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Israeli election - 2009

 
 
msolga
 
Reply Thu 12 Feb, 2009 12:20 am
I asked earlier today - on one of the Gaza threads - if an Israeli election discussion was going on somewhere at A2K.
No response, so I'll assume that means there isn't one.

While by no means an "expert" on Israeli politics, I'm very interested in the outcome of this election. And what it could mean for Israel, the Palestinians, prospects for peace in the region & also Israel's relationship with the US, under a new government.

I'm hoping that by starting this thread, some of you who know much more than I do will contibute your knowledge & insights here.

If an Israeli election thread already exists, please let me know & pass on the link.

Thanks.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 0 • Views: 2,631 • Replies: 45
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msolga
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Feb, 2009 12:26 am
@msolga,
Haaretz online.
A lot of election issues & concerns from the Israeli perspective.

http://www.haaretz.com/
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  2  
Reply Thu 12 Feb, 2009 12:36 am
From (Oz) ABC news online today:

Palestinians sceptical about Israeli election
Posted Wed Feb 11, 2009 4:46pm AEDT
Updated Wed Feb 11, 2009 7:17pm AEDT


http://www.abc.net.au/reslib/200901/r327687_1472045.jpg
Palestinians don't believe it matters who becomes Israel's new prime minister (Reuters: Abed Omar Qusini )

Quote:
Hamas and Fatah have reacted with a mixture of indifference and scorn to the early results from Israel's general election.

But while they find common ground in their attitude towards Israel, there are signs that tensions between the rival Palestinian factions are far from easing.

The groups are trading accusations of politically motivated beatings and murders.

Some of those claims are supported by a new report from the human rights group Amnesty International.

Palestinians on the streets of Gaza and Ramallah don't believe it matters who becomes Israel's new prime minister.

"All their governments are murderers," one man told the ABC. "They're talking about peace and peace slogans, but they never implement anything towards peace.

"But killing and destruction are the main policies of the state of Israel, and their ministers."


Similar sentiments are being expressed by the main Palestinian factions.

The senior Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said whoever formed the next Israeli government would be unable to forge peace with the Palestinians.

A spokesman for Hamas said: "There's no difference between [Tzipi] Livni, [Ehud] Barak, [Avigdor] Lieberman and [Benjamin] Netanyahu."

He said they had all massacred the Palestinian people. ..<cont>


http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/02/11/2488842.htm

0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  2  
Reply Thu 12 Feb, 2009 12:53 am
With 99% of votes counted, Kadima leads Likud 28 to 27 seats
By Haaretz Service

Quote:
With 99 percent of the votes counted, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni's Kadima Party is in first place with 28 of the Knesset's 120 seats, with Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud Party following closely behind with 27 seats.

As the vote progresses, Labor stands at 13 seats, while Avigdor Lieberman's Yisrael Beitenu party is expected to garner 15 seats.

Exit polls by Israel's three main television stations on Tuesday night came to the same conclusion with Kadima as the leader and Likud coming a narrow second.

Channel 1, Channel 2 and Channel 10 polling of voters as they left the ballot box all pointed to victory for Kadima, headed by Tzipi Livni.

If the exit polls are correct, the right-wing bloc, led by Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu, will comprise 63-64 seats, while the center-left bloc, headed by Livni, will take 56-57 seats. This means that a win in the polls does not necessarily mean that the next government will have a center-left bent


http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1063105.html
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  2  
Reply Thu 12 Feb, 2009 01:25 am
From the NYTimes:

In Israeli Vote, With Two Parties Nearly Tied, the Winner Is Gridlock

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2009/02/12/world/12mideast.600.jpg
Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party was neck and neck with Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni’s Kadima Party on Wednesday, heightening Israel’s political uncertainty.

Published: February 11, 2009

Quote:
JERUSALEM " Israelis awoke Wednesday to find that their parliamentary elections had yielded not a new government but political gridlock instead, along with the prospect of weeks of wrangling and deal making before the country’s direction becomes clear.

