Tag Archive | Likud

Coalition Disappointments

I promised I would get back to the elections, and I am.

Truth to tell, I’m disappointed in Bibi.  He promised to take Bayit Yehudi as one of the first, if not the first.  He promised to remember that we gave him 4 entire mandates.  He said he was indebted to the national religious, as he should be.  He even made his first post-election phone call to Bennett.

And now?  Nothing.  He had a meeting with Bayit Yehudi, but it was just general talks, with nothing concrete.  He is sucking up the chareidi parties, who want him to give them billions of shekels for their institutions, and want to reinstate the draft exception favor that they had until two years ago.  And Bibi will suck up to them, because as long as they have their money, you can sell half of Israel for peanuts and they won’t say boo.  It feels sick.  It feels completely wrong.  Give them money and they let you do what you want.  Blackmail?  Bribery?  I don’t know.  But it’s free votes for whatever you want, as long as they have money.

Deri as Interior Minister? Here I have to agree with Lapid, even though I can’t stand him.  G-d save us, the guy got put in jail last time he was Interior Minister, for corruption.  The guy shouldn’t be allowed to represent anyone religious, and shouldn’t be allowed to sit in the government.  Both he and Zoabi should be in jail.  The stupid thing is that because of anti-Jewish racism in Israel, Deri is more likely to sit in jail than Zoabi.  Even though Zoabi is the wose of the two.  And Deri, again, shows his maturity level.  Yes, Lapid was a huge failure as finance minister.  But he didn’t bring thousands of families to starvation, sorry.

Bibi is smart, though.  Kachlon, who has been threatening to refuse to join the coalition if he didn’t get what he wanted (finance), has finally reached an understanding, or unofficial agreement, with Bibi.  I believe (I could be wrong, though) that Kachlon should get Finance and that he would do the job fairly and well.  However, UTJ has insisted on chairmanship of the Finance Committee, and so the two parties are “fighting” over the post.  Bibi very cleverly solved the issue, by giving Kulanu (Kachlon’s party) the final word on budgetary demands.  So, as it looks now, Kulanu is in the coalition.

It looks like UTJ (Aguda) is also in.  Shas – I would hope not, except that they’re necessary to form a coalition.  I hope Bibi finds a way to get them to join without landing us a corrupt Interior Minister, reinventing the draft favor, or putting us all in debt by paying for too many people to sit in yeshiva.  I’m all for people in yeshiva being paid.  I really am.  But I don’t think that every single chareidi man should be in yeshiva – that’s not what G-d wanted, it’s not what most Israelis want their tax money to be doing, and most importantly, it’s not good for the vast majority of yeshiva students.

But I think that Bayit Yehudi will be stuck with the leftovers.  The question is, will they take the leftovers, or will they insist on sitting in the opposition?  Somehow I think that they will take the leftovers.  Yitzchak says that they will get deputy minister of every important ministry.  I don’t know.  But I hope that Yitzchak is right and I am wrong, or I will be very, very disappointed.  Part of what makes Yitzchak so certain is that Bibi knows that a lot of his mandates came from Bayit Yehudi, and that he will lose them if he doesn’t make up for it.  I think he’s right.  The question is if that’s what Bibi will do in the end, or if he’ll get too heady with so many mandates.  I said Bibi was smart, did I?  He is.  Let’s hope Yitzchak is right and Bayit Yehudi gets richly compensated for their loss of mandates.

Bennett seems to think that Bibi is looking to form a unity government.  Maybe yes, and maybe no.  There are two reasons Bennett would keep insisting on this: a) he really thinks this is going to happen, b) if he says it enough, people will be more aware of it and not allow it to happen.

Speaking of which, Deri is a disgusting and self-serving.  Only.  He makes me puke.  “You only have 8 mandates and we have 13?”  Really?  If Bayit Yehudi hadn’t donated four mandates to Likud, they would have 12 on their own – compared to Shas and Aguda’s 13 when they are put togther.  Besides, Deri, are you a kindergartener?  Nananakishka, I have a bigger cupcake than youuuu! Nanabanana, nanabanana!  Real maturity, huh?

What I think about the PA, Iran, and international stupidity, I will save for another post.

P.S. – I just realized that while here in Israel it is a regular [matza-eating] weekday, all of the Jews outside Israel are still observing a second day of chag.  Oops.  But hey, for me it’s a regular day.  One seder, that’s it.

