This month’s War and Peace Index is out. Who wants to know what Israelis think now? Unfortunately, that’s almost impossible, since polls can only give indications of trends, and minds change so quickly that it may actually be a good thing that the government falls every two years. People need to keep reassessing their decisions and do some nice zigzagging.
Anyway, here’s what the War and Peace Index found. 66% of respondents believe that building should continue everywhere in Jerusalem, since Jewish sovereignty over the city is indisputable. Those who disapproved of this idea were primarily Labor and Meretz voters, who don’t make up much of the electorate any more these days.
This data could prove, as they say in the media every other day, to be a “stumbling block for the peace process,” as Mahmoud Abbas yesterday suddenly announced that he is no longer interested in East Jerusalem. He now, as reported by Israel Hayom newspaper, wants the whole thing. Oof. I don’t think giving up the Jewish quarter would be such a popular hit these days in Jewish circles. Maybe we should keep it after all.
In terms of Barack Obama, 46% see him as pro Arab, 31% as neutral, and a whopping 7% as pro Israel. Why don’t these things ever add up to 100%?
What about Operation Cast Lead? That’s a little more confusing, and I donâ€™t really understand it. Apparently, 43% believe soldiers accounts of the war (that they didn’t intentionally shoot civilians and things like that), but 47% do not. However, 76% are of the opinion that no further investigation into the war is required.
Almost half thing that fishy stuff when on, but three quarters don’t want to investigate anymore? This sounds a bit strange. Perhaps there was a loaded or tilted question in there that people got confused about.
These were strange elections. The “Right Block” (of political parties) and the “Center Block” have achieved a problematic tie, while the “Left Block” has been brutally crushed by its (lack of) voters.
Ehud Barak, a former Prime Minister, current Minister of Defense, and chairman of the Avoda (Israeli Labor Party), was the first party leader to carry a speech last night, soon after the exit polls were announced at 10pm. Among other things, in his “Defeat Speech” — as it was quickly declared by the news media — he warned that his party isn’t afraid of sitting in the opposition. Other prominent members of the Avoda are now echoing the same message. “We need to listen to our constituency, and to rebuild ourselves in the opposition”, they are saying.
A similar scenario is also taking place in Meretz, the socialist Left party, who now remains with merely 3 seats in the Knesset. (The Israeli parliament holds 120 seats). Zehava Gal-On, who apparently just lost her place in the Knesset, also wants to see her party “laying a new ideological foundation” in the opposition rows.
It seems that “sitting in the opposition” has become the preferred solution to any parliamentary decline. Indeed, the public gets weary of ruling parties more than he does of opposition parties. And it is much easier to keep your campaign promises when you are not confronted with the fierce pressures of the coalition, which sometimes demand very difficult compromises.
However, I do believe that any political party should at least attempt to enter the coalition, as long as it is able to maintain its core values and to deliver at least some of its promises. It’s all too “easy” to turn away from the heat.
Yes, some parties are too obsessed with being a part of the coalition, willing to sell away their constituency for an overpriced seat by the government table — yet others are all too shy of it. Remember that
Change comes from within.
The Israeli municipal elections are taking place November 11. The race in Tel Aviv particularly is gathering much attention this year.
City for All is one party that is receiving a lot of publicity from supporting residents, whom you can see walk the streets wearing the party t-shirts. The blogosphere is also very abuzz with support for this specific party.
Another party who runs for city council is Meretz. It is a well-established leftist party, which has been around for much longer, and is holding a very similar agenda to City for All.
Ofer Fein and Eran Neufeld produced an amusing animated clip, which aims to make the point that Meretz is already fighting — and has been fighting for a long time — all the battles that several new niche parties are trying to claim for themselves.
The video features the voice of a clueless girl who doesn’t know which way to vote. She makes a list of all the issues that exist in the race (each issue with its own niche party): Housing and transportation, the environment, the gay community, animal welfare, Jaffa, young people’s rights, the elderly. Eventually, she realized Meretz has credentials for taking care of all these issues.