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Dec 29, 2008

Only one way to influence the next government

There is only one way to stop Bibi Netanyahu from turning the next government, if it is tasked to form the next coalition, into another version of the outgoing government, and turning the Likud into just another Kadima.

That would be to vote Likud.

The only way to keep Bibi from doing what Sharon did is to make sure that the Likud is a strong right-wing party, as independant as it can be from the pressures of the smaller parties it aligns with.

The Ichud Leumi, Bayit Yehudi, Shas, UTJ and other religious and right-wing parties will not be able to protect Eretz Yisrael. The religious parties do not consider Eretz Yisrael to be a priority (they have shown that by either voting to give away parts in the past or by sitting in governments that did), and the right-wing parties have no influence on government.

Yes, if the Likud wins the upcoming elections, they might form a coalition government with the right-wing parties (if they do not go the route of a national unity government), but that will not give the right-wing parties any influence on wht actually happens. They will have no leverage against Netanyahu, and no way of stopping him from "pulling a Sharon".

If they threaten to pull out and topple Netanyahu's government, Bibi can always turn to Kadima and Labor, among others, to support a disastrous agreement.

The right-wing and religious parties will have no influence. The religious parties willremain highly sectoral, simply concerned about their small slice of the pie in the form of obtaining money for their people, and the right-wing parties will do nothing, as they have done nothing for the past 25 years.

On the other hand, if the Likud is a large list, getting upwards of 40 seats or more, the Eretz Yisrael loyalists in the high-30s of the list will get in. From within the Likud, and only from within the Likud, can Netanyahu be reigned in. The guys high up in the 30s, working together with the great guys lower down, can subvert the desire of Netanyau and his centrist gusy in the middle to "pull a Sharon".

That is the only way. Vote Likud and protect Eretz Yisrael.


  1. The only problem with voting Likud is it will validate Bibi's insane obsession against Feiglin.

  2. Right on, Rafi.
    And even more importantly (and pardon me for using your blog to advertise my own postings, but I hope you'll agree with the ends), here is why you should join the Likud - now.

  3. Right on?? "The only way to keep Bibi from doing what Sharon did is to make sure that the Likud is a strong right-wing party, as independent as it can be from the pressures of the smaller parties it aligns with."

    I'm in shock, Rafi. Sharon had 40 seats! THAT IS WHAT ENABLED HIM to do the things he did. If all of the true right wingers had voted for the true right wing parties there would still be Jews living in Gaza. But instead they voted for a party that acts as a centrist party at best and it strengthened them to the point where they were able to kick all of the Jews out of Gaza. That doesn't happen if the Likud doesn't get 40 seats. You're imploring people to not let Bibi do what Sharon did by doing exactly what enabled Sharon to do what he did. Am I missing something?

  4. Not to mention that Bibi is already in favor with forming a coalition with Kadima and Labor. So you’re vote for the Likud is a vote for a Kadima government. While a vote for a true right wing party is one less vote for a Kadima government.

  5. Sharon had a party loaded with yes men. The Likud, especially if you include the numbers in the upper 30s, are not yes men to Bibi. There are some in the middle, but not the rest. The right wing parties cannot prevent Bibi from doing anything. Only by getting all the "ne'emanei eretz yisrael" in the Likud into the Knesset will it be at all possible.

    What can Bibi do? leave Likud and form his own party like Sharon did? Been there done that. He has to have his hands tied, even just a bit, and that can only happen within the Likud. Nobody on the outside can have any chance of that at all.

  6. Nobody on the outside can stop him only if you make the Likud a monster of a party. You know how to prevent that from happening?-by not voting for the Likud! The non-yes men are in the 30s. There are a whole lot of people in front of them who will support Bibi. Why empower them just to get to the 30s, when your vote for a right wing party would go straight to someone who believes in what you believe in?

  7. And I really don’t understand this claim that right wing parties don’t matter. The point is they are right wing votes. 1 or 2 more right wing votes in 2004/2005 and – and I can’t stress this enough – there would have been no disengagement. Now THAT is power. I think this claim started with Moshe Feiglin who kept complaining that the Likud could not be stopped from the outside. He was then just as unsuccessful in stopping it from the inside. Yes, he also couldn’t stop the monster of Sharon’s Likud, but at least the small right-wing parties didn’t help make the monster the way that he did.

