a different side of Israel

Tag: Politics (page 3 of 6)

Political Shakshuka the new Israeli Government

Israel finally has a new government, 30 ministers and 7 assistant ministers in all. It appears that the new prime minister (or should I say renewed P.M.) and none other than Bibi Netanyahu, had to give out a lot of new jobs to a lot of new people just to satisfy them, including those from political parties whose overall platforms Bibi and his Likud Party doesn’t usually agree with.

Liberman GladiatorThe new government, when sitting for their first photo session on Wednesday April 1, which was also April Fools Day, looked more like that Middle Eastern tomato and egg dish known as Shakshuka. In fact many observers are calling the new government just that – a “political Shakshuka” of people who ordinarily are screaming at each other during parliamentary sessions, or just ignoring each other at best. Bibi had to really throw a political bone to his new foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, whose Israel Our Home Party managed to get 15 Knesset seats in the February 11 election. Lieberman didn’t waste any time in announcing that he would not allow any of the West Bank to be given away to the Palestinians, and does not agree to a peace deal with them. I’m not referring at all to that bunch of low life’s in the Gaza Strip, but to that “other bunch” who sit in Yassir Arafat’s old headquarters in Ramalla.

For those of you not aware, Shakshuka is a tasty dish made by throwing red peppers, tomato sauce, eggs, an a number of spices into a pan and cooking them together for about half an hour. This mixture of ingredients has caused the dish to be named as such; Shakshuka, meaning a mishmash of things thrown together.

Poor Tzipi Livni, now Head of the Opposition, has to sit this one out like Bibi did the last go-around when the Likud only managed to get 11 seats. Now it’s her turn to pout, and many are wondering if her Kadima Party might wind up going into melt-down like Tommy Lapid’s Shinui (Change) party did a few years back. Golda Meir she isn’t, but I’m sure we haven’t seen the last of her, and she may even wind up getting the last laugh, when this new government of strange bedfellows finds out they really can’t function as a team. Her image as foreign minister was surely a lot better than this Russian guy who has given Israeli Arabs an ultimatum to “shit or get off the pot”, meaning they better start packing if they aren’t prepared to give a loyalty oath to the Jewish State in which they live.

Other new cabinet members, especially those “good old boys” who have been intensely loyal to Mr. Netanyahu in his darkest moments, have been rewarded; especially Dr. Yuval Steinitz, who appears to be about as qualified for his post as Amir Peretz was as defense minister under the first part of the Olmert regime. But that’s the spoils system for you as has often been the case in American politics as well.

We’ll all have to see whether this new “shakshuka” aspect of Israeli political life will work out. At least one silver lining is already apparent in this possible cloud: a guy named Ehud Olmert is no longer presiding over the entire mess.

What happened in Italy last night

What happened in Italy last night

We didn’t expect what you see in this picture. This is the square of the Italian Parliament in Rome, Piazza Montecitorio: You can see the Palace on top of the square, and in front a lot of Israeli flags. That was last night from 6:30 to 9:30 pm. What you cannot see here, is the extraordinary number of members of Parliament, about 100 from all political sides, that took the stage during this time: for about three hours we were speaking about the role of Israel, its right to self defense, its moral height, its fight on behalf of us all, of our civilization and values, against the wild hate of the Islamic jihad represented by Hamas.

It seems to me that for the first time in the too long history of the Arab/Israeli conflict, apart from a minority of crazy leftists and fascists that took the street with anti-Semitic slogans, we have achieved a huge consensus on one critical point: this is not a local conflict, there is nothing in it that reminds us of a peace theme that has characterized the Palestinian issue. This is an attack against the western world, and Iran is behind it.

The change of attitude is great: the terrorist and religious nature of Hamas and the democratic, civilized nature of Israel are seen face to face for what they really are at least by the European elite at large, dead and wounded notwithstanding, and there rises an identification with Israel against a regime that uses human shields and promises slaughter of Jews in its charter.

