March 18, 2015 at 1:59 pm #8158
Bibi’s shameful 11th-hour demagoguery may have swayed enough votes to save him. But at what cost? The campaign for the Parliament was divisive, exposing the fault lines in Israeli society, between the religious and the secular, the left and the right. It exposed a fatigue with a man who is seeking to serve a fourth term as prime minister, and a fear over Israel’s place in the international community. Much was driven by the tenor of the campaigns, which became personal and bitter. In interviews with the Israeli news media that Mr. Netanyahu usually shuns, he complained of a conspiracy of left-wing organizations funded from abroad and foreign governments out to topple him.
Right wing rule remains in Israel, but clearly is in its last days. Not just because of Netanyahu’s abrasive personality (did you know that even Republican James Baker once barred Bibi from the offices of the State Department in 1990?) but because the Israeli public is not going to forget a long chain of scandals involving his marriage and corruption charges. In 1997, police recommended that Netanyahu be indicted on corruption charges for influence-peddling. He was accused of appointing an attorney general who would reduce the charges and prosecutors ruled that there was insufficient evidence to go to trial. In 1999, Netanyahu faced another scandal when the Israel Police recommended that he be tried for corruption for $100,000 in free services from a government contractor; Israel’s attorney general did not prosecute, citing difficulties with evidence. It didn’t catch up with him this time, but it will. As Lord Acton said “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. There is no worse heresy than that the office sanctifies the holder of it.”
I am watching with great satisfaction the decline of conservative right wing demagoguery around the world. It is a bumpy ride, but it is slowing falling as it should.The last thing the world needs is to be drenched in endless right-wing propagandizing about the evils of government, unions, liberalism, safety nets, environmentalism, and diplomacy overseas, and how conservative Christian values are imperiled.March 18, 2015 at 2:51 pm #8163Deane JohnsonParticipant
Andy, did you by any chance play football in high school without wearing a helmet?March 18, 2015 at 2:52 pm #8164
The only major problem is that these old fucks aren’t going to go quietly. Someone with access and ability is going to say “fuck it,” and will pull the trigger on some really bad shit before they leave.March 18, 2015 at 3:05 pm #8165
It’s not that peace in the Middle East was imminent, but Netanyahu’s reversal on a Palestinian state is not going to sit well with his own allies in Europe as well as the U.S. administration. It’s not clear that Netanyahu wants a war with Iran, but he would much rather have the Republicans here in the U.S. send our boots over there then do it himself if it comes to it. He is much more content to invade Gaza on a periodic basis to show Israeli involvement. There is much unrest in Israel over the right wing leadership, and as you alluded to it might get worse before it gets better.March 18, 2015 at 3:13 pm #8166
And why the FUCK is it our responsibility to all of the dirty work in the ME? It’s time for us to step out and say “you boys figure this shit out for yourselves.”March 18, 2015 at 3:31 pm #8170VitalogyParticipant
I say cut Israel loose. Let the region fight it out on their own.March 18, 2015 at 11:15 pm #8182shipwreckParticipant
Israel and Palestine seem doomed to live and die with their hands around each other’s throats. Their core positions of being the sole legitimate residents backed by competing religions ensure no other course.March 19, 2015 at 1:31 am #8185missing_kskdParticipant
No doubt. And it’s an old conflict. One I doubt we really understand.
Think of the culture within us and the Civil War. That runs deep in the South.
…and that is a young conflict by comparison.
Would be nice to have a natural event somehow change the land mass, or something extraordinary happen to make a potential resolution possible.
And even then, the culture may preserve the mess. Whole generations are defined by who they are in that conflict.March 19, 2015 at 11:07 am #8196jerry1949Spectator
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: There was a big victory for Netanyahu personally and I think the reaction of the administration is now reaching levels where it has become unseemly, the pettiness and the petulance with which they are discussing the election. A presidential spokesman congratulates Israel on holding an election rather than, as did the prime minister of Canada, of the UK, congratulating the winner.
Look, it is clear that Obama loathes Netanyahu more than any other world leader meaning more than the Ayatollah in Iran or Putin in Russia. And he did everything he could to unseat him but he failed. I think the message here is this was an election between Bibi and Obama. That was on the ballot because Obama was essentially saying if you want to reconcile with the United States, if you want your ally behind you you are going to have to get rid of Bibi.
That worked in ousting Prime Minister [Yitzhak] Shamir in the ’90s. It worked in defeating Bibi in 1998. But the regard with which Israelis hold Obama and the fear they have of the dealing with Iran as such that Bibi won. That’s the message. He wasn’t speaking out of place in the Congress. He was speaking on behalf of Israelis and that is what I think Obama is having trouble swallowing.March 19, 2015 at 11:23 am #8197VitalogyParticipant
Israel can go it alone. Fuck’em.March 19, 2015 at 11:50 am #8199
“Their core positions of being the sole legitimate residents backed by competing religions ensure no other course.”
In the Middle East and North Africa the religious competition makes for good headlines, but it is not the key to the conflict, historically dating back to the late nineteenth century.
It is now and always has been about land, water rights and to a lesser extent for the Israel-Palestine segment of the conflict(s), oil.March 19, 2015 at 11:55 am #8200
Today finds Netanyahu already backpedaling on his statement about no Palestinian state. Although this will enrage a small segment of right wing extremists in Israel, Bibi knows which side of his foreign aid bread has butter on it. He knows his right wing allies in the U.S. do not control foreign aid without the approval of the President. No bill gets past Obama’s veto pen and Bibi probably wants that oil reserve guarantee reinstated.March 19, 2015 at 12:00 pm #8201stevethedjParticipant
The borders for Isreal, is set in the OLD testament. It is GOD’s will. And HIS will, will prevail. Not even King Obama can change it. And all you Jew haters can call me all the names you want. I don’t give a rats ass what you think.March 19, 2015 at 12:20 pm #8203
“The borders for Isreal, is set in the OLD testament.”
Not true. The definitions of the limits of this (Land Of Israel, Land of Canaan, the Promised Land, the Holy Land, and Palestine.territory) vary between biblical passages, with these specifically in Genesis 15, Exodus 23, Numbers 34 and Ezekiel 47. Nine times elsewhere in the Bible, the settled land is referred as “from Dan to Beersheba” which is not specific enough to call borders in addition to variances to other Old Testament verse.
I am Jewish and studied all this. Biblical references are unclear and have had limited weight in the post biblical world, the most significant being during the peace negotiations following World War I, “from Dan to Beersheba” contributed to the British proposal for the area of Palestine to be carved out of the Ottoman Empire as a League of Nations mandate. Neither the Jews nor the Palestinians had any control over that.
So what exactly is your point, Steve?March 19, 2015 at 3:04 pm #8206
“The borders for Isreal, is set in the OLD testament. It is GOD’s will.”
Not using the Bible, can you show me any other paperwork that will stand up in a court of law to support this contention?
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