With 99 percent of the votes counted, the center-left Kadima Party of Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni held a one-seat lead over the rightist Likud Party of Benjamin Netanyahu, 28 to 27 out of 120 seats in Parliament.

But the total gains of all parties on the right far outweighed those of the left, leading Mr. Netanyahu and his supporters to demand that he be given first crack at forming the next government.


The remaining 1 percent of votes to be counted " those of soldiers and state employees serving abroad " were expected to be tallied by Thursday and could tip the balance.

Either way, the country’s president, Shimon Peres, was to consult with all parliamentary factions in the coming days before assigning either Mr. Netanyahu or Ms. Livni the task of putting together a coalition with more than 60 seats. That will probably happen next week. ...<cont>


http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/12/world/middleeast/12mideast.html?_r=1&ref=world

0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  2  
Reply Thu 12 Feb, 2009 01:47 am
It's better than I expected, but still a crushing blow to peace. Some very militant ideology is getting some serious play in this election.

Much is made of Hamas' refusal to recognize Israel's right to exist, and the parties that are surging in Israel's politics are rejectionists as well, and reject the right of Palestinians to a state.

The prospects for peace any time soon are fairly slim, but if the right wins power in this election you can kiss any chance goodbye, Netanyahu doesn't even want to pretend to negotiate toward a two-state solution and would represent a big step backwards for the peace process.
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Feb, 2009 01:56 am
@Robert Gentel,
... & I'd think this result will make it more difficult for the new US government to have a constructive influence on Israel, toward pursuing a peaceful settlement with the Palestinians?
Endymion
 
  2  
Reply Fri 13 Feb, 2009 10:24 am
@msolga,
Hi Olga - don't know if any of these links will interest you... the first one is very recent - from Haaretz. Looks like it could be important as far as Lieberman is concerned.


Police investigation may bar Lieberman from treasury post
By Uri Blau and Lily Galili
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1063809.html

Israel Coalition Wrangling Could Take Months
http://news.antiwar.com/2009/02/12/israel-coalition-wrangling-could-take-months/

Rightward Shift in Israeli Polls Creates New Headaches
by Jim Lobe
http://www.antiwar.com/lobe/?articleid=14241

Israel: Rise of the Right
by Phyllis Bennis
http://www.commondreams.org/view/2009/02/13-0

Obviously, these are from my kind of sites - not sure how the right are responding
If i come across any more i will post them up.
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Feb, 2009 02:38 pm
@Endymion,
Thanks, Endy.

Interesting reading!
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Feb, 2009 02:47 pm

Last update - 20:39 13/02/2009

U.S., EU say prefer Kadima-Likud unity gov't
By Natasha Mozgovaya, Haaretz Correspondent, and The Associated Press

Quote:
While the make-up of the next government remains a question mark in Israel, it appears that the United States and the European Union have already weighed in with a clear preference for a unity government that includes Kadima and Likud.

The U.S. official position is that it looks forward to "working with any government," but in back-channel messages the Obama administration has made it clear it would like to see a unity government in Jerusalem over a narrow right-wing government which would in all likelihood result in a freeze in peace talks with the Palestinians.

Aides to Likud chairman Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed on Friday that Washington officials did indeed relay the message while associates of Kadima chief Tzipi Livni denied receiving such a message.

Officially, the State Department said the coalitional line-up is an internal Israeli matter with which Washington does not involve itself. ...<cont>


http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1063995.html
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  2  
Reply Fri 13 Feb, 2009 05:18 pm
Country pulling in all directions awaits leader
Jason Koutsoukis/ February 14, 2009 /The AGE

COMMENT:

Quote:
.....As confusing as Tuesday's results might be for some, if democracy is about expressing the will of the people, then the elections achieved that goal perfectly. Because the real truth about Israelis and their politics is that the people don't know what they want.

Some people, like Tzipi Livni, believe an end to Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the creation of an independent Palestinian state are the only ways to preserve Israeli democracy over the long term.

