Tag Archive | Netanyahu

Obama, You’re Really Chatzuf

First you get involved in our elections.  Then, you get mad that all your funds, representatives, and organizational tactics didn’t work – because we managed to outvote you.

You sign a deal that carries a great deal of immediate danger for the entire Middle East, yet, you do not live here in the Middle East, and Israel and most of our neighbors are against the deal.

You then allow Kerry to threaten Israel that if Congress vetoes the deal, it will be Israel’s fault, and Israel will suffer.  How, exactly, will it be Israel’s fault, and why should we suffer?

After that, Senators are put under pressure to support your decision, regardless of what they themselves think.  MoveOn, a federal committee, cuts funding to those senators opposed to the deal.

You insist on threatening the very basis of democracy, by not allowing Congress to veto the Iran deal, and insisting, through force, on doing what you want to do – even if 6 out of 10 Americans oppose it.

You know, I thought that America was a democratic country, and a country that encouraged democracy.  May I ask why the leader of a so-called democratic country is acting in a way that is explicitly against democracy?

And then you have the chutzpa to get angry at Bibi for “interfering in American issues,” when first of all, it is not an “American affair,” but a Middle East affair first, and a global affair only second.  It is not an American affair at all; America is included with the rest of the globe.  And second, you had the audacity to interfere in our elections.

And you say we are interfering in your affairs?

Obama-rama making a speech, you have a lot of chutzpa.  I think maybe you should apologize to us, because your chatzuf actions and speeches are unacceptable, undemocratic, and unjust.

Oh, and that worry that if we don’t go through with the Iran deal, war will ensue?  We’ll have to fight a war with or without the deal . . . don’t you think it’s better to fight a non-nuclear Iran, rather than a nuclear one?

Election 2015 – Preliminary Results

We won – and we lost.

Likud came out six mandates ahead of Avoda ((Labor;) or rather, Hahitachdut HaTzionit (Zionist Union)).

Hertzog, unless Kulanu (“Together”, headed by Moshe Kachlon) will sit with the Arabs, will not be able to form a coalition.

In order to form a coalition, you need 61 mandates.

Hertzog has 24; Yesh Atid has 11; Meretz has 4.  24+11+4=39

If he takes Kulanu, which has 10 mandates, he will get 49.  The Arabs have 14 mandates; if Hertzog takes them in addition to Kulanu, then he will have 63 mandates, or, in other words, a coalition.  If Kachlon doesn’t agree to sit with the Arabs – and being a former Likud member, and whose voters are right-wing, he very possibly may not agree – then Hertzog has no coalition.  Yay!!

The chareidi parties, Shas and Aguda (UTJ) will not sit with Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid), because he is the one who spearheaded the campaign to force chareidim into the army.  Technically, the chareidim are more worth it than Lapid, because together, they have 14 mandates, while Lapid has only 11.  But Hertzog’s natural partner is Yesh Atid, and he will take the chareidim (some of whom will probably agree to sit with Arabs, some of whom will probably not) only as a last resort – unless a miracle occurs and they agree to sit with Lapid, which is highly unlikely.

Let’s take a look at Bibi.  I was right last time, and maybe I will be right this time.  Last time I said, why not just take Lapid and Bennett?  With Likud, Lapid, and Bennett, we already have a coalition, and because it is only three parties, it was expected to be stable (less demands, less zigzgging, less chance of it toppling over stupidities; Lapid proved stupider than I thought and therefore the potentially stable coalition was very unstable).

At any rate:

Bibi has 30 mandates; Bayit Yehudi has 8; Shas has 7; Yisrael Beiteinu and Aguda (UTJ) have six each. 30+8+7+6+6=57.  It’s still just short of a coalition, but if Kulanu joins them, then they will have 67, which is a good coalition.  Will it happen?  Actually, it’s very likely.

What does it depend on?  A few things:

1. That Kulanu refuse to sit with Arabs, and agree to join Bibi.

2. That the chareidim not insist on changing the draft law, and agree to sit with Bibi without making completely unreasonable demands.

3. That no one else on the right make completely unreasonable demands or refuse to sit with each other.

4. That Netanyahu and Hertzog not agree to a unity government.

If any of the first three happen, we are headed for new elections.  If the last one happens, we are in big trouble.

I am also very frustrated that 3+ mandates of right wing votes went to trash.  Like in previous elections, a lot of right wing votes went to a start-up party that no one was entirely sure would pass the threshold.  Last time, it was Otzma L’Yisrael, and 66,775 votes went down the drain.  This time, it was Yachad, and 118,368 votes went down the drain.  Also remember that last time, the minimum was 2 mandates; this time, the minimum was raised to 4 mandates.  Especially during these elections, when every right wing vote mattered, losing that many votes is a huge frustration and loss.  Wherever you would’ve put them – Shas, Aguda, Bayit Yehudi – they would have done something.  If they had all gone to Bayit Yehudi, then they would have 11 mandates instead of 8.  Let’s say some were taken from Shas and some from Aguda, as well as those from Bayit Yehudi – Bayit Yehudi would have 9, Shas would have 8, Aguda would have 7.  And possibly one of those would have gained two extra seats, because it’s not just 3 mandates – it’s 3+, which means that Yachad’s extra, plus someone else’s extra, might’ve added a second mandate to one of those.

Remember we said that a right-wing government, without Kulanu, had 57 mandates?  If we had those 3+, we might very well have had a coalition right there, even without worrying about who Kachlon will join.  Isn’t that a shame?  I, and many other right wing voters, think it is.

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.