    My point is - right wing voters should learn from their mistakes. Had we all voted for National Union in the Sharon-Barak election, we would have stopped Sharon. But due to all sorts of miscalculations, we voted for the Likud – a party that acts to the left of what we truly believe – and we paid for it. We really should learn from our mistakes. Vote for a party that will vote in the Knesset how you would vote. Don’t vote for a party that is filled with people who won’t vote in line with your views, just because there are people in the 30s who are spot-on. It’s not worth it.

  8. I'm sorry, I feel completely disenfranchised.

    I went to the Beit Shemesh Likud meeting with Yuval Steinitz and thought it was clear where Likud was headed. But now Bibi seems to be moving to Kadima lite.

    Not interested.

  9. Bibi has always been like that, and it was always clear that with Bibi as the head of the Likud, this is how he would pull the Likud. Yuval Steinitz is a good guy, especially on defense matters. But if you know a bit of his history and beliefs, you would know he is a solid Bibi guy who will support whatever Bibi decides.

    Ichud Leumi actually looks good now that Ketzaleh is number 1. He is a good guy and I have met him a number of times in the past. He has integrity and he has his history.

    But the Likud is the party to lead Israel, and the only way to influence leadership is by being part of it.

  10. But you're not influencing anything. You're just strengthening someone who you don't want to lead us.

  11. The problem with your approach is "ein Ladvar Sof". Likud at present isn't polling in the high 30's so voting based on who is in those spots doesn't seem to make sense. I think voting on them should depend on what you think of Netanyahu, the list as a whole, and large vs. small parties.

  12. This is a very difficult pill for me to swallow, too. The obvious and intuitive logic, as Zevy said, is rather to have more MKs who definitely support your politics than a mixed blended of rightists and leftists from the Likud.

    But listen to Rafi's argument. Bibi's strength comes only from the Likud party. Only the Likud MKs sit in his caucus, and only the Likud MKs have the slightest hope of influencing him l'tova. The Likud list is very strongly right-wing (not everything the media/Kadima/Labor/Meretz says is necessarily false). The list from 30 and up is especially strongly pro-Eretz Yisrael - and that's the region of the list that we are fighting for now.

    The reason why Sharon was able to do whatever he wanted was because the Likud list then was a bunch of yes-men that he and Omri had managed to finagle into the Knesset. There were 14 people who stood strong against Sharon, and they gave him 100 times more headaches than all of the NU, Mafdal, Shas and YB put together. UTJ he simply bought out. But almost all of those 14 mordim are back in the Likud list again, plus a very strong array of other right-wing candidates who will not be such a pushover as the last crowd.

    Netanyahu does not care what NU, Bayit Yehudi or any other party does - they are all interchangeable as coalition partners. If one of them gets too uppity, he'll just dump them and take somebody else into his coalition in their place. But if his own Likud faction rebels against him, he cannot survive. The only reason why he would be the PM is because the Likud is backing him; if the Likud drops him, he will not be able to lead a Kadima/Labor coalition without the Likud!

    Most importantly, he will not even be selected as the candidate to form a government if Likud does not get more seats than Kadima. For this reason alone it is important to vote Likud - otherwise Livni will be forming the next govt, C"V.

    There's also a philosophical point here: if you really believe in the US-style two-party state, then you should be walking the talk, too. Don't reward the splinter parties (including the religious ones) with your vote. Start a trend, and make it clear that real power only lies within the Likud. Hopefully more people will, like Effie Eitam, realize that this is the future, disband their little splinter factions and join the Likud to be part of the real action.

  13. As far as Bibi forming the next government then the Likud with 30 seats and Ichud Haleumi with 6 is the same as Ichud Haleumi with 4 and the Likud 32 because the "right wing" block is the same.

    The president doesn't necessarily ask the largest party to form a government but rather (after consulting with the elected members of kneset) the party that has the best chance of forming a government.

    Both Bibi (in his first government) and Sharon had internal Likud opposition to the Hevron agreement and the gerush from gush katif but they still managed to get their way by giving the right people the right jobs and this time a large Likud won't make any difference even if a few Likud MKs will "rebel"

    Bibi is determined to have a national unity government with Kadima and Labor. If the Likud is large and Kadima small then Kadima will go along with it but if Kadima is a around the size of Likud they may prefer to be a strong opposition and then Bibi will be left with no choice but to form a government with the other right wing parties.