A not insignificant bloc of the Israeli public believes that a Palestinian state will be the beginning of the end of Israel. ......


http://www.theage.com.au/world/country-pulling-in-all-directions-awaits-leader-20090213-875b.html?page=-1
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  2  
Reply Fri 13 Feb, 2009 05:35 pm
Israel ready to strike Iran: ex-envoy
Jason Koutsoukis in Jerusalem/ February 14, 2009/SMH

A FORMER senior Israeli diplomat has warned that Israel is ready to launch a military offensive against Iran to prevent it from developing nuclear weapons.

In an exclusive interview, Dan Gillerman, Israel's permanent United Nations representative from 2003 until last September, said the time for diplomatic efforts to stop Iran from acquiring a nuclear capability might already have expired.

Quote:
"The world cannot afford to live with a nuclear Iran," he said. "I hope diplomacy will work, but I'm not sure we have the time for [it] to work.

"Israel has made it very clear that it will not live with a nuclear Iran, and I believe that Israel has the ability and the capacity to make sure that it will not happen." ......

............Detailed military plans to bomb Iran's nuclear enrichment facilities have long been on the table of Israel's senior military commanders.

Israel's Prime Minister, Ehud Barak, was believed to have requested support from the US for a military strike on Iran last May, but the plans were aborted after president George Bush declined to endorse them. .........


http://www.smh.com.au/world/israel-ready-to-strike-iran-exenvoy-20090213-872u.html?page=-1
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  2  
Reply Fri 13 Feb, 2009 10:08 pm
@msolga,
The current president hasn't shown a willingness to risk the political capital he needs to really pursue peace anyway, so it's not a huge setback to American efforts, as American efforts will continue to be half-hearted either way.

To be honest, even if the more sane Israelis end up in power, they are likely going to have to play hawks to stay there, and may not have the political capital they need to make any progress towards peace either.

Remember, it was the incumbents who launched the Gaza invasion, not the even more hawkish challengers.
ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Sat 14 Feb, 2009 12:10 am
I'll follow this thread. I'm a bundle of nerve fibers of pros and cons for all involved in the region. To some extent, I ignore news since I get so distressed from information of varied sort.

So, thanks, Msolga for starting this.
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Feb, 2009 12:42 am
@Robert Gentel,
Quote:
The current president hasn't shown a willingness to risk the political capital he needs to really pursue peace anyway, so it's not a huge setback to American efforts, as American efforts will continue to be half-hearted either way.


Sad & disappointing that the new US administration appears to be so pragmatic, or as you say, "half-hearted", about becoming seriously involved in securing a more peaceful resolution between Israel & the Palestinians.
Israel would not have gotten away with nearly as much as it has, without unconditional US support (no matter what Israel has done in the past, it seems). And without that unconditional US support, Israel would have had to, through necessity, taken some of the Palestinians' legitimate grievances a lot more seriously than it has.

0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Feb, 2009 12:43 am
@ossobuco,
Glad to see you here, Osso. Please feel free to contribute.
It gets lonely in here! Wink
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Feb, 2009 12:49 am
@msolga,
Okay, long as you understand that my not posting doesn't mean I'm not following. Maybe I'll beep once in a while.
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Feb, 2009 12:57 am
@ossobuco,
When you think you have something of importance to say, then please say it, osso!

I am hardly an "expert" in this area, as I've already said. But I would dearly like to see a serious attempt at a peaceful resolution between the Israelis & the Palestinians. That's my interest in this election.

It is interesting to me that none of the participants of the Gaza "war" threads (apart from Robert) have participated so far. I'd like to know about their views on the election outcome, too.
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Feb, 2009 01:05 am
@Robert Gentel,
Quote:
To be honest, even if the more sane Israelis end up in power, they are likely going to have to play hawks to stay there, and may not have the political capital they need to make any progress towards peace either.


Yes, but imagine (I'm sounding like John Lennon here! Wink ) if the saner Israelis had the support of Obama's administration. Imagine what a change of attitude that could bring about!
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Feb, 2009 01:16 am
@msolga,
Apart from Robert & Endy is what I should have said.

0 Replies
 
 

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