after a strong Budget Fight AND that he wanted to give up Gaza while the traditional Likudnikim did not. Sharon wanted to focus on strengthening settlements around J'slem and felt it was time to get out of Gaza.

                            Here is some reading on this:
                            Q&A: Sharon leaves Likud

                            Why is Mr Sharon leaving his party?

                            Ariel Sharon wants to form a centrist party somewhere between the traditional main parties of right-of-centre Likud and Labour on the left.

                            He wants to pursue his policy of unilateral disengagement from some occupied Palestinian land, whilst cementing Israel's hold on East Jerusalem and major settlement blocs. His hope is that he can formalise Israel's international borders along these lines.

                            Many in the ruling Likud party are bitterly opposed to handing land to the Palestinian Authority at all, frustrating Mr Sharon and slowing the disengagement process down.

                            "'Touch it dude' - President Barack Obama"

                            by volleyboy1 on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 08:44:50 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  That quote seems to support what I said (0+ / 0-)
                          •  Again, I feel that that is far too simplistic (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            jlms qkw, MichaelNY

                            but if you want to think that... Knock yourself out.

                            Again, I am not doing advocacy here so I staying away from the hyperbole and sloganeering.  I hope you will do the same.

                            Thanks.

                            "'Touch it dude' - President Barack Obama"

                            by volleyboy1 on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 09:15:40 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                    •  Please step away from this Diary (4+ / 0-)

                      The Diarist, clearly and politely made it very plain that this was an information based piece, and not the place to discuss issues.

                      I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
                      but I fear we will remain Democrats.

                      Who is twigg?

                      by twigg on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 08:02:52 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

              •  Ahh I know what happened YOU didn't read (0+ / 0-)

                The article I posted.  It was about a meretz advocate explaining why Israelis should support meretz and not bibi.   It was about party politics which I thought was the subject of your diary.

  •  thank goodness this kossack (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo

    doesn't live in Israel...it would be like living under George Walker Bush on a permanent basis, whereby the neocons are constantly doing everything they possibly can to prevent any kind of peace, including stoking the hatred against them by not only failing to even discuss giving up any Palestinian lands obtained in recent wars...but settling them to the utmost as an in-your-face flipping the bird...at the entire world.

    •  Ummm please read the note at the bottom (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jlms qkw, twigg, slothlax, MichaelNY

      of the diary.

      It is wonderful that you don't live in Israel (by your own admission) and I am glad you are happy. However, please note that this is NOT and advocacy diary, nor do I want it turned into one. Please respect that aspect of the diary.

      The fact of the matter is that living in Israel, even in the situation now is nothing like living in America under George W. nor is it a permanent set of living conditions. So please refrain from hyperbole and if you would like, discuss the election coming up.

      Thanks.

      "'Touch it dude' - President Barack Obama"

      by volleyboy1 on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 05:57:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That aspect of the diary was respected... (0+ / 0-)

        ...am not sure why you are accusing me otherwise.
        This is a diary about Israel and Israeli politics and how it is likely that one of the most pro-war, anti-peace Israelis in that country's history...Netanyahu...is likely to retain political control (due to the sheer stupidity of the Israeli electorate, in my opinion, just as the sheer stupidity of the American electorate let a moron like George Walker Bush misuse his power and authority while he was in office doing everything to stoke the fires of war).

        Regarding the upcoming so-called "election" in Israel...it reminds of the so-called "elections" here in the U.S., whereby George Walker Bush and his co-conspirators purcahsed their way into office and then deliberately misused that office, not for good, but to line the pockets of their co-conspirators by deliberately planning for an ongoing state of war.

        Now...Israel is different than the U.S. because...in a sense it is in a permanent state of war, not by its own choosing; however, Netanyahu has decided that not only does he accept that notion...but he's going to do everything he can to ensure that he exacerbates that state of war as much as possible.

        Once again...the pro-war hawkishness of Netanyahu...during the Israeli presidential election campaign and throughout his tenure reminds me of George Walker Bush: being so pro-war as to make the prospect of peace virtually impossible and then demagoguing his way into another term by trying to scare the crap out of everyone (sound familiar).

        Thank goodness this kossack does not live in that horrible, horrible country ruled by war-crazy nutjobs like Netanyahu and his co-conspirators. He is the opposite of a good person.

  •  The Hezbollah and two (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    volleyboy1, jlms qkw, MichaelNY

    wars with Hamas over the past years, where missiles were shot randomly at Israeli civilian centers, has affected voter attitudes.  Those who advocate giving back west bank have to now answer the question: what if Israel gives back area and Hamas takes over (like in Gaza) and starts shooting missiles at Israel from the west? Even those Israelis correctly opposed to settlement expansion have to respond to this strategic issue.

