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Five initial reactions to the 'Bieberman' charade

1.  Wow. The most powerful leaders in Israel’s Knesset really have no concept of being loyal or trustworthy to their voting constituencies, and are making a mockery of the democracy of which they so often boast.


2. This also reflects the majority of Israeli society itself – the fact that Netanyahu and Lieberman have the power to do this, that there is no alternative and that there is no one on the streets yet.


3. It is a loud and clear message to all lefties and relatively sane people to get the f–k outta here.


4. If I were a Palestinian I would be pissing my pants.


5. Ehud Barak is pissing his pants.
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    1. aristeides

      I’d say it’s Eli Yishai who should be pissing his pants.

      Reply to Comment
    2. Aaron Gross

      This is a common refrain on the left: The majority of Israeli Jews are not just mistaken, they’re not just reasoning incorrectly; they’re insane. It’s like when Shimon Peres declared, after losing the election to Netanyahu, that the majority of the electorate had gone mad.

      Reply to Comment
    3. Philos

      I agree with Aristeides. Eli Yishai will be pissing his pants. Now that Labour, Yesh Atid and Kadima said they’ll join a government with Bibi as PM so long as he gives them ministries for their pet projects there is no need for Shas.
      As for the Palestinians, they should take heart. This has done more for their cause than any negotiation might have achieved.

      Reply to Comment
    4. Danny

      Can’t say I’m surprised by this. Bibi has already shown a strange delight in engaging in this sort of political tinkering. He was, in fact, a furniture salesman early in his illustrious career; there is nothing he loves more than shuk-like bartering (“hey Vlad, my friend… I’ll let you be the replacement PM when Sarah and I are away, if you’ll give me some of your Russian voters”).
      I agree with you that sane people should definitely consider a new abode for them and their families.

      Reply to Comment
    5. Richard Witty

      1. It’s a motivation to the center and left to get off their asses.

      2. The new policy of annexation of area C, can not plausibly be adopted by US, Europe, any allies.

      Hello “daylight”.

      Reply to Comment
      • The Trespasser

        1 – Center and Left have rather completely discredited themselves and they have nothing whatsoever to offer.

        2 – The policy will be adopted to it will fit EU and US demands. No-one is gonna ask Palestinians of course – 20 years of negotiations is just enough.

        Reply to Comment
    6. Noam W.

      Meirav why is this disloyal to their constituents? This is before, not after the elections. The constituency can decide if they want to vote for this merger or not.

      Reply to Comment
    7. Piotr Berman

      While I appreciate Meirav very much, sometimes there is a whiff of exaggeration. I figured that we assign moral labels to events in two way:

      a. unpopular method: try to match the event to some a-priori principles

      b. popular method: run a checklist. Bad person did it — despicable, good person did it — OK. That usually does it, but if not we continue: bad person was hurt — OK, good person was hurt — despicable. And so on.

      Given that this is a joint project of two bad guys, this charade is despicable. But indeed: why is it a charade?

      I kind of fail to comprehend why it is done.

      Reply to Comment
    8. Kolumn9

      What the hell are you talking about? I don’t even understand your outrage. Did you vote Likud thinking it was a left-wing party and now feel cheated?

      Reply to Comment
    9. sh

      The main political parties are no longer built brick by brick, nor do they stand for clearly defined principles election after election. They’re temporary structures. The faces of the politicians often remain the same, but their principles change with the wind of opportunity and those who can will take the party of which they are member in a different direction at the drop of a hat. If that proves impossible, hey, they’ll start a new one, dragging as many colleagues as they can out of the party they professed to respect so staunchly moments before. Last year it was rumored that Nachman Shai was leaving Kadima for Likud, today Nachman Shai announced he was leaving Kadima for Labor. None of the politicians from these parties are left-wing or even centrist (except Labor, in social issues, for Jews), everything’s fluid and all of them are totally uninterested in addressing the really big questions (Iran isn’t one of them). Maybe Meirav is outraged over that.

      Reply to Comment
    10. XYZ

      This is the most incoherent posting I have ever seen here, and that is saying something.
      What is “undemocratic” about it?
      This alignment was made before the election and the Likud and Israel Beitenu voters have the ability to cast their vote either for the new alignment if they like it, or vote against it if they don’t.