What happens today, at least in Italy, is the defeat and fall of the leftist ideologies: ideology that has allowed justification of all the most violent crimes and most disgusting verbal attacks. If Arafat launched the terrorist Intifada, if he promoted the martyrdom of children in public speeches, the ideologists were ready to justify him with the issues of occupation, the Palestinian misery and loss of any hope. Not so with Hamas.

History, in Italy, has brought to a profound crisis the ideology of revolution and the justification of any cruel attack against a so-called unjust imperialist order. That time is over, nobody will see Hamas as the resolution of the problem and not even as the problem itself. I think that the word “peace” has lost that healing meaning that it once had. The new non-ideological point of view sees that there is no peace when one of the contenders doesn’t want it, and that even if the world in the short run asks for a truce, in the long run it hopes for the defeat of Hamas.

Last night, many people, Ministers and Members of Parliament, composed a very new, interesting mix of opinions. I think that when you are not overwhelmed by exotic thirdworldism, the images of children educated as hate machines, the speeches of jihad leaders, from Ahmadinejad to Nasrallah, to Haniyeh, that deny the holocaust and promise death to Jewish and Christians alike, you are left only with disgust. Westerners, thank God, can still be disgusted by uncivilized levels of political speech.

But most of all, in the Parliament square, many of the Parliament Members said: “I love Israel”.

You can’t imagine how many.

Fiamma Nirenstein

Fiamma Nirenstein, a journalist and some-time resident of Jerusalem, is a new Member of the Italian Parliament who is outspoken on Israel’s behalf. She writes below that there is increasing understanding of what Israel is facing in its current war against Hamas.

The main election issues in Israel

Avigdor Liberman

Parliamentary elections are only a few days away, and ongoing pre-election polls are trying to determine what the most important issues are in regards to which political party, or parties, in Israel’s usual governmental coalition formations afterwards will wind up forming the next government.

livniIn the aftermath of the just completed 22 day military operations in Gaza, and the continued firing of rockets and mortars into Israel by Hamas and other Palestinian extremists, it would appear that the security issue is the one that will be on the top list of most voters when they step into voting booths on February 10. The problems dealing with the country’s security, especially for Israelis living in Israel’s southern regions and northern areas near Lebanon, as well as the problem of dealing with Iran and its nuclear program; has resulted in parties like Binyamin Netanyahu’s Likud party and Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beitanu gaining so much in the pre-election opinion polls.

barakSecurity is a very important issue, and will always be so in a country still largely surrounded by hostile enemies. But as important as this issue may be, there are many others that need the most urgent attention. And two of these issues are the country’s dire water problem and the economic recession that the country’s population is now “officially” immersed in. Both of issues are none-the-less serious than the security one, and may even be eventually more difficult to deal with.

The water problem, or it’s increasingly lack of, is a very major concern due to one of the driest winters in the country’s history; which follows a number of below-average rainy seasons that has brought the current water in the Kinneret as well as the mountain and coastal aquifers to levels so low that it will soon reach an irreversible state. Apparent lack of proper government attention to this problem has resulted in a state where water may have to be actually imported in large quantities just to satisfy the population’s basic household needs. Much of this problem could have been averted years ago if enough emphasis had been put on building desalinization plants along Israel’s Mediterranean coastline. Although a few of these plants were built, such as the one in Ashdod, at least 20 more should have been constructed. An example of how some countries have solved their water problems by desalinization is how Persian Gulf Emirate countries have been able to build beautiful futuristic cities which have virtually all their fresh water needs supplied by this method. One Emirate state, Dubai, even constructed a ski slope within an ultra-modern shopping and entertainment complex. Had Israeli governmental authorities followed this example Israel might now have at least 30-50% of its water needs supplied this way.

bibiThe other major problem deals with the state of the economy, in which thousands of people, many of them engaged in technology based industries, are now unemployed and having to look for any kind of work just to put food on the table for their families. Although the world economic crises, which began in the U.S.A. several months ago, is not of Israel’s making the result has created a recession which is most likely to worsen before it gets better. The weaker elements of society, especially the old, the disabled, and the poorer sectors of the population, are suffering the most as they had virtually no reserves to fall back on even before the stock markets began to crash. Lowering prime interest rates to all time levels (now at 1%) doesn’t help much if one has no money to spend anyway. And Israel’s dependence on exporting goods and services to certain economically stressed markets, like the U.S.A., has resulted in a sharp reduction of cash flow to most companies, not to mention small businesses.

