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Thread: Israeli Election Results

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    Psychopompous AW Moderator RichardGarfinkle's Avatar
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    Israeli Election Results

    Netenyahu's Likud party lost 12 seats in the Knesset ending up with 31 (which was lower than the lowest predicted outcome).

    A new centrist party came in second with 19.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013...amin-netanyahu

    This could produce a serious change in Israel's policies depending on who forms what coalition with whom.
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    Yes. We can hope that Bibi forms a coalition with one of the centrist parties.

    However, the more likely choice is he'll go with Bennet's annexation party as his major partner.

    I doubt very much that losing 12 seats will make him any more modest.

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    It will be awhile until we see whether Bibi got the message = the country gave him a vote of no-confidence. Instead of moving to the right (as we feared), the electorate said "more power to the center".
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    My hope for Israel is that it's the beginning of the end of Netanyahu. No Israeli leader has been a more dedicated enemy of peace than he has.
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    All Living is Local Don's Avatar
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    Likud losing power can only be a good thing as I understand it. There are probably tears in Neoconland today, though.
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    Red fish, blue fish... J.S.F.'s Avatar
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    My take is that Bibi will have to concentrate more on domestic issues by forming partnerships with the other parties as opposed to devoting most of his time to worrying about international matters of security. This may be good for the economy, but the threat of their neighbors is, to me, still real.

    A pol with a slightly less hawkish view may be more acceptable to the USA, but would also be perceived, IMO, as 'weaker' by Israel's enemies, Iran and Iraq being the main ones. Yes, they've been weakened by war and sanctions, but they're still a threat.

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    Lost in the Fog rugcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.S.F. View Post
    A pol with a slightly less hawkish view may be more acceptable to the USA, but would also be perceived, IMO, as 'weaker' by Israel's enemies, Iran and Iraq being the main ones. Yes, they've been weakened by war and sanctions, but they're still a threat.
    This is the neocon philosophy. (And not coincidentally, Bibi has always been the darling of the neocons in the US.)

    The idea that any pol who is actually interested in peace or the possibility of negotiation, rather than inflexibility and military power as the first and sometimes only option, will be perceived as "weak" is a view based more on fear than rationality.

    That whole philosophy worked ever so well for the US in the era of Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and Bolton.
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    Red fish, blue fish... J.S.F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rugcat View Post
    This is the neocon philosophy. (And not coincidentally, Bibi has always been the darling of the neocons in the US.)

    The idea that any pol who is actually interested in peace or the possibility of negotiation, rather than inflexibility and military power as the first and sometimes only option, will be perceived as "weak" is a view based more on fear than rationality.

    That whole philosophy worked ever so well for the US in the era of Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and Bolton.
    ---

    You can call it what you like, but I don't see this particular view as one based on fear more than rationality. It is a fact that Israel is not on friendly terms with any Arab country, it is a fact that Iran has more than once threatened Israel with extinction. Granted, the Arab countries have always gone overboard on hyperbole. Perhaps that is the way their language is translated. I don't know for sure.

    What I do know is when someone threatens to erase me from the face of the Earth, I take that as a very real threat. So should Israel.

    Having said that, I don't believe any nation in the Middle East truly wants another war no matter how irrationally it may act in the eyes of others. The leaders of Iran, Iraq, and other countries hostile to Israel bluster, but it's doubtful if they'll carry out their threats. Still, there is that possibility, based on previous historical encounters. This is what Bibi is not discounting.

    Sure, he's a hawk, and he may be the darling of the neocons in the States and elsewhere, but I do not view his ideas or steps as being overly offensive in the military sense, not this time. At any rate, even if he were out of power, the situation within the Middle East would hardly change. Both sides are inflexible and I don't see their mindsets shifting any time soon.

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    "Assume Good Intentions" SuperModerator Williebee's Avatar
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    Don, I owe you an apology. You too, John. This would be it.

    Context and all that.

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    All Living is Local Don's Avatar
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    Thanks, Williebee. It's just accepted shorthand in this situation, I think.
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    the other takes account both of the effects which are seen, and also of those which it is necessary to foresee. ~Frederic Bastiat
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    The 'social contract' is to the politician what 'original sin' is to the priest. ~Don
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    Lost in the Fog rugcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.S.F. View Post
    ---Sure, he's a hawk, and he may be the darling of the neocons in the States and elsewhere, but I do not view his ideas or steps as being overly offensive in the military sense, not this time. At any rate, even if he were out of power, the situation within the Middle East would hardly change. Both sides are inflexible and I don't see their mindsets shifting any time soon.
    One can approve of Netanyahu's policies or deplore them (as I do) but that's not the point.

