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526  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.
527  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.
528  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.
529  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.
530  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.
531  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%
532  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.
533  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.
534  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Bibi forms broadest coalition ever to govern Israel, cancels elections on: May 08, 2012, 04:10:51 pm
This isn't actually the broadest as the Shamir-Peres coalition had 97 MK's.

Also Mofaz can teach Romney how to flip-flop. 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.
535  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Israeli general election 2012 on: May 08, 2012, 12:09:51 am
Yes, I was surprised by this. The election looked like a done deal.

I don't know that much about Israeli politics but this looks pretty good for everyone except Kadima and the religious parties. Likud no longer has to rely on the really extreme little parties and Labor gets a year as official opposition to get its act together, unite the anti-Likud vote, and not get imminent destroyed in an election. I bet Lieberman is happy too. I have no idea what Kadima could gain from this.

Kadima has most to gain by this since they were going to get destroyed in the election. Labour are the biggest losers (maybe along with the Haredim) as they were up in the polls and would become the second party, and they might have to wait a year and a half.
536  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Israeli general election 2012 on: May 07, 2012, 05:05:01 am
Regarding the lists, there is a deadline on July 19 for parties to submit the names. Democratic parties will have primaries so we will know their lists whenever those are done. For the rest of the parties it is up to them if they want to say anything before the deadline.
537  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Israeli general election 2012 on: May 07, 2012, 04:59:36 am
Is Yachimovich still pandering to the settlers, or has she realized how dumb that was yet?  And has she uttered a single word about peace since she became leader?  Also, any word (besides Noam Shalit) on potential or confirmed candidates on Labor's Knesset list, besides current MK's?  I'm interested to see whether it'll be mainly old-timers who lost their seats in 2009 or new faces, and if it's the latter, whether it'll be mainly the social protest type or the peace type, or both. 

Yechimovich didn't pander to settlers, that really would be dumb, as they wouldn't vote for her. What she does want to do is not sound to left wing so that she can take of votes from the centre parties.
538  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Israeli general election 2012 on: May 05, 2012, 03:51:41 pm
Lapid hasn't revealed yet who will be on his list.

I believe Kadima and especially Lapid would follow netanyahu on this issue. Lapid because he is easily replaceable with the Haredi parties, which is the last thing he wants. As for Kadima, I'm not convinced Mofaz as prime minister would be very different himself.
539  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Israeli general election 2012 on: May 05, 2012, 03:57:00 am
If these results pan out... whats the most likely coalition goverment going to look like? who's in, who's out.

Good improvement for Labour from what i can see, probably mostly coming off the decline of Kadima. Is Israel going back to a left (labour) vs right (likud) knesset?

That would be up to Bibi, hard to say what he would choose.


Well, how much of a choice would he have? Would a Likud/YB/Kadima/Lapid government sans the religious be possible (not merely numerically, which seems inevitable, but also ideologically)? If yes, of course, he'd have choice.

Ideologically this coalition should be fine from all the coalition parties. YB already wanted Kadima instead of the Haredi in the last coalition and Lapid has clearly said that he wants to be in the next coalition. That leaves Kadima, which didn't enter the last coalition because they won too many votes which Livni thought should be enough for a rotational prime minister, with the state Kadima is in this shouldn't be a problem. Also Mofaz wanted to enter the previous coalition anyway so I don't see him objecting to any coalition partners now.
540  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Israeli general election 2012 on: May 04, 2012, 05:55:27 pm
If these results pan out... whats the most likely coalition goverment going to look like? who's in, who's out.

Good improvement for Labour from what i can see, probably mostly coming off the decline of Kadima. Is Israel going back to a left (labour) vs right (likud) knesset?

That would be up to Bibi, hard to say what he would choose.

Likud and Labour look to be the two largest parties right now but they still won't be close to half the mandates combined and they are not really directly competing with one another.
541  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Israeli general election 2012 on: May 03, 2012, 03:49:29 pm
The election will be on September 4, to see latest poll results see this thread.

