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526  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Olmert: Jerusalem must be partitioned on: May 26, 2012, 05:34:07 pm
The State of Israel: Lookin' for a handout.

Seriously, Israel is like that little kid who starts fights knowing his big brother will intervene to save his ass. One of these days Israel will reap what she has sown.

It's the US that likes to bring in allies to fight its wars for them, Israel fights its wars alone.
527  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Olmert: Jerusalem must be partitioned on: May 26, 2012, 05:43:13 am
As I said, status quo I think may be the dirty little secret with respect to the West Bank side.

BTW, my dearest Torie, we lack a Palestinian here to enlighten us on dreams and sensibilities of that community. But we have an Israeli Jew, who has been kind enough to confirm my point. Notice, though we are on the opposite sides of the moral wall w/ danny, we agree on the descriptive substance: there is little in the status quo that offends at least this citizen of Israel, and there is no real desire to explore alternatives - nor any horror at the possibility of the "radical solution", as long as his side is doing the solving.

Now, I have no doubt that it wouldn't be hard to find similar points of view on the other side - though they are likely to lack in the English department. And that point of view, of course, would be equally horrifying from my standpoint. But is there really an asymmetry here between the sides, except in terms of the actual strength and formal educational attainment?

I represent my opinion, not that of the community. As the saying goes: "for every two Jews there are three opinions".

And it isn't that I think the status quo is a great solution, but it is the best we currently have. The perfect solution would involve neither side wanting to harm the other, and if that were the case than any deal would be fine, and both a two state and one state would work, but I see no way of reaching this.
528  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Olmert: Jerusalem must be partitioned on: May 26, 2012, 05:06:02 am
Just so my moral position is clear.

There are two currents in understanding Jewish history, based on two distinct interpretations of the sight of a uniformed policeman cutting the beard of a strangely dressed darkish guy with a funny accent. More specifically, the point of disagreement is, who is the Jew in that picture: the cutter, or the cuttee. For me, it is the latter - and that is at the root of my disagreement w/ modern Zionism. I don't really know what was happening where at the time of King David, but I do know the last 1000 years of the Jewish history too well. And, unlike the Zionists, I choose not to despise it.

The modern Western sensibility, at least one hopes, has incorporated this respect to the European Jewish sacrifice. Israeli mainstream, especially on the right, has betrayed it. Hence the archaic love of the uniformed guy w/ the big gun and the supreme cult of the God of War. And these people claim to be Jewish?

There is no such thing as a Jewish ispravnik - putting on that uniform is the true baptism, true betrayal.

I see no great morality in being beaten and killed. What I do believe in is "haba lehorgecha hashkem lehorgo"(if someone comes to kill you, go and kill him first).

Maybe you have some nostalgic ideas about how great it is to be beaten and killed, but I do not, and I don't think the Jews at the time were especially happy with their condition at the time.
529  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Olmert: Jerusalem must be partitioned on: May 26, 2012, 04:41:18 am
I don't think this is necessarily true, the status quo can continue longer than people think. But in any case, better us than them.

After a while, the demand for a Palestinian state will be gone - too unrealistic (it's becoming less realistic w/ every day). It will be replaced w/ a demand for equality. And that's a lot more dangerous for you. Because, unless you sastisfy that demand, that will mean not only the final and very drastic break w/ the (broad) West, but also decisive abandonment of the idea of the "Jewish democratic" state (not that you yourself will care at that point).  

At some point, a new Palestinian uprising will start - and you will find yourselves true pariahs in the world, Israeli state delegitimized. At that point, your logic: "better us, then them" will come into play - restraints of modernity, domestic and international respectability long since gone. In fact, you are a perfect exhibit, my best argument why this will indeed happen.

The problem will be: it won't be "us or them" - it will be "us and them".

Yes, the left in Israel is always predicting terrible things to happen if we don't quickly give up everything to the Palestinians, and they have been doing this for awhile. And yet, this doesn't seem to happen. They also say that great things will be if do make deals and leave land, and yet when we do this, violence ensues (Oslo accords,South Lebanon, Gaza disengagement).