    Assuming that any leader who deviates from them will be seen as "weak" by Israel's enemies is an unwarranted assumption. And one used by supporters of such policies to stay in power.

    During the last election, Romney characterized Obama's foreign policy as weak and dangerous to America. It's a right wing talking point, both here and in Israel, nothing more.
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    This is maybe digressive, but who else does Israel have? It seems like Netanyahu got back into power largely because no one else had the name recognition to challenge him.

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    Israel definitely has a leadership problem. I put it down to their system of voting for a party rather than a person. Polititians who pass a certain threshold of popularity create their own party, and ensconce themselves at the top, becoming a permanent fixture of political life, regardless of their success or failures.

    Israelis themselves view their government as being particularly corrupt.

    The amazing thing about this last election is that you have two relative unknowns coming out of nowhere to make large gains. Encouraging in some ways, but more likely a vote of no confidence by the Israeli people in their entire political system.

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    Got the hang of it, here Maxx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.S.F. View Post
    ---

    You can call it what you like, but I don't see this particular view as one based on fear more than rationality. It is a fact that Israel is not on friendly terms with any Arab country,
    Israel has been on friendly terms with Jordan off-and-on even before Israel was officially a country.

    Moreover, things are actually changing really fast in the ME and Africa right now. Hezbollah has already suggested that they don't care all that much what happens to Iran and given the Salafi-style pressure on the Alawaite regime in Syria, there could be a big re-alignment soon with a non-Salafi block (NATO, Lebanon, Hezbollah, Syrian Alawaites, Algeria, Jordan and Israel and to some degree Turkey, Egypt, Iran and Iraq) facing Salafi types all over (from Mali to Afghanistan).
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    I'm starting to wonder if any coalition is possible.

    If YA won't play ball with Shas, and Shas being reluctant to go with LYB, and the other center parties refusing Bibi, and anyone on the right refusing to have anything to do with the Arab parties. The only ones that might work are HH, LYB, and YA or the very narrow Shas, UTJ, LYB and HH. Both of these possibilities seem very fragile.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maxx View Post
    Israel has been on friendly terms with Jordan off-and-on even before Israel was officially a country.

    Moreover, things are actually changing really fast in the ME and Africa right now. Hezbollah has already suggested that they don't care all that much what happens to Iran and given the Salafi-style pressure on the Alawaite regime in Syria, there could be a big re-alignment soon with a non-Salafi block (NATO, Lebanon, Hezbollah, Syrian Alawaites, Algeria, Jordan and Israel and to some degree Turkey, Egypt, Iran and Iraq) facing Salafi types all over (from Mali to Afghanistan).
    --

    I wouldn't exactly call it "friendly"--more like civil--as it's in their mutual interest to work together in order to stamp out the more radical elements which threaten both countries. I'm quite sure at deeper levels, there are private calls and talks between the Israelis and Egyptians, Jordanians, and other Arab nations on the most serious problems.

    The situation in the ME has always been one of fluid and shifting alliances. I'm sure that in the next few months, you'll have the news turn away from the butchery going on in Syria to old enemies among the Arab nations making peace pacts, exchanging info and weapons--and slamming Israel. The more things change...

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    Got the hang of it, here Maxx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.S.F. View Post
    --


    The situation in the ME has always been one of fluid and shifting alliances. I'm sure that in the next few months, you'll have the news turn away from the butchery going on in Syria to old enemies among the Arab nations making peace pacts, exchanging info and weapons--and slamming Israel. The more things change...
    So the situation remains very fluid. The more things are fluid the more fluid they are.
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.S.F. View Post
    ---