    •  This is true... And I think there is no real good (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sandbox, jlms qkw, MichaelNY

      answer. That is a question on many Israelis minds when it comes to a withdrawal from the West Bank. The one thing I think that could make a difference is how the withdrawal is handled. Yachimovich, Lapid, and Livni (not too mention Gal-On) all support a negotiated withdrawal as opposed to Gaza which was - "Here you go... Have at it". (very simplistically). The hope of course is that a negotiated withdrawal would set international borders. SO... I think that is the difference on the face of it.

      There are no good answers there now I think - I think there is just the least bad of a series of options.

      But again, rather than have this diary slip into advocacy issues, I think we need to look at how questions like this affect the Israeli electorate rather than what is right and wrong.

      "'Touch it dude' - President Barack Obama"

      by volleyboy1 on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 06:02:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Excellent diary, volley (3+ / 0-)

    Thanks for laying it all out there for us.

    Would love for Nate Silver to do an analysis of the likely composition of the next government.

    Shabbat Shalom.

  •  The should be a reality show (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jlms qkw, wdrath

    shot by the same people who do Real Housewives...

    I'm trying to get my Spanish skills in order at the moment, so I'll probably be tracking the increasing soap opera going on down in Venezuela right now more closely (is he alive? is he dead? we'll call him Schroedinger's Chavez.).  

    In any case, Israel's political reality is one of total paralysis so this election will likely be nothing more than an exercise that will take them back to status quo. Albeit a dramatic one.

  •  here's what I love about this election (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    volleyboy1, begone, jlms qkw, MichaelNY

    it was announced in what, October?

    Why can't we have elections like that?

    just a little bit bored.

    by terrypinder on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 08:19:48 PM PST

    •  That would be nice. Just have the primary and (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jlms qkw, MichaelNY

      election phase be 4-6 months long. One-Two months of primarying (not a word) and then one big election night... Then three months of electioneering and poof. We are done.

      "'Touch it dude' - President Barack Obama"

      by volleyboy1 on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 08:21:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Think about it this way (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jlms qkw, MichaelNY

      Our elections are so long because we first select party candidates, and then we have a general election.  Of the two the selection of the party candidate takes far longer - the general election here runs arguably from the conventions to the election in November.

      To compare the length of the election process you really have to compare the time required for the individual parties to select their leaders AND the time for the general election.

      I like our process better (I like voting directly for my party leaders) but if Iowa and New Hampshire didn't hold the entire country hostage it would be shorter than it is.

      The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

      by fladem on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 09:43:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I imagine the Israeli electorate to be (0+ / 0-)

    A very informed one, one that is engaged, and turnout to vote. Am I right on this?
    Do the Arab citizenry have a vote? Do they get sensitive security jobs? Or are they marginalized to menial tasks?

    •  I don't know about that... I would (3+ / 0-)

      ask our Israeli friends about the nature of the electorate.

      As for the Arab citizens.. they vote and have three parties in the Knesset that represent them. There are Arab politicians in Betainu as well. Most of their population is marginalized but, not all and in fact there is an Arab justice on the Supreme Court.

      I recommend reading the Haaretz grid I posted in the updates about their parties.

      "'Touch it dude' - President Barack Obama"

      by volleyboy1 on Sat Jan 12, 2013 at 08:20:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  When Ehud Barak won in the late 90's (0+ / 0-)

      Arabs had a 75% turnout.  Now they are expecting less than a 50% turnout among Arabs.

      Essentially they have given up on an Israel that is fair to all its citizens.

      Here is a good article on the Arab vote in the Economist:

      ON THE face of things, it looks like an exercise in futility. At every Israeli general election hundreds of thousands of Arabs cast votes for parties that do little to improve their lot. The socio-economic gap between Jews and Arabs, who make up one in five Israelis, is widening, and Arab political parties have signally failed to defeat a raft of laws detrimental to them that Binyamin Netanyahu’s government has passed in the outgoing parliament. “The more visible we are, the more they discriminate against us,” says a voter in Nazareth, Israel’s largest Arab-populated town.

      Many Arab Israelis no longer bother to vote. Turnout has fallen from 75% in 1999 to 53% in the last election; this time it could fall below half, says Asad Ghanem of Haifa University, who recently oversaw a survey of Arabs’ voting intentions. There are at present 17 Arabs in Israel’s 120-seat parliament; at least six are Druze, including a member of Mr Netanyahu’s Likud party...

      Many Arab voters despair of their own politicians for focusing on Israel’s conflict with the Palestinians, whereas 92%, according to Mr Ghanem’s survey, put welfare, discrimination and rising crime as their main concerns. Arab-Israeli politicians also seem prone to infighting. The three Arab-led parties, which won 11 seats in the last election, say they stand for competing Islamist, nationalist and communist ideologies. But clans and personality clashes probably have more to do with it. If Arab Israelis all voted for a single list, turning out at the same rate as Jews, they would have Israel’s second-largest party.

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