Taking all of these issues into account, there will be a lot of things on peoples’ minds on Tuesday when they vote to elect their country’s leadership for the next few years.

Crime is Contagious

A new research done in the Netherlands reconfirms a known social fact: Crime is contagious.

“But what do you do when the entire political system is corrupted and cynical? How can you avoid being infected?”


This is the sort of thoughts that go through my head, through many people’s heads. In February, we’ll arrive at the polling station with apathy.

So how can I avoid being infected with apathy?

The US Elections and Israel

I was asked to provide my take on the Impact of the US elections on Israel. I got a little carried away….
In terms of the US elections and impact on Israel.

I think that the impact is significant and that we are all aware of it especially in these hard financial times. The relationship between Israel and the US is historically close and obviously there is a genuine interest in keeping that relationship going. Just from the fact that out of 3 major TV channels at least 2 are showing all week long specials on the elections and the candidates, you realize that the interest level is more then casual.

Impact is a scary word. It can sometimes refer to an adverse effect and I think some people are worried about that with Obama – especially when compared with McCain. McCain is “more of the same” and in this race seems to be the “sure thing” in terms of Israel. He is a Naval Academy grad and an “old army man” (I know the pun…) so that makes him good for Israel. The unknown here is Obama. Will Obama be good for Israel seems to be the million dollar question and the papers and commentators in Israel ask it all the time. But media fed fear is a great ratings/money maker and so I don’t really consider it a good basis for a decision.

I look at a combination of the Job and the Man. I think the presidency of the world’s largest corporation is a difficult gig and brings with it a very steep learning curve. I think that many “presidents to be” had one set of rock solid opinions when they stepped up to the plate and then faced with the realities of the land, the advice of experienced consultants and even previous leaders arrived at different decisions when it came down to executing strategy. Israel and the Middle East is
a traditional “Hot Potato” – period. It’s a foreign policy swamp/nightmare for any US president because of the strategic importance of the area and the volatile population in the region. Finding a steady partner in that swamp is the only way to wade through this particular swamp and this is a lesson that every US president in the last 50 years has had to learn, pretty much the first week on the job.

Now for the man. I like Obama. I think he will be first of all – good for America. I think more of the same is not a good idea for so many obvious reasons. I also think the idea of bringing in a man that will finish his first term of presidency at the age of 76 and the second term (maybe..) at the age of 80 is a problem, especially considering the second in command is an Alaskan with a set of values taken from the middle ages.

Obama is a political loner and in many cases even an outsider. I also don’t think of him as black. He is a determined, dynamic, educated, new world, self made man. He has been able to learn and adapt quickly. He has been able to learn from his mistakes. And, he has been able to stand and fight when needed. All important qualities for a future president.

I also think that these are the characteristics that make this candidate very likely to learn the importance of Israel to the US and value the long standing relationship with this country.

In the long run the Clean & Green policy that Obama wants to move forward will start to reduce the impact of the Middle East on the rest of the world. You need to make that assumption carefully because not “all things remain equal” in this world, but that is a possibility. I also see that as a positive development because it will make the countries in the region look at developing other resources and capabilities in their respective countries and that might actually mean a higher education
rate and real social progress – which of course means less room for fundamentalism and ignorance.
Who knows….

Do not forget Gilad

Since Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev had been lay to rest, the topic of Gilad Shalit has largely disappeared from the media. As cynical as it may sound, Gilad’s parents don’t manage to draw enough attention or to foster enough sympathy as did Karnit, Ehud’s widow.

