Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Worse yet...

Meet our new (old) leader

The weather yesterday, polling day, was nasty and squally, especially later, when the results started coming in. We spent the day pleasantly enough though. After morning coffee we exercised our civil duty at the polls at the trendy local community centre. On the way we met M, a neighbour in charge of running campaign volunteers at three polling stations for the Meimad-Green Movement Party. He took one last shot at convincing me to vote for them before running off to find more prey (they almost got in). Then breakfast with friends, one of whom was happy that she had decided to vote for Tsipi Livni, since that was the only way of blocking Binyamin 'Bibi' Netanyahu's rise to power. Finally a homewarming visit where politics was off the agenda. In fact, the day passed so pleasantly that by the time the three buildings of the Azrieli centre were lit up to show the exit poll results...(the real thing was in different colours)
and Kadima squeaked ahead of Likud, it was easy to forget that the figures also showed that the right bloc had a 10 seat lead on the left. Without going into the details, this means that it would take an act of God for Livni to form a coalition. Consequently, the heavy set gentleman below, Avigdor "Yvette" Lieberman , head of the Yisrael Beitenu party is very likely to be Bibi's second in command. Oy!
Worse yet, while Bibi's real desire was to head a centre-right coalition (with Kadima and possibly Labour), since Kadima is demanding first crack at forming a government, Bibi has no choice but to pre-empt it and form a blocking majority of 65 MKs that would include some real headcases in the form of the National Union. In short this would be hard-right/religious government that would quickly collide with the rest of the world.

On the third hand, there are a few cynics on the left who argue that it has to get worse before it can get better. In other words, a dose of international sanctions might be just what the doctor ordered for the populace to wake up to the choice between taking the peace process seriously or suffering the consequences. Since we (and the Palestinians) are incapable of sorting out an agreement, a hard right Israeli government might be the trigger to finally prompt some serious international intervention.

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