    And most importantly is VOTE FOR WHAT YOU BELIEVE IN. For the first in a long time I feel I can now vote lechatchila. In previous elections there were lists where certain candidates were "parve" and the other lists which had good candidates didn't pass the threshold. Now with the Ichud Haleumi going together with Marzel's representative we have a good list which will get elected to the kneset. Who knows, if Ichud Haleumi does well we could see Katzaleh as housing minister and that will definitely be good for Yesha and all of Eretz Yisrael.

  14. Unfortunatley, we can forget all of this, b/c with the Gaza war going on, I think Kadima is a shoe in in the next elections. This war was an absoultley fantastic political maneuver by Barak and Livni. I detest these people, but I have to take my hat off to them. Kol Hakavod to them for this sheer briliance. They deserve a win in the next election, just due to this war - The voters now know that they can %100 trust Kadima (and even Labour)( to protect them!

  15. Anon 11:56 - I only hope and pray that Israelis aren't as stupid as you think they are.

  16. You know what, on reflection, I'm not even bothered by the prospect of Kadima & Labor making political gains from this war. IMO, it is a practical certainty that they are going to screw up this "Operation Cast Lead", just like they screwed up Lebanon II.

    The script practically writes itself: after a (relatively) successful campaign of air-based strikes, it becomes clear that they cannot stop the missiles being launched at the South of Israel. Chas veshalom they should treat this like an actual war lest enemy civilians get caught in the crossfire, so they send in the ground troops instead. Casualties start mounting to the Sonei Yisrael (sagi nahor), and they just can't root out those dang wabbits. Women in Black makes a reappearance, the Tel Aviv university students and other anarchists start demonstrating against the war, photos and bios of all the soldiers are splashed all over the newspapers, pressure from the international community and the local media becomes unbearable... until Israel is forced to sue for a ceasefire, without Gilad Schalit, without any regime change, without anything to show except having inflicted some temporary damage to Hamas's infrastructure and a bunch of rubble in the cities of Gaza.

    Both sides, of course, will proclaim victory...

  17. I just took another look at the official Likud list, particularly at the positions 31-40, which is where the battleground appears to be.

    The people in those positions are:
    31. Keti Shitreet (Right)
    32. Keren Barak (Left)
    33. Sagiv Asulin (Right)
    34. Boaz Haetzni (Right)
    35. Guy Yifrach (not sure)
    36. Moshe Feiglin (Right)
    37. Michi Razton (Right)
    38. Ehud Yatom (Right)
    39. Shalom Lerner (Right)
    40. Osnat Mark (Right)

    That's 8 out of 10 known right-wingers, most of whom would be mordim against any untoward plans Bibi might come up with. These people would be much more of a thorn in his side than any number of NU MKs - remember, coalition partners are exchangeable, but you cannot get rid of people in your own party!

  18. Shaul, I'm not so sure that Keti Shitreet is right wing. If Bibi gives her a job she won't go against him.

    If Bibi wishes to make a "peace" deal then it doesn't matter if even a 1/4 of his party rebel because Kadima and Labour will automatically support it.

  19. Shimon,
    Keti Shitreet was the Manhigut Yehudit endorsed candidate, and that's the only reason why she beat Bibi's man (Slavin).
    I did a head count on the top 50 Likud positions, and fully 2/3 of them are strong right wingers. 12 are past mordim, there are 4 MY aligned candidates and there are many others (e.g. Begin, Yaalon, Danon) who on paper should not be yes-men. Sharon could get away with 1/3 of his faction rebelling; there's no way anyone could get away with 2/3 of his party rebelling.

  20. Shaul, I'm aware that Keti was supported by Manhigut Yehudit but that doesn't automatically make her right wing. Feiglin came to Beit Shemesh during the election for mayor and came out supporting Vakin. Does that make Vaknin right wing? No, in fact Vaknin came out in support of the "hitnatkut" but MY had to make the deals they felt necessary.

    I never heard Keti coming out against Bibi for him moving Feiglin all the way down the list. Bottom line is if Keti is giving a job like a deputy minister I don't see her giving it up in order to rebel against Bibi.

    So looking at the list (I'm not looking as far as 50 because even Menachem Begin never got that amount)yes, there are some good guys but the vast majority will not be heavy rebels maybe just light ones. What I mean by heavy is if Bibi tries to give away more of our land they will resign from any government position and vote against the government on every issue and do their utmost to bring the government down. A light rebel will vote against any bill in the keneset that calls for giving up our land but won't bring the govt. down. And the bill for giving up land will pass anyway because kadima and labour will support it.


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