A new classic. The Kadima “fresh” leader who told everyone who would listen, that there is no way he would sit with the lying Benjamin Netanyahu, did what? Ten minutes after his election to the party leader gave Bibi the keys to his house. For what? Vice Prime Minister…. That’s how the urban dictionary describes a Putz:
a stupid, ignorant person; someone who doesn’t pay attention to anything going on; one who makes stupid remarks
Who stands for what, exactly? PM Netanyahu, even though he voted for the disengagement back in 2005, and then resigned from the government because of it (he’s always so consistent) came out today saying that it was, in fact, a catastrophe and it won’t happen again. On the other side, opposition leader Tzipi Livni, along with her number 2 Shaul Mofaz, reiterated their support for what they both termed a “historic process.”
The good thing about this is that we can start to see clear differences between Likud and Kadima now, whereas Kadima’s ideology has always been a point of ambiguity. With Labor quickly dying out and splitting in the meantime, Kadima may be basically the new Labor. Livni even went so far as to say that Netanyahu was implying a return to Gush Katif in the strip. Realistically speaking, it is doubtful whether Netanyahu actually meant that. As a matter of fact, I’m willing to go out on a limb here (it’s a fairly sturdy limb) and say that Livni was just trying to paint her former Likud party as “Extreme Right Wing” and herself as the pragmatic centrist that, what the heck – she’ll gladly go for another round of unilateral withdrawals.
Mofaz came out indirectly in support of future disengagements as well. He called it, an “historic process that helped keep many Israeli citizens out of harm’s way and gave the army the freedom to act against the terror organizations and the Iranians’ hold on Gaza.”
Uhhh….OK then. Do you think Mofaz is going to break away and join Likud now, with the Mofaz Bill all done and passed (which would allow him to break away from Kadima with 6 other legislators)? With those kinds of positions, I doubt Likud members would vote him in at primary time next round.
So then what will the Mofaz Bill accomplish, if not bait him to join Bibi? Splitting Labor and hurting his own coalition seems like a reasonable possibility.
Are you ready for a OneJerusalem quick analysis of Knesset Mayhem?
Keep that circus music in your head now as you read this. By the numbers, PM Netanyahu’s coalition is 74 seats made up of 6 parties. He now wants to pass a bill called the “Mofaz Bill” which would allow for 7 Knesset members to break away from a party and form their own faction. This bill is named after the guy on the right, number 2 on Kadima, currently in the 46-member opposition, who has been irking to join the government against the wishes of his party leader Tzipi Livni, and who has 7 MK’s from his faction that he could break off and join Likud with. Netanyahu wants to do this to break up Kadima, a 28-member faction, down to 21.
Meanwhile, another Kadima MK has thrown a monkey wrench into the shoe factory by sticking an addendum to the bill which would allow 4 MK’s to break off instead of 7. He did this because of the 4 “Labor Rebels” who are technically part of Netanyahu’s government, but sure as heck don’t want to be. They are these guys:
From left to right, Eitan Cabel, Amir Peretz, Yuli Tamir, and Shelly Yachimovich. If 4 can break off, then these four might break off from the 13-seat Labor faction, which Labor leader Ehud Barak, who is part of the government, sure doesn’t want, so would he support the bill? That’s the monkey wrench.
Many people don’t like these moves because they change the rules of the game in the middle of the game. Now, to get into the nitty gritty, Netanyahu also wants to pass a land reform bill which would allow private citizens to own land instead of leasing it from the Israel Lands Administration. The current set up is meant to prevent the sale of land to non Jews who may slowly buy up the state from Jews and keep it. Netanyahu, last week, failed to pass this law because various members of his coalition ran out of the plenum in the middle of the vote so it wouldn’t pass. He got angry, tabled the bill at the last second, and threatened to fire ministers who didn’t support it the next time around.
Now, the 3-member Jewish Home faction is threatening not to vote for the land reform bill round 2 if Netanyahu doesn’t support the Slomiansky Bill, another game changer meant to allow one MK from each faction to retire from the Knesset if named a minister and get his seat back if he is fired from the government. This is meant to allow Jewish Home number 4 Nissan Slomiansky into the Knesset if Jewish Home number 1 Daniel Hershkovitz, Sport Minister, retires from the Knesset.
This is a limited Norwegian Law, and the reason a full one isn’t being passed is that Netanyahu would rather be seen in his underwear than pass a full Norwegian Law that would see over 10 Likud ministers retire from the Knesset and Netanyahu’s arch enemy Moshe Feiglin get in and cause him trouble.
In return, Netanyahu is threatening not to support the Slomiansky Bill if Jewish Home doesn’t support the Land Bill (support of which is needed for it to pass), who in return is threatening not to support the Mofaz Bill if Netanyahu doesn’t support the Slomiansky bill.
Basically, if any of this circus makes too many people unhappy, the government falls and we go to elections again.
Meanwhile, Iran continues to build nuclear weapons. Numbers really don’t matter so much when it comes to that minor detail.
That’s it for this week’s installment of “Israeli Knesset and Me.”
Ehud Barak is playing hard to get with Tzipi Livni, being the last politician to avoid her so far. But we’ve seen how hard to get he had been with Olmert, despite all his promises to resign the government. (hard as a *****)
What has suddenly changed? Tzipi will proceed exactly where Olmert left off, and that’s exactly what Barak himself demanded a few months back.
Obviously this is a tactic move, part of the negotiation process — but would we see him similarly avoiding Shaul Mofaz, had the former Chief of Staff were elected Kadima chairman? Probably not. I believe Barak is only doing this because Livni’s a woman, and he thinks it’d be easy to throw her off balance.
Yes, he fits the sexist type.
BTW (Off topic),
Don’t have a ticket to go see Paul McCartney at the park on Thursday? No worries! Channel 10 will broadcast the whole event live!
The primary of the Kadima party is about to take place this Wednesday. The two front-runners are the Minister of Foreign Affairs Ms. Tzipi Livni, and the Minister of Transportation, Mr. Shaul Mofaz. The person who will be elected by the Kadima party members is very likely to replace Ehud Olmert as Israel’s next Prime Minister.
Shaul Mofaz boasts his experience as the IDF’s General Chief of Staff, but not many people know that Tzipi Livni has had her own share of “rough” experience. It’s been revealed in the news in the past few weeks that Livni served in the Mossad while in her 20’s, and that she was stationed in Paris for a period of time. Obviously there’s no mention of what she was doing there, and she cannot brag about that chapter in her life, but it leaves one wondering how much we don’t actually know of this woman. As an avid news reader, I still have no clue where she stands on many of the issues, and what she plans to do in case she enters the PM office.
This is Tzipi Livni 12 years ago:
The Kadima primary is just a few weeks away, and there are currently 4 candidates. Avi Dichter, one of the candidates, suggested having a televised debate, where the candidates can voice their opinions on the urging matters of the Israeli society. However, Minister of Transportation, Shaul Mofaz refuses to participate in such a debate, making the suggestion virtually pointless. Mr. Dichter is very unpleased with Mofaz’ refusal, and he may even push to have a 3-way debate instead.
As I’ve previously mentioned here on the blog, political debates do only good, no matter the political context.