Despite the overwhelming support the Israeli public had for the “deal” with Hezbollah, it was still controversial, and it has made the public reluctant to release more prisoners in the near future. And on top of this all, Olmert’s resignation and the scuffles of his successors will continue to draw our attention for at least another month. So Gilad’s pleas are now placed on the back burner, and I find it very disturbing.

I urge everyone in the Israeli public and the Israeli media to keep this issue at the top of our national concerns and at the top of the headlines. The time to free Gilad is NOW.

Communist Lawyer to Bid for Tel Aviv Mayorship

Human Narration on

Dr. Dov Khenin is a respected Knesset member and is currently co-chairing the Knesset’s largest lobby, the Socio-Environmental Lobby. He’s a prominent member of the Israeli Communist Party (nowadays part of the Hadash political party).

This morning Dr. Khenin announced he’s joining the race for the mayorship of Tel Aviv. The municipal elections are set to take place on November.

City for All

This is big news for the residents of Tel Aviv, and although Dov and his Hadash party may not have much influence in the national arena, they have rather good chances to make a big impact in this seaside metropolis.

Why would anyone want to be a politician – Part 2

Barack Obama finally clinched the desired amount of delegates to win the Democratic Party nomination. I searched the internet and tried to locate a speech or a statement in which Obama declares why he decided to enter the presidential race. I couldn’t find it — and I’d thank the readers if they could refer me to such an instance. Yes, he’s constantly declaring why he’d be a better president than the other candidates, but it’s not the same as revealing your personal motives for hopping into the political swamp.

Yesterday I took upon myself to map the possible motives that drive people into the political arena, arranging these motives within three categories: Pragmatic Reasons, Psychological Deficiencies, and Moral Imperatives. Today I want to cover the remaining two categories….

Obama plays Superman

B. The Psychological Deficiencies that haunt politicians:

1) Frank (fictional name) had a difficult mom. She was always disappointed of him. Later in life, he felt intimidated around successful people. See, Frank has issues of self esteem. So he took an intimate oath to prove the world he’s worth more than it seems at first glance. No less important, he needs to prove to himself that he’s a man, that he can achieve something major in life. At night he dreams how he looks down at his former classmates and say to them “Look at me now! You didn’t believe I’d make it this far, did you?”. Well, what signifies success better than being a top-rank politician?

2) Margaret (Frank’s fictional colleague) dislikes uncertainty. In fact, she can’t stand it. She always has a pesky need to know “what’s happening”, and “who’s playing against whom”. In other words, Margaret is a control-freak. She doesn’t like to take directives from others, and she’d be infuriated if you leave her “out of the loop”. Her psychiatrist claims she has trust issues, but she doesn’t trust his diagnosis. She ventured into politics because everyone else is so inept, and it’s about time things would be done her way.

C. Finally, some politicians do what they do not because they want to, but because they feel obliged to help other people:

1) Obama (a fictional character?) looks around him and feels a great discontent with the way things are being done at the present. Many people are suffering, and he dreams of making a difference. He’s an idealist, and couldn’t be idly sitting by when action needs to be taken. He doesn’t like to get his hands dirty, but whenever he tried in the past to avoid being socially and politically involved, he quickly became restless and anguished with feelings of guilt. Can he turn his back to all these children, crying out his name for help?

…Nevertheless, his critics accuse him of having the same condition as Margaret. At least she doesn’t cover up her need for control with delusional thoughts.

2) Bush (a real-life phenomenon) has a calling. God sent him on a mission to save humanity. His church leaders urged him to spread their values across the country and in the lands of the infidels. He’s doing what he has to do, merely executing what’s been asked of him. Along the way, he’s also securing his place in heaven above.

Unfortunately, Moral Imperatives are the worst of the Psychological Deficiencies politicians can have.

Do I have a conclusion? Yes – Choose your candidate on the basis of his platform. Whatever drives him to put forth a certain platform doesn’t really matter, as long as his psychological/moral/financial needs go hand in hand with our political agenda.

