Sep 18, 2019

thoughts from the elections

You won't find predictions here. I am not a prophet and I am not in the business of making predictions. I will not predict who will win, who the president will task first with the attempt to form a coalition, if the President will pressure the candidates for a unity government, if the Haredim will capitulate and agree to sit with Gantz, if Gantz and Lapid will split up, if Netanyahu will resign or be forced out and replaced by another candidate in the Likud or not, or any other of the many options and issues on the table right now. We'll let it play out and comment on things as they happen.

For the meantime, comments on the election:

1. We are basically in the same place we were before, with slight, mostly insignificant, changes. As Albert Einstein said (or maybe he did not say it), doing the same thing and expecting different results is the definition of insanity. Little changed form one election to the next. Expecting different results was silly. Something dramatic and significant would have to change for that to happen.

2. Kudos to the Haredi parties. They both grew. UTJ in number of voters even though it is the same number of seats, and Shas with an additional seat. They do their best when they create a sense that they are under attack, and they did it well.

3. The Dati Leumi parties showed once again how insignificant and weak they are. People have a hard time differentiating between them and the Likud, and the more religious voters in their electorate were not happy with a secular candidate heading their religious party. In the heart of DatiLeumiville they lost significant amounts of votes while UTJ and the Likud grew in leaps and bounds in those areas. Their voters see little reason to vote for them. And it has been like this for a long time, but now it is also on the religious end, not just the nationalistic end.  Add to that all the splits and divisions, thinking every different nuance of a voter needs a different party to vote for ensures that they will always weaken their potential political power even more.

4. Otzma is as Otzma was. They dd not waste any votes - they do not run to help Bibi or anyone else. They run because they want to run. I have nothing against people voting for a party they feel ideologically close to, even if it will not get in. Most of their voters probably would not have voted for Bibi or Yamina anyway, had Otzma not run. And Bibi never would have given them a ministry anyway, so they need not feel any obligation to Bibi or any other party. They feel they have something to offer, they have the right to run. After that the voters choose to vote or not.

5. Gantz ran a lousy campaign. He was boring. He mostly seemed to try to stay out of the limelight. Bibi is a "killer" when it comes to campaigning, but Gantz has none of that in him. The only one in his party who does is maybe Lapid. Despite the boring and lackluster campaign, they still , twice now, campaigned to a tie against a powerful incumbent. I can only imagine had they run a real campaign of any sort they probably could have won in a walk. That being said, if Gantz is eventually tasked to forming a government, I sure hope he runs the government and country better than he ran his campaign.

6. as I said earlier, you cannot run a campaign and attract voters just by going from city to city arguing with a couple dozen bored teenagers. Ron Kubi is an embarrassment. He already had the name recognition, it should have been easy for him to run a real campaign.

7. electoral reform is needed

8. Many were shocked last night, and maybe today, to see the United Arab Party as the 3rd largest in Knesset. If a unity government is formed, it almost definitely means the Arab Party would lead the Opposition, which would give Aymen Odeh the status of a minister and he would receive a security details and would have to be given regular updates about Israel's security situation.
if you support a one-state solution, and are upset that the Arab parties are now the 3rd largest in the Knesset, think about how much bigger they will be if the one-state solution will ever be implemented and another 2 million Palestinians will be given Israeli citizenship.. even if you only support Bennett's plan to annex parts of the West Bank, several hundred thousand Arabs would become citizens and the Arab party would still grow significantly.
I don't know the solution, but proponents of the one-state solution need to say how they would deal with this.

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  1. One-staters implicitly assume apartheid.

  2. 1. I saw an interesting statistical analysis of the break down of the voting. Likud swallowed up Kulanu. Bought out Zehut, plus another right wing party dropped out (I think he was referring to Noam. According to his calculation Likud should have started with a 7 mandate lead going into the election: Kulanu (4), Zehut (3). While things look like we will end up with a tie or a photo finish, blowing the lead they should have had should be considered a loss.

    7. At this point, I would be happy with a ballot that couldn't be stolen or tampered with.

  3. Re.6, are you really that silly. You think Kubi took himself seriously and really did it to get in to the knesset? I'd think you're wiser than that.

    Re.8, what's this for to do with one state, they would simply have to change the law somehow so the Arabs wouldn't get classified security updates. There's no way anyone would let that happen otherwise.


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