This time, too, as always, the right wing has the upper hand. When the Palestinian Authority thwarts terror attacks and the occupied territories are quiet, who needs a Palestinian partner? Why should we evacuate outposts and freeze construction in the territories? When monsters murder a baby in the cradle, what more needs to happen for us to understand that there is no Palestinian partner? Are those people, who spread hatred of Israel, the ones you want to make peace with? They take our children, we'll take their land.
And around it goes. The non-Jews don't like it? The collaborators on the left are unhappy? Their problem. The people got what they voted for. Until Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu runs the people aground, he'll continue dozing on the deck of the ship of fools. Get the shelters ready for a long stay. Don't bank on the next election.
In their important book "The Elections in Israel - 2009," Asher Arian and Michal Shamir say the right wing was the big winner in the last elections. They note that in the previous Knesset the left and center blocs numbered 70 seats, while the right wing had only 50 seats. But in the 2009 elections, the right wing won 65 seats and the left-center shrank to 55. That number includes the five lawmakers headed by Defense Minister Ehud Barak who have since left Labor. And since the book was published, these five people have become a Likud appendage, increasing the gap to 20 seats in favor of the right.
Occupying the "center," which is considered a necessary partner for any agreement involving far-reaching concessions, are the 28 Kadima seats. The attack by the Kadima Knesset faction on the Jewish-American peace group J Street - whose only sin was urging U.S. President Barack Obama not to veto the Security Council proposal to condemn settlement policy - raises doubts about Kadima's place on the political map. The members of that faction have signed off on a number of the extreme right's racist legislative initiatives, which even ministers from the Likud party refused to support. Most of them absented themselves from the vote on establishing committees to investigate leftist groups.
The main reason MK Tzipi Livni is not prime minister is that Yisrael Beiteinu's Avigdor Lieberman preferred Netanyahu over her. Let's assume that in the next elections Kadima grows from 28 to 32 seats, and the Zionist left - Labor and Meretz - increases from 16 to 18 seats. Where will Livni (or Kadima MK Shaul Mofaz, who is gaining strength from the grassroots ) get the 11 missing seats for a majority? Kadima would have to choose between Yisrael Beiteinu, Shas and United Torah Judaism (it would be hard to imagine former Likud members inviting Arab MKs to join their coalition ). With such a coalition, could 150,000 Jews be evacuated from the West Bank and Jerusalem divided?
Israeli politicians in 2011 don't care what the people need. More important to them is what the people want. And the people want the right wing. During more than 20 years of election surveys, Arian and Shamir asked people whether in Israel's relations with the Arabs, it should stress peace talks or increase its military might. In 2009, the fewest people since the end of the 1980s said they thought peace talks should be stressed. No more than 44 percent (among Jews, 36 percent ) said they supported such talks, compared with an average of 57 percent in previous surveys.
So by all means, let Netanyahu bring his friends from National Union into the coalition, and have him make sure not to leave out the Kahanist MK Michael Ben Ari. The prime minister did well to appoint Yaakov Amidror to head the National Security Council in this government. Amidror is the right man in the right place at the right time. Five hundred new houses in the settlements is small change. The appropriate Jewish response to the attack on Itamar should be the annexation of Ariel. Let them stain the Knesset with racist laws. Don't stop the right from triumphing over the whole world. Let the prime minister navigate toward the reef, and pray that we wake up a moment before the crash.
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