 

 

Coalition, Politician

If pro is the opposite of con, is progress the opposite of congress?

Seriously, though.  Have any of you been paying attention to the political issues we’re having over here now?

Here’s how it goes in short:

In the previous two governments, at least one National Religious (NR) party sat outside.  Now the two NR parties have merged.  They don’t want to sit outside the government, they want in.

Netanyahu doesn’t like the National Religious parties.  They have demands.  They don’t let him do what he wants, and they won’t take money as a bribe.  He wants the chareidi* (hareidi) parties.  As long as you give them money for their people and their schools, you can do whatever you want.  Meanwhile, government-controlled prices for basic foods are rising.  The housing shortage has caused every little dilapidated apartment to cost a fortune.  Property taxes rose.  Sales taxes rose.  Gas prices rose.  Electricity and water prices rose.  Cell phone fees for big-time talkers dropped, but for small-time talkers, the prices rose.  But it doesn’t matter – we can still bribe the chareidim (plural of chareidi) with as much money as we want, right?

No.

Bennett, the head of the unified NR party, Bayit Yehudi, did not want to be left out.  He spoke the the heads of the two chareidi parties, to see if they wanted to make a unified religious block.  They said, “You’re not going to be in the coalition anyways, and we are.  This is your battle to fight.  And besides, you’re not religious enough for us.  Go deal with it all yourself.”  (This is in addition to the name-calling that the chareidi parties were doing.  It is also in addition to their belief, that they unashamedly said to the media, that, “it is better to pull out of all of Judea and Samaria than to draft the chareidim.”)

So what did Bennett do?  He went to Lapid, the head of the new centrist party Yesh Atid.  While Bennett and Lapid don’t agree on everything, they do agree on some things, such  as: changes in the economy, helping out the struggling middle class and lower middle class, social reforms, Iran, and drafting the chareidim (though their approaches differ on this last one).

They differ on: approaches to the settlements, specific security policies, and religious issues.  They decided to put aside their differences and band together.  Not a bad idea, considering that Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu has 31 mandates, and Bennett + Lapid = 31 mandates.  Theoretically, Likud-Beiteinu, Bennett, and Lapid could have a coalition by themselves, and a stable one at that, since the less parties there are, the less people who have demands and can ruin your coalition by pulling out of it.

Again, though, Netanyahu did not want Bennett.  Bennett has demands.  Netanyahu wanted a leftist government that included the chareidim, who would “represent” the right-wing community.

However, Netanyahu had a problem: Labor does not want to work with him (though they have agreed to help in case Netanyahu wants another expulsion.  Golda Meir would be turning over in her grave if she knew what her party had become).  And Lapid does not want to work with the chareidim.  And, Lapid and Bennett made an agreement: They will enter the coalition together or not at all; and neither will make demands that are objectionable to the other.

And that was the problem.  Netanyahu needs at least 61 mandates to make a coalition.  Here’s the math:

Likud-Beiteinu is 31.

Lapid (There’s A Future) is 19.

Labor is 15.

Bennett (Jewish Home) has 12.

Shas (chareidi) has 11.

Aguda (chareidi) has seven.

Tzipi Livni has six.

Kadima has two.

Netanyahu needs 31 mandates in addition to his own party.  He can’t do that if Labor won’t work with him, and Lapid and Bennett refuse to join.  Since Labor flat out refused to work with Likud-Beiteinu, Netanyahu’s only choice was to split Bennett and Lapid up.  That approach didn’t work, and he had to ask for a two-week extension to form the government.  (Want to hear something else?  Netanyahu promised Bennett that if he joins without Lapid, there will be no more land concessions and he will build in Judea and Samaria.  Then he promised Lapid that if he joins without Bennett, they will be able to destroy certain communities in Judea and Samaria and expel people from others.  Sound like a hypocrite to you?)

In the end, it looks like the chareidim will be out of the government, since Lapid and Bennett come together, and Lapid won’t work with the chareidim.

I am actually excited.  I would really, really like to see some social reforms, not the least of which a housing price reform.  But I’m also very nervous.  Here’s why:

If Netanyahu wants to make concessions, and Bennett pulls out, we’ll be stuck and in bad shape.  Netanyahu could take the chareidim, instead of Bennett.  But as Yitzchak pointed out, Lapid won’t work with the chareidim, so if Bennett pulls out and the chareidim take his place, Lapid will pull out, too, and the coalition will fall apart.

