Friday, February 20, 2009

Tzipi Out, Bibi In

It’s official: there will be no national unity government in Israel. President Shimon Peres has asked Benjamin Netanyahu of Likud to form a coalition government, and Kadima will not be included.

According to The Jerusalem Post:

Peres tasks Netanyahu with forming new government

Netanyahu arrived a[t] Beit Hanassi on Friday afternoon and received the president’s official letter of appointment.

Earlier, after emerging from a meeting with Peres, Livni announced that she had no intention of joining a broad coalition under Netanyahu, despite the Likud chairman’s assertion that he was willing to “go to great lengths” in order to induce Kadima to join his government.

“It appears that the coalition which has been formed in recent days lacks diplomatic vision,” Livni said after the meeting. The Kadima leader rejected the president’s plea that she reconsider joining a coalition comprised of the three largest parties — Kadima, Likud and Israeli Beiteinu — and asserted that a “broad coalition is worthless if it is not governed by values.”

Netanyahu, who met with Peres shortly before Livni, said that Kadima would be the first party he turns to after receiving the nod from Peres. “I am willing to go to great lengths in the negotiations needed to establish such a government,” the Likud leader said after his meeting with Peres, echoing assessments that he would be willing to give Kadima several senior portfolios in his cabinet.

Here’s the part I don’t understand: since Kadima was made out of a rib removed from Likud, how far apart can these two parties be, really?

Obviously, they have their differences. But Livni was a member of Likud not too long ago, so either she was a hypocrite back then, or she is now, or she has had a road-to-Damascus conversion experience in the meantime.

Now she’s ready to anathematize Likud as “right-wing extremists”:
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“Today, the foundations of a right-wing extremist government under Netanyahu were set,” Livni wrote in a cellular phone text message sent to some 80,000 Kadima members Thursday. “The path of such a government is not our own and we have nothing to look for there. You didn’t vote for us in order to provide a kosher certificate for a right-wing government, and we need to provide an alternative of hope from the opposition.”

Livni’s associates said she knew she could have received an unlimited number of portfolios from Netanyahu, but she was not willing to sacrifice her ideology, which she believes is far removed from that of the Likud.

The fortunes of Israel’s Labour Party have declined in recent years, leaving Likud and Kadima as the two major parties contending for public approval. This obviously means that the center of gravity in Israeli politics has shifted dramatically to the right.

But somebody has to take up the mantle of appeasement in order to win the approval of all those squishy-left voters who used to support Labour. It seems that Tzipi Livni is the woman for the job.

Hat tip: KGS.


Whiskey said...

Israel, like every other place in the West, is divided among rich urban yuppies, competeting for status in endless mating games, and the working-middle class, mostly married.

Livni won Tel Aviv, places not rocketed, with lots of yuppies and single women (and men). Bibi and Lieberman everywhere else.

It's a basic class/gender divide. If you are a single woman, striving for yuppie status, or a single man for that matter, "proper" opinion my "tastemakers" and conformance to same explains voting patterns and the shift leftward in all Western societies. This includes Israel.

This shift leftward through social pressure in the endless mating game, and the ability of a few rich/elite "tastemakers" to dominate culture, only gets shattered when "big" events show up: 9/11, the Hamas and Hezbollah wars, Iran threatening credibly to wipe out Israel with nukes. Even then it is a narrow thing -- the rich yuppies, single young women and men, voted Livni and Kadima as anti-Likud, "compromise" because actual defense of the nation threatens their interests and there is always time for more parties and compromise, since they don't see the issue as serious.

Looking at this through the lens of ideology is not IMHO helpful, demographics, the process of politics cementing winners and losers, and class/gender struggles make more sense.

I would point most towards the Israeli series "the Ex List" an adaptation of which ran briefly last year on CBS Television. It concerns a Yuppie woman in Tel Aviv (in the US, Santa Monica) who with an ex-boyfriend she dumped because he was "boring" though he adored her, pursues ex boyfriend after ex boyfriend, after being told by a Psychic that she would either marry an ex or never marry at all.

So each episode, she hooks up with an ex-boyfriend, realizes why the relationship did not work, and moves onto the next one.

This was a huge hit in Israel, a big tell culturally.

First you have the Psychic angle, a symptom of junk folk beliefs and supsrstitions taking the vacuum of collapse of religion. Next you have behavior simply socially unaccptable in Golda Meir's time. If you've seen the series even in it's US incarnation you can understand Livni's electoral base and real power.

Anonymous said...