Why would anyone want to be a politician – Part 1

As Israel stands on the verge of possible general elections, and America is nearing the end of its primary season, each of us — as private citizens — has to make up his mind, and pick his favourite candidate. How should we tackle this crucial task? Should I choose to vote solely on the basis of the candidate’s promises? Her past record? And what about personality? It’s a proven fact that personality plays a critical factor in this decision.

Hollow PoliticiansBut then, what aspects of personality should I take into account? His family status? Do I find it significant whether she displays herself as a warm and open character, or as a bold and intelligent person? And finally, what about his motives? Should I care why he made it into politics in the first place — Would it imply how good of a politician he might play out to be?

I want to list the major factors that drive different people into the violent fields of the political game. I don’t think we could ever really know what motivates a certain person — mostly, he doesn’t fully know it himself. Nevertheless, defining these possible motives is something I would like to attempt here today.

Please note that the human psyche is a very complex phenomena. Accordingly, each person may accommodate a range of different — and even opposite — motives at the same time, at different ratios. These ratios may change over time. Yes, (some) people do change.

Okay, enough with the chit-chat… let’s start: We can divide the factors that drive a certain person into politics to three distinctive categories: Pragmatic Reasons, Psychological Deficiencies, and Moral Imperatives.

A. What Pragmatic Reasons are there?

1) A person who isn’t especially good at anything discovers that the political arena doesn’t require special skills or a university diploma. He has to make money somehow, and it’s the only place where he could find a job.

2) Another person ventured into politics to make a change. He’s in the game for twenty-thirty years. He’s already lost the spark many years ago. Cynicism covers him as he lies in bed, and indifference walks beside him as he enters another lobbyist’s gathering. But it’s now a habit. It’s too late to change profession after so many years.

3) A third person tried to make money in the private sector. Then he realized that nepotism is the name of the game; that without publicity, you’re nothing in this world. So he offered himself as president… This way, he could befriend a lot of rich moguls, who would line up to invest in his new business when he resigns office. Or he’ll be invited to sit in a corporate board of directors. Or he’ll travel the world and charge $1,000,000 for a single lecture. There’s also a book deal around the corner… But seriously, even if he isn’t one of the lucky few who exit politics straight into the tight embrace of Capitalism, he can still arrange a nice job for his niece, or have the bureaucratic leverage to receive a delicious bribe or two. (In short: Politics is a way to develop business relations, and to earn a high Market Value for oneself.)

Tomorrow I will continue this post.

Breaking News — Israeli politics on the verge of a microphone

Breaking News

Ehud Barak gathered a dramatic press conference, and for the fourth time in the past year, told the media that he’s serious this time: “Olmert should resign”.

Another member of Barak’s “Avoda” party, Danny Yatom also went on air today, being overly solemn, and announced that he’s considering… yes, he’s seriously considering… to decide something in the future. What exactly? To leave the Avoda party? To call on Olmert to resign? To demand from Barak to dismantle the government? He wouldn’t say. But just like Barak, he promised to stop talking and start… Well, he’ll talk about it in the future.

Indeed, the political scene in Israel is in turmoil. More details to come as soon as available!

Hurray! Peace with Syria – Political Commentary by Ashley

Guest Commentary

Wait a second – Weren’t we at war with them? What does it mean to announce peace talks with a regime that we vastly outgun in military matters and totally humiliate on an economic level (Israel’s per capita GDP is $30,000 and climbing; Syria’s is just scraping $4,000)?

Israel recently entered Syrian airspace after disabling Syria’s “latest and most advanced” Russian-made air defense systems and then destroyed what’s thought to have been a nuclear weapons facility. Even during the Lebanon War — that mismanaged, mangled, and relatively pathetic display of Israel’s military capabilities — Israeli warplanes were able to buzz “President” Assad’s palace without so much as being shot at.

So, clearly, Syria is a major threat to Israel and we should scramble to give up the ultra-strategic Golan Heights (where Syria attacked Israel from when it actually was a threat) in order to quell the potential “shit-storm” that Syria might like to serve us.