I am more interested in reaching peace than peace deals. If the latter doesn't lead to the former, then they are making things worse rather than better.
530  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Olmert: Jerusalem must be partitioned on: May 25, 2012, 08:52:45 pm
It's true that they can't actually carry this out in full but this is what suicide bombings are meant to do, and the more they are capable of doing this the more they will do this. Which is why I think negotiations, peace treaties and the concessions that come with them are counter-productive and just lead to more fighting.

They can't. But you can. And, unless you seriously engage in negotiations, peace treaties and the rest, you, eventually, will try.

I don't think this is necessarily true, the status quo can continue longer than people think. But in any case, better us than them.
531  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Olmert: Jerusalem must be partitioned on: May 25, 2012, 08:41:12 pm
... it is extremely unlikely that many would be happy about mass deportation or extermination.

I disagree, I think this is quite a popular opinion, and one that wouldn't simply go away even if they did get a state.

Have no doubt, it's popular in Israel. And, yes, I mean it Sad

Now, to be clear, I got what you, actually, meant. And, of course, you also have a point. Except that  that, given the relative strength of the parties, it is not at all likely to go beyond sick fantasies.

It's true that they can't actually carry this out in full but this is what suicide bombings are meant to do, and the more they are capable of doing this the more they will do this. Which is why I think negotiations, peace treaties and the concessions that come with them are counter-productive and just lead to more fighting.
532  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Olmert: Jerusalem must be partitioned on: May 25, 2012, 06:41:28 pm
... it is extremely unlikely that many would be happy about mass deportation or extermination.

I disagree, I think this is quite a popular opinion, and one that wouldn't simply go away even if they did get a state.
533  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Opinion of Christian hardcore on: May 22, 2012, 02:22:24 pm
Never heard of Christian hardcore, but I dislike both Christianity and hardcore.
534  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Mississippi lawmaker cites Bible passage that calls for gays to be put to death on: May 22, 2012, 05:07:04 am
The punishments mentioned in the Bible no longer apply.

Quote
Impaled high above the cross the sins of the world pour out from your hands and feet. Mocked and defiled, embedded in your head are thorns. This is love. Lord, I am eternally grateful. My heart is all I have to give. Now religion has destroyed. This was never how things were meant to be. We are no longer bound by the law. In his blood we find freedom. We are saved by grace. So give me peace through these times of struggle, and hope through these times of despair. Give me the heart of a servant, so I may worship with all of my life. Your religion is dead, but Jesus, you give life. This is my purpose: to live for your glory. Lord, I give you praise. You died for me, I will live for you. I would give my life for this.


The New Testament is also homophobic so I'm not sure how useful this is as a defence of gays.
535  Election Archive / 2012 U.S. Presidential General Election Polls / Re: OK: SoonerPoll: Romney with a chance at 70% in Oklahoma on: May 22, 2012, 02:25:14 am
The part about Democrats seems doubtful--OK has blacks, and Obama did much better with them in 2008. The final margin will likely be anywhere from 62% Romney (a significant improvement from 2008) to 67% Romney (good year)
Only 7% black.

There are more Native Americans than blacks.

A group which is just as Democratic as blacks.

Not in Oklahoma.
536  Election Archive / 2012 U.S. Presidential General Election Polls / Re: OK: SoonerPoll: Romney with a chance at 70% in Oklahoma on: May 21, 2012, 03:57:58 pm
The part about Democrats seems doubtful--OK has blacks, and Obama did much better with them in 2008. The final margin will likely be anywhere from 62% Romney (a significant improvement from 2008) to 67% Romney (good year)
Only 7% black.
537  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Olmert: Jerusalem must be partitioned on: May 20, 2012, 06:55:28 pm
A good thing he's a former PM.
538  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Israel opinion poll thread on: May 19, 2012, 06:17:11 am
It seems the next election will continue the tradition of Israeli centrist parties quickly rising up and then disappearing and being replaced by a new centrist party.
539  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Israel opinion poll thread on: May 18, 2012, 02:07:14 am
New poll:

Likud- 30
Labour-20
Future- 17
Yisrael Beitenu- 12
Shas-6
National Union- 6
Meretz- 6
UTJ- 5
Hadash-4
Kadima- 3 (lol)
Jewish Home- 3
Balad- 3
UAL- 3
Independence- 2

Lapid seems to be the biggest gainer from Kadima entering the coalition.
540  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Bibi forms broadest coalition ever to govern Israel, cancels elections on: May 12, 2012, 02:22:34 am
Wait, Livni's back into things? Didn't she say she was permanently out of politics like less then a week ago?