    What I do know is when someone threatens to erase me from the face of the Earth, I take that as a very real threat. So should Israel.
    I'm not anti Israeli and I'm certainly not pro Iran, but I am pro truth and this is absolute horseshit. Right now Israel is the only power in the region that has a nuclear capability, never admitted, but everyone knows it.
    In the meantime, Netanyahu struts around like a peacock ignoring all bar his own far right support and is basically sending out a message to the world (and the Obama administration in particular) that says "We're strong enough now and we don't need your permission to do what we want where we want, so we'll do it anyway and fuck your opinion." But standing in the wings is the spectre of a nuclear armed Iran that might change the status quo. I know it may sound counter intuitive, but I wonder if a nuclear armed Iran might not force Israel into a more diplomatic response because, despite all the fears of armageddon, neither of them is going to push the button. It might also cause the US government to take a more considered evaluation of the region than it has done thusfar.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ReallyRong View Post
    I'm not anti Israeli and I'm certainly not pro Iran, but I am pro truth and this is absolute horseshit. Right now Israel is the only power in the region that has a nuclear capability, never admitted, but everyone knows it.
    In the meantime, Netanyahu struts around like a peacock ignoring all bar his own far right support and is basically sending out a message to the world (and the Obama administration in particular) that says "We're strong enough now and we don't need your permission to do what we want where we want, so we'll do it anyway and fuck your opinion." But standing in the wings is the spectre of a nuclear armed Iran that might change the status quo. I know it may sound counter intuitive, but I wonder if a nuclear armed Iran might not force Israel into a more diplomatic response because, despite all the fears of armageddon, neither of them is going to push the button. It might also cause the US government to take a more considered evaluation of the region than it has done thusfar.
    ---

    Uh, yeah, right, read the wall of text and thought, "okay".

    First off, I'm gonna agree with you that Israel is probably the only nuclear-armed country in the Middle East. I say "probably" as they have never admitted it, but I'm pretty sure they are based on news reports I've read over the years.

    As for your calling my previous post "horseshit" go right ahead. The other Arab countries have been calling for Israel's destruction since 1948, they've launched wars against them, rockets, missiles, terrorist bombers and more. And yes, Israel has retaliated, somewhat overly so. This is what happens when you're a tiny country on the edge of the sea and your 'neighbors' threaten to drive you into it decade after decade.

    As for Bibi, it's a known fact that he and Obama don't get along very well. He IS an arrogant SOB at times. But Obama, while he's tried to be fair-minded toward the Arab countries, isn't that well-liked in those places, either, mainly because he's not done enough for them, or so they think. He's also not all that well trusted in Israel based on their perceptions he's been favouring the Arabs too much. Poor BHO, he can't win on either front.

    As for a nuclear-powered Iran--based on their past behaviour--do you really expect that their experiments are really JUST for energy purposes? If you do, then IMO you aren't aware of what Iran is really after. They haven't acted rationally in the past and if they had nuclear weapons I doubt they'd act much more rationally, at least in the way we as Westerners perceive as being rational. If anything, possessing nuclear missiles would up the tension in Israel as well as the surrounding Arab nations.

    Call me a neocon if you will (just don't call me late for dinner!) but history has shown the Arab nations to be largely untrustworthy, even when they deal amongst themselves. People may not like Israel for its actions, but I think they'd be a lot more nervous with a nuclear-armed Iran.

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    All Living is Local Don's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.S.F. View Post
    The other Arab countries have been calling for Israel's destruction since 1948, they've launched wars against them, rockets, missiles, terrorist bombers and more.
    Gee, it makes one wonder what happened in 1947, doesn't it? Maybe something the UN General Assembly did pissed them off.
    Quote Originally Posted by J.S.F. View Post
    As for a nuclear-powered Iran--based on their past behaviour--do you really expect that their experiments are really JUST for energy purposes? If you do, then IMO you aren't aware of what Iran is really after. They haven't acted rationally in the past and if they had nuclear weapons I doubt they'd act much more rationally, at least in the way we as Westerners perceive as being rational.
    Well, at least in the way some westerners perceive as being rational.


    Quote Originally Posted by J.S.F. View Post
    Call me a neocon if you will (just don't call me late for dinner!) but history has shown the Arab nations to be largely untrustworthy, even when they deal amongst themselves. People may not like Israel for its actions, but I think they'd be a lot more nervous with a nuclear-armed Iran.
    It depends on which "people" you're talking about.

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    the other takes account both of the effects which are seen, and also of those which it is necessary to foresee. ~Frederic Bastiat
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.S.F. View Post
    ---

    As for your calling my previous post "horseshit" go right ahead. The other Arab countries have been calling for Israel's destruction since 1948, they've launched wars against them, rockets, missiles, terrorist bombers and more. And yes, Israel has retaliated, somewhat overly so. This is what happens when you're a tiny country on the edge of the sea and your 'neighbors' threaten to drive you into it decade after decade.