When Yitzchak said that, I calmed down a lot.  Brilliant guy!  Neither I nor my cousin even thought of that problem!

But then Labor’s head, Yechimovitch, put a wrinkle in things.  She said that she would be willing to join with Netanyahu if Bennett threatened to bring down the coalition.  Ostensibly, Lapid would be willing to work with Labor.  So even if Bennett pulls out, there will still be a coalition.

Will Lapid and Bennett stick together, through thick and thin, even after the coalition is made?  If so, there is no problem (er, almost no problem.  Likud + Labor + chareidim = coalition.  An unlikely coalition, but still a coalition).  But if not, we could end up with a left-wing government that will give away half of Israel, and allow terrorists to rain chemical and conventional weapons down on the rest of us.  Because, really, the left doesn’t care, or maybe simply doesn’t understand.  They think that the Arabs will be happy if we make concessions.  The truth is, the Arabs will be happy only when Israel no longer exists.  And the more concessions there are, the less Israel is able to defend itself.

And if we end up with a left-wing government, I will seriously consider moving back to the Unites States.  Because seriously, if this is what my country has become, if this is what is going to happen, I cannot put Shlomo through it.  It’s simply not fair.  And I don’t know that I have the inner strength to deal with it, either.  I really, really, really do not want to do that.  I love Israel with all my heart and soul.  But I simply don’t feel that I can take that risk.

Hey, at least if we move back, Yitzchak’s mother will be happy!

*I happen to like chareidim.  Many of them are very sweet, very normal, very simple people.  Yes, there are some crazies – but there are crazies in every group, and there’s nothing unique to the chareidim in that respect.  The chareidi parties, however, I happen to dislike immensely.  And, they give normal chareidi people a VERY bad name.  So, don’t mind my rant against the chareidi parties.  It is against the politicians, not the chareidi people that you see on the street.  And, in addition, remember which politician promised two contradictory things to two different groups in order to break their pact: Netanyahu.  And he’s not religious at all, much less chareidi.

The Tzipi Livni Party

tzipi livni, tzippy livni, the tzipi livni party, the tzippy livni party, hatenuah, kadima, politics, israel, israeli politics, israeli elections

Background: As some of you may know, Tzipi Livni made her own party after the primaries, when she was not re-chosen as the party head of Kadima.  Her party is called [in English], as the title might imply, “The Tzipi Livni Party.”

Because elections are a week away, we are going kind of nuts.  We are obsessing about who we’d like to see in the next coalition, who we’d like to see not in the coalition, and who the best parties are for security, economy, and everything else that we believe in. For instance: Sales tax was raised 1% this past year, income tax was raised, and property tax was raised.  Prices of government-controlled food items were raised (certain food items are price-controlled by the government).  The housing shortage is continuing.  The government decided to draft all the chareidim, and then backed down, to get chareidi votes (lame, dumb, selfish, and weak).  These are all things that we’d like to see fixed.  And I’m not even going to touch the security/”settlement” issues.

Story: So, yesterday, Yitzchak says, “I think I should make a new party and call it ‘The Yitzchak Duckies Party’.  What do you think?  You think people will vote for me?”

What can I say?  I cracked up.  And am still laughing, because the very idea [of Yitzchak making the ‘Yitzchak Duckies Party’] is funny.  And it is funny that Tzipi Livni named her party after herself.  Come one, how lame is that?

(In Hebrew, the party is called, “Hatenua b’raishut Tzipi Livni,”, or, literally, “The movement headed by Tzipi Livni.”  In other words: “Let’s make Tzipi Livni PM”/ “I, Tzipi Livni, deserve to be PM.  I was almost PM last time, but nobody liked me enough to work with me, so let’s pout.”  I think it is hilarious.  Also: Kadima, the party that she headed last time, means “Forward!” as in, “Let’s move forward.”  Now it’s just a “movement,” not “forward.”  Too bad, huh?)

And in general, I think the word “party” is funny.  What do the members do, drink beer all day?  Is it really a party?  Because if so, I’d like to join.  Not.  I happen to dislike parties, immensely.