When she resigned from the Knesset she said she would remain in public life so it's clear we haven't seen the last of her.
541  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Bibi forms broadest coalition ever to govern Israel, cancels elections on: May 11, 2012, 04:45:35 pm
Haaretz is reporting that 5 Kadima MKs are all but ready to bolt - at least, if they get two more to go w/ them (you need 7 MKs not to be bound by the anti-defection law).  Interestingly, all five are somewhat "strange" ethnically, three of them ex-Soviet, but only one Ashkenazic: Russian (Orit Zuaretz), a Georgian (Nino Abesadze), a Mountain (Tat) Jew (Robert Tiviaev) as well as an Ethiopian (Shlomo Molla) and a Druze (Majallie Whbee).

In other news, outside Knesset, both Tzipi Livny and Haim Ramon (one of the key co-founders of the party from the "left" and the chairman of its Council) have left Kadima and are planning to form a new party.

If they succeed in finding two more MK's it will be very ironic as the law that allows just 7 to defect (instead of a third) is called the "Mofaz law" because it was originally passed to allow Mofaz to leave Kadima and join the coalition.

Livni's decision to leave looks really silly in hindsight as she could have split and led the new party, but instead will now be out of the knesset until at least the next elections.

Orit Zuaretz came when she was 4 in 1971 rather than the post USSR collapse immigration wave, no one thinks of her as Russian. And while the ethnic makeup might be interesting they have in common them being Livni loyalists.
542  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Bibi forms broadest coalition ever to govern Israel, cancels elections on: May 10, 2012, 11:53:46 am
Coming into coalition w/ Netaniyahu "from the left" is suicidal. Barak's not a complete nincompoop: he, actually, managed to get to be a PM, didn't he? And look what's this done to him.

Barak's problem is that while he can get into positions of power, he tends become hated after that. His big loss of popularity happened not when he entered Likuds coalition, but during his tenure as PM.

Being associated w/ the "wrong sort" ...  Kadima is, essentially, a Likud splinter, graced w/ a few ex-Laborites for a show.  Are they REALLY associated w/ different people?



That may be so but in 2009 Likud and Kadima had very different electorates nonetheless. The former looked like the classic Likud electorate, being stronger in poorer cities especially in the periphery, and rural Mizrachi areas. Whereas Kadima was clearly a more left wing electorate being stronger in wealthy cities in the centre and the Askenazi rural areas.
543  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Bibi forms broadest coalition ever to govern Israel, cancels elections on: May 09, 2012, 04:59:47 pm
Nothing I say in this thread means I think Kadima will do well in the next election. But that is because I think very lowly of Mofaz's political skills and mass appeal, and I think a better politician could have entered the coalition and come out looking better than Mofaz can.
544  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Bibi forms broadest coalition ever to govern Israel, cancels elections on: May 09, 2012, 04:50:09 pm
People who, for various reasons would not agree to vote for Likud (because they dislike Bibi, because they think Likud is too right wing for them, because they associate Likud with a type of people they wouldn't want to be associated with), but who either think a unity is government the responsible thing to do or don't like the idea of early elections.

Disliking Netaniyahu and liking Mofaz.... Hm., that's a particularly perverted taste. Are there many of those? (I AM being disingenious here, but only somewhat). After a year in this coalition, Kadima will be associated exactly with the same sort of people, anyway.

Not necessarily liking Mofaz, plenty of Israelis don't like any politician, But if they apathetic or dislike Mofaz less than Bibi that could be enough.

And being associated with a certain segment in the population is a party specific thing and not to the coalition as a whole. All the parties to the right of Meretz have served with almost every other parties and it hasn't stopped stopped parties from retaining distinct voting groups anyway.
545  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Bibi forms broadest coalition ever to govern Israel, cancels elections on: May 09, 2012, 02:19:34 pm
So, is Shinui 2.0 or whatever Lapid's party is called going to eat most of Kadima?  I thought they have roughly the same voter demos.

