Friday, January 06, 2006

Kadima still strong

Here’s some reassuring news: Polls conducted in Israel show that Sharon’s new centrist party—Kadima—would win a majority in the Knesset whether Ehud Olmert or Shimon Peres headed the party. I hope for the best for Sharon, but it sounds like even if he pulls through, he’ll be retired from politics. The important thing in my view (as many of you may know from reading this blog), is that Kadima dominate the Knesset. Israel needs a big centrist party that is non-ideological. Enough with ideology! Israel needs clear-eyed pragmatism. A party that has enough seats in the Knesset to push through concessions when appropriate, but one that will continue to build the fence and keep Israel’s defense and deterrent capability ready to strike hard when necessary.

The nightmare scenario in my mind is that Israeli politics goes back to “normal” with a strong Likud on the right and a strong Labor on the left; both dependent on radical, ideological smaller parties on either side of their respective wings in order to maintain a majority coalition government.

Update: Sharon’s condition appears to have stabilized and his latest brain scan shows improvement in terms of the cranial bleeding. Maybe we shouldn’t count the old Bulldozer out completely.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Clear-eyed pragmatism" for Israel consists in recognising that they are surrounded by implacable enemies bent on destroying them, and therefore as long as they wish to remain a free nation they must be willing to fight, and fight again. And fight again. Being nice and making concessions is only going to make the fighting more difficult and bloody later on.

So whoever has the most fighting spirit is the best party for israel.


7:18 AM  
Blogger semite1973 said...

Ryan, you are right-- to an extent-- but a lot of your political analyses regarding Israel seem to ignore that Israel is a small country that doesn't act in a vacuume; that can't act that way. Israel's actions elicit reactions. Yes, there is the bible and prophesy, but there is also real politic.

Fight? Yes, it is a reality Israel has to live with. If Israel wasn't good at it, she wouldn't exist. But there are many ways to "fight." Watch old Muhammad Ali fights; you will see that sometimes rope-a-dope and a semi-defensive posture is the best offense.


6:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Being a small country means Israel has to punch above her weight as she does not have the wherewithal to sustain substantial territorial reverses, like her neighbours. I don't think retreating to the - more or less - 1948 armistice lines is going to help. Sharon obviously wanted to leave some great legacy of lasting peace, but in all probability he has made things much worse - and the way he f*cked over Israeli democracy (if it can still be called by that word) would be laughable if we were talking about a South American country, tragic since it is Israel.
Personally, I think all of us Westerners should gear ourselves up for a serious war with Islam within our lifetimes: and the more appeasements we offer, the more protracted and bloody will be the eventual reckoning.


8:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also, as you may or may not know I think Condoleezza Rice is utter shite...the whole Gaza withdrawal seemed to have been pushed by the State Dept/US govt as well as Sharon. Sometimes having America as an ally has been more of a liability to Israel than an asset.

But of course, who do you think the US/EU/etc. will lean on to take out Iran's nuke program?
Yep, those big, bad, Balestianian-oppressing imperialist colonist warlike "threats to world peace", the Israelis.


8:59 AM  

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