What’s really going on here? No sane nation in today’s geopolitical world, and none in the history of nations, would ever sit down to give away land — strategic land — to a bordering country that not only has limited power but also constantly calls for the destruction of the first, more powerful country.

All I can say is: Welcome to Israeli domestic politics.

We’ve seen this before, many times. The parallels are actually frightening. Let’s rewind back to the winter of 2000, when Ehud Barak led Israel through a number of failed, disastrous policies. In February of 2000, Barak, according to The Economist, was accused by the state comptroller of corruption and “shenanigans over election financing.” Barak, as skillful and slippery as any Israeli politician, managed to sway the public focus away from him by doing something “bold”: he removed Israeli troops from their strategic position in southern Lebanon where they had been keeping Hezbollah (and their likes) at bay.

After the troop withdrawal, Hezbollah had the opportunity to casually saunter into southern Lebanon. In effect, Barak’s wily plan worked — he was praised by the left-wing media for his dovish actions and his campaign imbroglio was largely forgotten. He also, by the way, wiped out more than a decade of hard-won gains in Lebanon that kept terrorists out of firing range of Israel’s population centers. Six years later, we got a terror war from the south of Lebanon in which Israeli soldiers and civilians were murdered.

Ariel Sharon provides another instructive example. Just after he became prime minister, Sharon began to deny accusations of campaign finance violations faster than he could gobble down Shwarmas. Boomerang, a book written by left-wing Israeli journalists and based on extensive interviews as well as on the examination of declassified documents and use of archival material, had made the case that Sharon used the withdrawal from Gaza to distract the Israeli public from his misdoings.

It seemed to work — except for the small annoyance that some call “daily terror attacks”, in the form of Qassam and Katyusha rockets fired from the recently withdrawn-from Gaza Strip. (There have been roughly 8,000 rocket strikes on Israeli ground from Gaza to date since the withdrawal.)

Of course, not a problem for Sharon — then and now — who sleeps with a clear conscience.

Olmert, who, some scientists speculate, may actually be amphibious, has set off on the same mission. A quick browse of today’s news headlines and you can see all the pieces coming together: Olmert announces his new peace plan with our seriously threatening enemy, Syria. At the same time, he wrangles with the police and the justice department officials, in an attempt to delay the testimony of the American financier, Morris Talansky, which could put him behind bars. Delay it just long enough for the peace-crazed public to forget… Forget what, again…?

Olmert may have gone too far this time. But then again, we in Israel like to draw lines in the sand, never remembering that the desert’s political winds blow hard.

Unnatural NATO

President Bush went out on a diplomatic limb yesterday by pushing entrance of Georgia and Ukraine into NATO. His suggestion was roundly rejected by influential NATO member countries France and Germany and so, it seems, Ukrainian and Georgian membership to the military alliance is still a far way off.

Still, Bush actually went to the Ukraine last week to push the case. It’s no secret that the US president is trying to advance a missile defense system and play a little bit of balance of power with Russia, which vehemently opposes basically anything America does east of Vienna.

Bush may have good practical reasons to bring Georgia and Ukraine into NATO and also good ideological ones too, given his policy of spreading democracy to undemocratic places. However, when you think about the move in terms of Israel’s NATO, or non-NATO, position you have to wonder.

Both Ukraine and Georgia have undergone recent revolutions. It’s true that they were non-violent cases, earning them pretty, botanical monikers like the Orange Revolution and Rose Revolution but they were revolutions nonetheless.

More worrying is that both have major secessionists movements going on within their borders. The Ukraine faces serious political problems, as the government was dissolved after only being in power for four months in 2006. The Kremlin also has a troubling hand in Ukrainian politics and power and it’s unclear how deep the Russian roots run.

Hardly what you would consider countries with democratic control over their military, as NATO requires of its potential members.

Israel, on the other hand, does have democratic control over its military. It’s been a democracy for six decades. It is a regional power with significant military capability.

