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Dec 27, 2012

Quote of the Day

After the elections, Yisrael Beyteynu will take the Ministry of Housing and the Ministry of the Interior, and will solve the housing problems.... We will send Attias to the Ministry of Tourism, as anyway he is constantly traveling...

  -- Avigdor Lieberman, to Russian-Israeli press

I find the heated tones on both sides of this argument to be silly - everybody knows that few election statements are serious, but are mostly for posturing. Especially in a parliamentary government system, after the elections everything is up for haggling and everything is on the table.

Maybe Likud will be willing to give it up to get something else, or maybe Shas will be offered something more attractive and will give it up. Maybe Shas will come out of the elections very powerful and Likud wont be able to refuse their demand, or maybe they will come out weak and won't be able to make such a demand..

Turning these statements into a point of friction between the parties is completely unnecessary and is even a distraction. They are dividing up the spoils before the war has been won.

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  1. Disagree - this argument is vital to both of their campaigns. Likud wants to convince people that they won't give haredim special benefits in housing, as Atias did sub rosa by providing extra benefits based on the length of time a couple has been married. And Shas wants to convince its potential voters that it will look after their interests. As you point out, believing them, especially Likud, is totally at the voter's own risk - just like everything else said in the campaign. With Likud, there's a record to look at, so their statements seem even more meaningless than the others.

  2. more coming later on this issue...

    but to comment on your comment, if the most recent revelations are true, that the housing and interior ministries were promised to the Yisrael Beyteynu faction, then your last sentence is less relevant, as Yisrael Beyteynnu has been much better than the Likud at actually working towards agendas and promises they had made...

    1. Interesting. Fair point. Then I guess it comes down to the longstanding mutual jealousy between the groups these parties represent. Reminds me of a conversation I once had with an old time immigrant from the Middle East, a Shas voter, who was convinced (and is probably still convinced), that as Ashkenizim, we received a brand new free apartment from the state when we made aliyah (as opposed to the tent camps he and many others were placed in during the late 40's/early 50's). Ethnic politics - ain't it great? Looking forward to the "more coming later."

    2. I have heard similar from more than a few secular people - they seem to think haredim get married and are automatically given a free apartment, 1000 NIS for kitzvat yeladim (regardless of number of children), and a large monthly stipend of a few thousand shekels a month...


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