Remember that left/right in Israel refers to hawkishness/dovishness, opinions about settlements, borders, Palestinians etc., and not economics.

The parties expected to pass the necessary 2% threshold to hold seats:

Likud: The current right wing governing party led by prime minister Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu. The party generally performs stronger amongst poorer Jews who are not "religious", especially amongst immigrants from Arab countries and their descendants.
Expected mandates: about 30.

Labour: The main left wing party, was the governing party for Israel’s first 30 years, but has been losing support lately and hasn’t led a government since 2001 (has been part of several though). Its previous leader, Barak, left the party to form the Independence party last year together with 4 other MK’s. The party then elected former journalist Shelly Yechimovich and has since recovered in the polls. Its electorate has historically been stronger amongst the “elites” and wealthier Ashkenazi Jews (Jews of European origin).
Expected mandates: 15-20

Yisrael Beitenu: A right wing party led by Moldovan immigrant and current foreign minister, Avigdor “Ivet” Lieberman. The base of the party is immigrants from the USSR following the soviet collapse.
Expected mandates: 12-17

Kadima: The big centre party founded by Ariel Sharon after he left the Likud. Its leader is recently elected Shaul Mofaz, the former chief of staff in the IDF. The party is currently the largest in the Knesset, however polls show a big drop in the coming elections.
Expected mandates: 10-14

Future: A new party founded by Yair Lapid, a media personality and son of Tommy Lapid, the late leader of Shinui. The party should be similar to Shinui in being centrist and secularist.
Expected mandates: 10-14

Shas: A right wing, Haredi mizrachi party led interior minister Eli Yishai. The part is dominant with Haredi mizrachi Jews, and receives significant votes from traditionalist mizrachim.
Expected mandates: 7-11

United Torah Judaism (UTJ): The Haredi Ashkenazi party. The party doesn’t really have a leader as each Knesset member represents different religious sub groups and important votes get decided by rabbis rather than the Knesset members themselves.
Expected mandates: 5-6

Meretz: A far left party led by Zehava Galon. Its electorate is mostly amongst the Tel-Aviv bourgeois and the secular Ashkenazi rural areas (Moshavim and espescially Kibbutzim).
Expected mandates: 3-5

National Union + Jewish Home: Two far right religious parties with a focus on expanding and protecting settlements. Jewish Home is the more moderate party and currently in government and led by science minister Daniel Hershkowitz. National union is the more extreme party and contains Kahanists and will probably be changing leadership if they don’t. These two parties may run in a merged party or separately.
Expected mandates: 2-4 each if running separately.

United Arab List: The more Islamic oriented of the Arab parties, particularly strong amongst Bedouin.
Expected mandates: 3-4

Hadash: The communist party, which gets a big majority of its votes amongst Arabs, especially in the big Arab cities.
Expected mandates: 3-5

Balad: The more pan-Arabist Arab party historically close to the Syrian Baathists (a few weeks ago one of their Knesset members attended a pro Assad gathering).
Expected mandates: 2-3

A yet to be named party led by Deri- Aryeh Deri used to be the leader of shas until he was convicted and sent to jail for corruption. Now that he is free he says he wants to found his own party (Shas don’t want him back).
Expected mandates: 2-4

As usual, other than these parties there will be very many other parties on the ballot (there were 33 total in the last election) including the Barak founded Labour breakoff, the Independence party, but none of these are expected to pass the 2% threshold.
542  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Israel opinion poll thread on: May 03, 2012, 01:04:56 am
Wow- Kadima has fallen... what is "There Is A Future"? I've tried to look it up...

Yair Lapid's new party.
543  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Israel opinion poll thread on: May 02, 2012, 05:56:48 pm
Could you explain why Netanyahu would want an early election? I'm not sure why not just wait until early 2013, when it was supposed to be held.

The closer you get to an election the less incentive parties have to stay in it and the more incentive to leave to position themselves for the elections.