    As for Bibi, it's a known fact that he and Obama don't get along very well. He IS an arrogant SOB at times.

    As for a nuclear-powered Iran--based on their past behaviour--do you really expect that their experiments are really JUST for energy purposes? If you do, then IMO you aren't aware of what Iran is really after.

    Call me a neocon if you will (just don't call me late for dinner!) but history has shown the Arab nations to be largely untrustworthy, even when they deal amongst themselves. People may not like Israel for its actions, but I think they'd be a lot more nervous with a nuclear-armed Iran.
    Hi JSF,

    I didn't call your entire post "horseshit", I just called your quote of "What I do know is when someone threatens to erase me from the face of the Earth, I take that as a very real threat. So should Israel.", because the fact is that Israel is the strongest state in the Middle East these days by a long way and you can't keep spouting out this old stuff about when Israel was fighting for its life and expect everyone to believe you that this is still the case.

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    Red fish, blue fish... J.S.F.'s Avatar
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    Yeah, Don, in 1947 the UN gave the land to a group of people whom they thought deserved it. Did it screw the Arabs? Yup, but you can blame Balfour for that mess-up. Even before that, the various, disparate Arab elements were on the hunt for anyone Jewish in that area. They've been calling for Israel's destruction ever since. Don't like it? Deal.

    As for the overthrow element, considering Iran has been a theocratic dictatorship since the Shah fell thirty-odd years ago, and considering they have a lockdown on a populace only now beginning to demonstrate and assert themselves, no wonder they haven't had much opposition.

    Since you're locked into your ways of thinking as I am in mine, don't bother replying. This kind of BS I read brings out the worst in me. I could give two hoots if people call me a neo-con. I've been called worse. But I look at precedents and while Israel's been no angel in the region, Iran and many of its Arab neighbors have been far worse.

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    Red fish, blue fish... J.S.F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReallyRong View Post
    Hi JSF,

    I didn't call your entire post "horseshit", I just called your quote of "What I do know is when someone threatens to erase me from the face of the Earth, I take that as a very real threat. So should Israel.", because the fact is that Israel is the strongest state in the Middle East these days by a long way and you can't keep spouting out this old stuff about when Israel was fighting for its life and expect everyone to believe you that this is still the case.
    ---

    Fair enough. However, Israel being the strongest state is only true as it, yes, depends largely on the US's largesse in terms of weapon supplies, cash, and other goodies. Same deal applies to the Arab countries. The only reason Israel is still standing as arguably the region's only democracy (although it's far from perfect) is because of Arab disunity.

    Now, if you have a nuclear-armed Iran, that changes everything. They would definitely become more assertive, and their behaviour--best described as "erratic" or which I describe as "bat shit nutty" would become even more unpredictable--and it might spark off an arm's race.

    In the past, other Arab countries have said they don't want a nuclear armed Iran. Maybe they mean it and maybe they don't, but my feeling is if Iran does have a nuke, some of the other countries there might feel compelled to do the same thing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by J.S.F. View Post
    ---

    Fair enough. However, Israel being the strongest state is only true as it, yes, depends largely on the US's largesse in terms of weapon supplies, cash, and other goodies. Same deal applies to the Arab countries. The only reason Israel is still standing as arguably the region's only democracy (although it's far from perfect) is because of Arab disunity.

    Now, if you have a nuclear-armed Iran, that changes everything. They would definitely become more assertive, and their behaviour--best described as "erratic" or which I describe as "bat shit nutty" would become even more unpredictable--and it might spark off an arm's race.

    In the past, other Arab countries have said they don't want a nuclear armed Iran. Maybe they mean it and maybe they don't, but my feeling is if Iran does have a nuke, some of the other countries there might feel compelled to do the same thing.
    Well, you've hit on a few nails on the head there for me. The first, and big one, is that Israel depends so much on US goodwill, yet "Bibi" seems quite prepared to chuck that back in their face when it suits him. In the meantime it could be argued that his government's policy of building on what was once Palestinian land, and never recognized by anyone, not even the US, as belonging to Israel, is not only provocative but likely to stir up trouble on a wider scale. Put simply, he could be seen as a provoker of war as easily as a defender of Israel. And as far as I can make out Israel isn't a democracy, it's a theocracy.

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