Your summary of the "Ex List" reminded me of this article in the Times of London:

Looking for love: Livni the lonely spy

I remember thinking it a strange story because it sounds like the plot of a TV series - "Mossad Girl"? - but you've now explained how it appeals to Livni's base.

Czechmade said...

Being well trained in totalitarian sciences I was really scared whenever I watched the facial features of people such as Livni, Olmert, Peres.

They bear the death of Israeli people written on their faces.
They are ok, if they go farming, run a friseuse saloon, cinema - whatever.

But please never talk about peace.
I am not less scared reading papers like Haaretz...

And many Israelis are extremely naive. Scary, they should excell in teaching us. They don´t.

Fjordman said...

Czechmade: I've been thinking the same thing. It's odd with all those people who hate Jews and claim they're so bad. If there's anything actually wrong with Jews, it's that they are too naive and have a suicidal impulse. In a strange way, this proves that Israel is indeed a Western country. Only Western countries commit national suicide. Japan does not, which proves that Japan is not a Western country.

Czechmade said...

We have been an island for more than thousand years and the island mentality is a sort of suicide.

We lost our natural links with our natural non-islamic neighbours such as Persia, India, China, Ethiopia...not mentioning Byzance.

If we could rethink those missing links our suicide tendency might evaporate - too much work is a good therapy.

laine said...

Japan is committing suicide, just a variation without immigration.

Their birth and marriage rates are plummeting below replacement levels. Their fertile age men and women are infantilized in their respective bubbles. The women furnish entire apartments with childish Hello Kitty paraphernalia. I'm not talking just notebooks or radios, but toasters, coffee machines and purses costing hundreds of dollars. The men are still workaholic automatons and when entertaining clients or on their off time act like eternally priapic teen boys, getting drunk at clubs with prostitute "hostesses". These two juvenile solitudes, the virginal women and the promiscuous men are no longer marrying and procreating.

Rather than open their gates to third world immigration (now under consideration), the Japanese have experimented with electronic "intimacy" like various pets that have taken the world's children by storm and now robots created as substitute grandchildren to assuage elder loneliness and maids to clean up after them.

It is to our eyes a rather bizarre decline but no more bizarre than our importation of cultures diametrically opposed to ours. Just different poisons.

Whiskey is definitely onto something about the leftward drift of all developed countries being associated with educated women and their choice to be single. They need/elect a government substitute for the mate they rejected through divorce (the majority of divorces are now initiated by women) or could not attain.

Even a large proportion of still married women are liberals like their single "sisters" and have wussified their men into voting for left wing parties as well through female dominated public schooling from kindergarten on, now including high school. There are no males with male characteristics in the popular culture who can be role models for boys. The few that exist are demonized as "insensitive".

Studies have been done showing most women now prefer the Brad Pitt type of "school-boy" looks (signifying non-threatening and malleable) and no longer the craggy faces of bygone movie stars. George W Bush for all his softness on illegal immigration, AIDs aid to Africa and no child left behind programs was rejected by most women because of his willingness to wage war. Obama is the smooth boyish generous (with tax monies) boyfriend they want now and that's how we got this person of no character or achievement as POTUS.

PapaBear said...

regarding Here’s the part I don’t understand: since Kadima was made out of a rib removed from Likud, how far apart can these two parties be, really?

With politicians, it's generally more about who gets to be in charge, than real differences in philosophy.

re: young women who prefer malleable men: when it's a harsh and dangerous environment, young women want somebody who will be an effective protector and provider. When they feel safe, they want a playmate. The protector type is not easy to push around, and so is scorned once things seem safe.

Anonymous said...

regarding Here’s the part I don’t understand: since Kadima was made out of a rib removed from Likud, how far apart can these two parties be, really?

With politicians, it's generally more about who gets to be in charge, than real differences in philosophy.

That's not the real reason though. Liberalism is the ingrained, ruling philosophy of society. Most politicians will smear those to their right without even thinking about it, while sucking up to those on their left. This is true in almost every situation regardless of party affiliation.

Captain USpace said...

BIBI! BIBI! BIBI! Most excellent news! Let's see how much BHO supports Israel now! Hamas wants Israel gone, period. Bibi understands this, I doubt Obama does. Or if he does, I doubt he will admit it.
absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
elect a weak leader

one who will surrender
and help advance Sharia

absurd thought -
God of the Universe said
have a sit down with Hitler

he should have been sweet-talked
he had goodness within

absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
give Israel away

to appease her enemies
dishonor ALL Jews

absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
never mock Hamas

it's just their religion
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