The current problem is with the new law replacing the Tal law (dealing with religious exemptions from the army) Yisrael beitenu decided to propose their own law and threatened to leave the coalition if it didn't pass, but if Netanyahu would agree than the Haredi parties would have left themselves. In either case the government would have fallen. So Netanyahu could either try to prolong the government as much as possible but have it fall apart soon anyway, or preempt this and decide on an election date himself. The latter makes him look stronger and more competent coming into the elections.

While it might not really be Netanyahu's true wish to have an early election, it's still a good time for him. he is doing well in the polls and he would have a lot leverage in the negotiation for the new coalition, since all the parties from Labour rightwards are realistic potential coalition partners (excluding possibly the National Union).
544  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: France 2012: the official thread on: May 02, 2012, 03:12:48 pm
WTF, France 24 stopped showing the debate in the middle to move to an analyst, why would you do that? It's like a sports channel turning off a football match in the middle to talk about what happened so far in the match.
545  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Israel opinion poll thread on: May 02, 2012, 09:32:54 am
And another:

Likud: 31
Labour: 17
Yisrael Beitenu: 13
There Is A Future: 12
Kadima: 10
Shas: 8
UTJ: 6
Meretz: 4
National Union: 4
Jewish Home: 2
Deri: 2
Independence: 0
Arab parties: 11

The election will probably be on the September 4.
546  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: France 2012: Official Results Thread on: May 01, 2012, 02:32:25 pm
Uh... that sounds odd. (It's not as if they don't recognize the rest of Israel's post-48 boundaries either, is it?) Though it does explain things here.
Yes, they are not very consistant about this, one of the polls was in Beer Sheva and is included in Israel despite being part of Palestine under that plan.

They ARE very consistent: it's such a long-standing policy, there's been time to work it out to the minute detail. Israeli post-1948 (pre-1967) borders are, in general, recognized, with one exception: Israeli control of any part of the City of Jerusalem will only be recognized de jure upon the final settlement. The French are not alone here: this is the general approach of most of the world. This is why there are so few embassies in Jerusalem - almost nobody recognizes any part of Jerusalem as legally Israeli. This position is made very clearly, for instance, on the website of the British consulate in Jerusalem.

It may be long standing but I don't see how it is consistent if they are going to recognize other parts of pre-67 areas as part of Israel and not "west Jerusalem". And it isn't clear to me what "Jerusalem" means. Is it the original UN corpus separatum? The areas currently defined by Israel as Jerusalem? the areas the British mandate defined as jerusalem?
547  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: France 2012: Official Results Thread on: May 01, 2012, 08:47:28 am
Uh... that sounds odd. (It's not as if they don't recognize the rest of Israel's post-48 boundaries either, is it?) Though it does explain things here.
Yes, they are not very consistant about this, one of the polls was in Beer Sheva and is included in Israel despite being part of Palestine under that plan.
548  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: France 2012: Official Results Thread on: May 01, 2012, 06:46:19 am
I was seriously wondering about why they defined things that way. Trying to refuse to either endorse or non-endorse Israeli annexation of East Jerusalem?


France doesn't recognize any part of Jerusalem as part of Israel (including west Jerusalem), they still refer to Jerusalem as corpus separatum as it was supposed to be under the "United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine".
549  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Johan Galtung reveals himself to be an antisemite. on: April 30, 2012, 04:32:10 pm
Well, while we often disagree of what constitute antisemitism, that's clearly anti-semitism.
I just hope than the man is being affected with senility and than those are not his real ideas.

When have we disagreed about what constitutes antisemitism? I don't even remember calling anyone antisemitic on the forum until now, and I don't think that anyone that is anti-Israel necessarily antisemitic if that is what you are thinking of.
550  General Politics / International General Discussion / Johan Galtung reveals himself to be an antisemite. on: April 30, 2012, 02:23:37 pm
The founder of the Peace Research Institute Oslo and receiver of the alternative Nobel Prize award (isn't one more than enough?) says that Jews control the media, recommends reading The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and says he doesn't think the Russian secret police forged it, and says the Mossad may have given breivik the orders to carry out the attack.

http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/pioneer-of-global-peace-studies-hints-at-link-between-norway-massacre-and-mossad-1.427385

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