Israel has also stepped up military ties with NATO and NATO members, going so far in friendly relations with the alliance as to participate in wargames. Israel also has developing relations with one of the few regional members, Turkey. Israel’s entrance into NATO could solidify the ties which, from time to time, show signs of slipping.

NATO has also taken a lead in combating Islamic terror and its roots, (filling a space that the UN has left gapingly empty). Israel, needless to say, is on the forefront of this war and has much to contribute.

It’s not entirely clear what the Israeli population feels about a potential entrance into NATO. NATO officials have consistently demured on the Israel issue, talking about “even handedness” and the “step by step process” instead of giving clear answers on NATO policy regarding the Jewish State and the present low level wars with Arab powers.

All this is fair enough. NATO is not just a dance partner but a marriage. The thing that leaves questions hanging in the air is not so much why President Bush came out on behalf of two troubled Eastern European countries while never in his presidency mentioning a word about Israel membership to NATO. The real question is why anyone from NATO members to America’s diplomatic and military echelons to Israel itself finds this acceptable.

Super Tuesday for Israel

Super Tuesday 08
The mega American primary elections known as Super Tuesday are now over in America, and its implication is still to be seen in a Presidential race that is far from over. Many Americans living here in Israel had the chance to vote by absentee ballot. Those who didn’t should find out what needs to be done in order to vote in the main elections in November. Republican Party candidate John McCain appears to be the front runner and likely party candidate when the GOP convention convenes in August. He racked up the largest number of delegates over his rivals Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee. Huckabee, who fared better than many thought he would, wound up winning a number of Southern States, as well some others that might make him a “king maker” at the convention and even force McCain to give him a top cabinet post of even offer the Vice Presidency spot. That will of course depend on how Romney fares in the upcoming primaries as he has many more delegates than “Huck”.

The Democratic side is much more confusing, however, even though Hillary Clinton appears to have won more delegates, due to her winning big states like New York and California. Obama won more states in total and may fare better in upcoming primaries in states like Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Texas, not to mention the District of Columbia which has a large Afro-American population. This race is likely to end up on the floor of the Democratic Party Convention this coming July, and be a real free-for-all.

What this election is gearing up to mean for Israel is how the new Presidential administration will deal with the Jewish State and with its Palestinian and other Arab neighbors. If Hillary Clinton should win the Presidency, she will probably use tactics similar to those her husband Bill used when he tried to put pressure on both Israel and the Palestinians to reach a peace agreement that failed miserably at the Camp David summit in July, 2000. If Barack Obama wins the Presidency, it’s anybody’s guess what will happen, especially in light of Obama’s Muslim influenced childhood; an issue that is still not definitely settled in the eyes of many Americans and Israelis.

As for Republican candidate McCain, his politics seem to fluctuate for ultra conservative to moderate. He has definite ideas concerning America’s Iraq involvement, and has even said that he would keep American troops in Iraq “for a hundred years if necessary”. That’s a bit different than either Hillary or Obama, both of whom favor eventual troop withdrawals. McCain might be a safer bet concerning America’s stand against Iran, though, as his military background makes him understand this kind of a problem more than his Democratic (and Republican) rivals.

Both political parties and their candidates need to understand a few basic points though. The situation in Iraq will not go away on its own, and Al Qaeda and its top leaders are still active and ready to have a go at America again. Iran and its proxies like Hezbollah and Hamas are also ready and waiting for the right opportunities, as we here in Israel are acutely aware of. And a worsening of the American economy will be bad for everyone, especially here in Israel.

So as the race heats up in the U.S. elections, all we in Israel can do is hope that the “flack” from it won’t come down too hard on our heads – literally!

Who is Barack Obama

I read the comments and emails that came in and I agree. This isn’t right and I can’t back any of this up.
The Post has been removed !

The Urban Legend is at

Video Interviews on Sderot, The Palestinians and The Future

A new video by Noah Ickowitz – A Closer Look: The Politics and Future of Israel, questions on Sderot, life in Israel, our future and the Palestinians…

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