Basically yes together with Labour, they might still keep their votes but the centrist vote is especially fickle so Centrist parties are prone to quickly rising and crashing down again and unless Mofaz can make his party appealing somehow to these voters they will disappear. And from what I have seen of Mofaz so far I wouldn't trust him to be able to do that.
546  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Bibi forms broadest coalition ever to govern Israel, cancels elections on: May 09, 2012, 12:46:37 pm
It's not that the people should/would be unhappy about them joining the coalition. It's that it's not clear, what's the difference between them and Likud. If you don't like the government: well, vote for the opposition. If you like the government: vote for the government - that is, Likud. What's their niche?

People who, for various reasons would not agree to vote for Likud (because they dislike Bibi, because they think Likud is too right wing for them, because they associate Likud with a type of people they wouldn't want to be associated with), but who either think a unity is government the responsible thing to do or don't like the idea of early elections.


Netaniyahu is, by far, a better politician than Mofaz. This is still going to be the Netaniyahu government, on which Kadima will struggle to make any imprint. What are the positions they are getting, besides the minister w/ out portfolio?

Agreed about Bibi being a better politician. They will be getting some committee chairmanships and there is media speculation that they will be getting some ministries soon. Obviously they would be getting much more if they entered the coalition after the election from a position of power.
547  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Bibi forms broadest coalition ever to govern Israel, cancels elections on: May 09, 2012, 09:38:43 am
Well, we'd have to wait and see if a few of the Kadima people defect. A certain Ms Tzipi isn't sounding very happy, does she?

Livni resigned and is not relevant at the moment. As for the other members of Kadima, they approved this deal unanimously, And with good (personal) reason: most of them were about to lose their jobs which were now saved because of this deal.

Well, good for them. They should start merger negotiations as soon as possible - otherwise they are running the risk of missing the next Knesset even more decisively. And, given their recent decisions, it's clear they are valuing being in that House a lot Smiley)

I'm not sure the decision to enter the coalition will necessarily harm them in the next election. It's clear that a significant portion of centrists wanted Kadima to enter the coalition and are happy with the decision. The first poll after the decision doesn't show any movement away from Kadima. IMO the worst looking thing for Kadima is the flip-flopping, but I doubt many people will remember and/or care much about that in 18 months.
548  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Israel opinion poll thread on: May 09, 2012, 08:42:58 am
Poll conducted yesterday (after the new of new coalition):

Likud: 33
Labour: 19
Yisrael Beitenu: 15
Kadima: 11
Shas: 8
Future: 6
UTJ: 6
Meretz:6
Jewish Home- National Union: 5
Arab parties- 10

Do you support the new coalition agreement:

Yes: 39.6%
No: 31.9
Don't know: 28.4%

Who is most suitable to be prime minister:

Bibi: 39.8%
Shelly: 11.3%
Lapid: 7%
Mofaz: 4.5%
Lieberman: 4.2%
549  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Bibi forms broadest coalition ever to govern Israel, cancels elections on: May 08, 2012, 04:51:59 pm
Well, we'd have to wait and see if a few of the Kadima people defect. A certain Ms Tzipi isn't sounding very happy, does she?

Livni resigned and is not relevant at the moment. As for the other members of Kadima, they approved this deal unanimously, And with good (personal) reason: most of them were about to lose their jobs which were now saved because of this deal.
550  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Bibi forms broadest coalition ever to govern Israel, cancels elections on: May 08, 2012, 04:11:53 pm
This isn't actually the broadest as the Shamir-Peres coalition had 97 MK's.

Also Mofaz has a thing or two to teach Romney about flip-flopping. The media is having a field day with videos of Mofaz for months saying terrible things about Bibi and what a failure. Also promising very clearly that there is no chance that he will join the coalition and that he is the only one who can stand up to and replace Bibi. Worst of all is that the day before the deal was announced he blamed Shelly that she is pretending to be an opposition while secretly making a deal with Bibi while secretly doing exactly that very thing himself.
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