Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Israeli Election

Well, the almost-final election results are in, could still change at
margin as last votes of soldiers and diplomats get counted.

Some preliminary comments:

1. The election is on the surface a tie between Likud and Kadima,
with Kadima ahead by one seat in the parliament. Kadima have been loudly
proclaiming this a victory, although it does not even merit being named a
Pyrrhic one. More than three quarters of Israelis voted against the
incumbent Kadima party. More importantly, it looks all but certain that
it will be Likud that heads the new coalition government, not Kadima. It
is not impossible that Likud and Kadima will form a coalition but I think
it unlikely.

Livni and Kadima were the big winners of the military campaign in Gaza
against the Hamas. They also benefited from the manipulative leak of the
news, not necessarily factual, at the last minute before the vote, that a
deal had been reached to get Gilad Shalit released from captivity. In
addition, Kadima's worst handicaps, the corruption scandals involving
Olmert and Hirschenson, were moot for Kadima, as the two crooks were not
on the slate.

2. The Israeli Left collapsed to the worst performance in Israeli
history. Meretz, which had 12 Knesset seats in 1992, won three seats out
of the total of 120 parliamentary seats, less than the communist party.
Zehava Galon, an crude obnoxious male-hating Hamas-appeasing far-leftist
who had long been in the Knesset, lost her seat and will not be in the new
Knesset. That alone is enough reason for some celebration. Part of the
reason for the Meretz demise may be the fact that Haaretz called for
people to vote AGAINST them. Since Meretz is still nominally Zionist
Left, Haaretz opposes them and pretty clearly called upon voters to
support the HADASH communist party. Meretz had 5 seats in the previous
parliament so lost 40% of its parliamentary representation.

3. The Labor Party under Barak also reached its historic low with 13
seats, despite the fact that Barak was widely considered to have performed
well in the "Cast Lead" attack on the Hamas savages. Labor had actually
been polling even lower. Bear in mind that this is the same Labor Party,
built on an original coalition of 4 different "labor" social democratic
parties, which had a monopoly on power in Israel from 1948 until 1977; and
once its component parts got more than two thirds of Israeli votes.

4. The "Right" performed poorly, largely because of petty bickering
and also partly because Rightwing votes went to the Likud. The National
Unity party had merged with the National Religious Party to create the
"Jewish Home" party. But no sooner were they merged that the bickering
began and half their leaders then split and re-named themselves National
Unity, like the previous defunct party, maximizing confusion. The two
chunks together won 7 seats (4 for NU and 3 for JH), which was less than
what they held together in the previous parliament, down from 9 in the
previous election.

5. The HADASH Arab Stalinist party got 4 seats. It had three in the
previous parliament but 4 in the one before that. It had been expected to
do better this round thanks to one of its Jewish commies running well in
the contest for the Tel Aviv mayor election, getting a third of the vote
there, and also because Haaretz essentially endorsed it. I doubt that
more than 2% of its votes came from Jews. The three Arab fascist
pro-terrorism parties together took 12 seats, up from the previous
Knesset, thanks largely to the idiots at the Supreme Court overturning the
banning of two of the three parties for being treasonous pro-jihad
organizations. The Arab fascists were less divided than they were in the
previous election and altogether increased there strength. While Labor's
Ehud Barak might have recruited some for a coalition led by him, there is
zero chance either Livni or Netanyahu would. Haaretz trumpeted that the
"camp of the Left" did almost as well as the "camp of the Right," but that
is because they count Kadima and the three Arab parties in the former.
Obviously the Arab parties are irrelevant in coalition building.

6. Lieberman actually did somewhat less well than the polls had
predicted. 15 seats where polls were predicting up to 20. This makes him
the new coalition kingmaker and linchpin. He is a bit unpredictable but
almost certain to go with Likud.

7. The religious parties did about as expected . 18 seats not
counting National Unity. They are more likely to go with a Likud
coalition than a Kadima one.

8. Interesting who did not get in at all. The Pensioners Party which
had 7 seats at the peak of its power, did not get into the Knesset at all.
Neither did the pro-pot "Green Leaf" party, a perpetual electoral
nuisance, or about 15 other loopy and dopey parties. Efrain Sneh,
one-time Labor Party honcho, ran in his own party and did terribly.

9. The Tel Aviv stock market does not like the results of the
election. It is down between 2 and 3%, on the same day that it is
announced that the gas field found near Haifa has $20 billion dollars
worth of gas (and so stock market SHOULD be way up!).

10. While the Israeli of the street has moved well to the Right, it
was the center (kadima + likud) that came out of the elections strong.

II. How to make sure terrorism continues:

About violations of Palestinian human rights, see:

The Re-Nazification of Europe:

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