The Devil is in the detail. - Comment - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
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    • Brian Fileman
    • 23.11.10 | 08:18 (IST)

    Israeli society seems not so much polarised as hopelessly fragmented: It is not just a matter or Left and Right, or Religious and Secular or even Jew and Arab. All the variable factors combine to make it impossible to predict the outcome of any referenda. The present coalition have made a commitment to a two state solution which inevitably means some territorial compromises. However, it seems clear that Bibi and his associates have neither the political will nor desire to make any such deals. What better way to offload their responsibility as elected leaders than to hold referenda. If they are careful enough in the wording of the Knesset proposals upon which the referendum question is based, they can probably manipulate public opinion enough to ensure the result they want - presumably rejection of any deal. That way the Israeli public, not the government, will be held responsible. And if the fickle public approves the plan, then Bibi (or whoever is PM at the time) can claim it is the will of the people and the government had simply articulated it. So, if the referendum is based on a cleverly enough drafted Knesset motion, the Government can take credit or shun responsibility whatever the outcome.

    from the article: Law requiring referenda for land concession will polarize Israelis
    First published 02:45 23.11.10 | Last updated 02:45 23.11.10
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