      If you want to talk about “undemocratic” let’s talk about Sharon’s destruction of Gush Katif. He ran an election campaign promising NOT to destroy Gush Katif, saying “Netzarim (one of the yishuvim there) is like Tel Aviv”!. His opponent, Mitzna promised to destroy ONE out of the 20+ yishuvim there. Sharon won big. He then turns around and announces he is going to destroy them all. All you “progressives” cheered him saying “look at how smart he is , the way he stabs his voters in the back! Way to go!”.
      Seeing opposition, he calls a referendum among Likud party members regarding the matter, swearing he will honor the results and that he viewed it as a personal vote of confidence for him. Although pre-electon polls showed him winning 70-30, he LOST 60-40. He then, the next day, announces that “he made a mistake in calling for the vote” and he will destroy Gush Katif anyway. You “progressives” again cheered him. Those opposing it said he should call general elections before carrying it out. Knowing he would lose, he refused to do it.
      You ‘progressives’ said “the only thing that matters is 61 votes in the Knesset. Whatever gets 61 votes in the Knesset is “democratic” by definition’.

      Okay, so according to the very rules you “progressives” made justifying Sharon’s betrayal of his voters, YOU have to accept ANY law passed by the Knesset, because YOU yourself said so.

      Reply to Comment
      • sh

        “What is “undemocratic” about it?”

        No sign of the word undemocratic in Meirav’s post although it appears several times in your comment. In your idealistic fervor you evidently missed Meirav’s well-chosen words, which included “mockery of”. Must confess the strains of “Send in the Clowns” ran through my head when I heard Bibilibi’s speech the other evening.

        Her post served you as just another excuse for a rant containing your usual bugbears, hope you feel better. I notice you’ve no complaints about the other democratic election that resulted in the wholesale jailing of elected Hamas officials. It’s all a little sad isn’t it.


        Reply to Comment
        • XYZ

          (1) Meirav said this move showed “disloyalty” to their voters (please refer back to my notes abovve about Sharon’s disloyalty to HIS voters which the “progressives” heartily approved of) and “made a mockery of democracy”. I would say it is legitimate to interpret that as saying the move is “undemocratic”.

          (2) Neither HAMAS nor FATAH are democratic movements. Free elections are the least important part of democracy. Respect for the rule of law and constitutional procedures came before free elections in democracies like the US and Britain. Hitler won power in “free elections”. There is no democracy in the HAMAS-run Gaza Strip.

          Reply to Comment
          • sh

            Hitler did not win the election.

            To the voter, free elections are the most important part of democracy.

            One of the reasons there is no democracy in the Gaza Strip is because democratically elected but subsequently jailed members of the PA could not attend its sessions which could then not pass laws because they didn’t have a quorum. We’ll never know whether the PA would have been democratic.

            Let’s not make a mockery of the written word. Unlike Hitler, Sharon *was* democratically elected to office. Sharon was disloyal to those who elected him? They public’d get the chance to boot him out at the next election. That’s the deal.

            BTW, a majority of average, unprogressive Israelis backed the withdrawal from Gaza and Sharon was fully expected to be reelected for a second term.

            Reply to Comment
          • XYZ

            HItler came to power as a result of free elections and democratic coalition dealings. The Nazis came in first in at least the last two Reichstag elections. They did not get out an outright majority but they were in a position to get a deal “democratically” to get power.

            The Gaza Strip is not run “democratically”. There is no freedom of speech, there is no constitutional rule and HAMAS is not about to hand power over to anybody else peaceably, EVEN THOUGH THEY WON A ‘FREE ELECTION’.

            I know all you “progressives” make excuses for Sharon claiming what he did was “democratic”. Well, all the laws that were passed in the Knesset opposing advocating BDS and the other things that Lieberman and Im Tirtzu are advocating which have passed the Knesset are democratic too. This government is in power democratically, as well. If you consider making a 180 degree policy switch which goes against everthing you yourself said and which your party stand involving uprooting thousands of people and billions of shekels of expenditure a minor issue, then you have NO understanding of how real democracy works, which is the affliction that the Israeli Left has suffered from for 100 years already.

            Reply to Comment
    11. delia ruhe

      I’m pissing my pants and I don’t even live in Israel. Hell, I’m not even a Jew.

      Reply to Comment
    12. Mitchell Cohen

      And what’s stopping Kadima, Labor, and Meretz from uniting? Oh, they can’t get their act together. That’s BB and Lieberman’s fault?!?!

      Reply to Comment
      • aristeides

        According to some commenters, it was precisely the fear that the center parties might get their act together at last that motivated Beiberman.

        In which case, one has to doubt Beiberman’s political judgment.

        Reply to Comment
    13. B.E.

      A dark time.

      Reply to Comment

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