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Israel's Unlikely Coalition Government

Just as time was running out for Binyamin Netanyahu and his conservative Likud Party to form a government to rule Israel, there is a unlikely coalition with the politically liberal Labor Party. This highly unlikely coalition government, if it actually succeeds, would pit two long time former rival political elements in Israeli politics as partners with policies with little in common as allies. During the 1948 war that established Israel, Likud was an organization that involved many right wing extremists and even terrorists such Menachem Begin as opposed to moderates in Labor like Golda Meir.netanyahu.jpg

The strange coalition between Likud and Labor will likely give Labor some key positions within the new Israeli government including over military matters, dramatically lessening the likelihood that Netanyahu would start a shooting war with Iran over their nuclear program. However, over domestic matters such as economic policies there should only be a huge divide over the issues that will be very difficult to paper over.

The Israeli Labor Party is a member of the Socialist International, a worldwide organization comprised of democratic leftist political parties. The United States is represented in this organization by the tiny Democratic Socialists Of America organization which represents the 1982 merger of the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee and the New American Movement. The Americans are largely represented by intellectuals and writers, but do not offer candidates for public office, but instead compromise their economic and political values with the Democratic Party. However, it is deeply surprising to see the Israeli Labor Party find enough common ground to form a government with the right wing Likud Party.

How Labor can be involved in a coalition government with right winger Binyamin Netanyahu and not the centrist Kadima Party of moderate Tzipi Livni seems astonishing. However, rampant scandal among the past centrist Kadima government has made life very difficult for Livni, who managed to narrowly outpoll Likud in the last election, but had little opportunity to form a government as she had few other parties interested in joining her. Livni was not asked the form the next government of Israel for this reason.

The biggest question is whether the coalition government of Likud and Labor can even work. Can two parties with very different political agendas even be partners? Netanyahu has suddenly reversed himself from his position of only just days ago, now claiming that he would seek a permanent peace with the Palestinians. Only days before, Netanyahu claimed to oppose any two state solution to this ongoing dispute. Netanyahu even had great support among the American Christian right wing including strong supporters such as Rev. John Hagee of San Antonio because of his opposition to compromise with the Palestinians. Hagee admired that Netanyahu would never seek peace with them. To Hagee, all Muslims only seek religious radicalism.


It will be highly interesting to see how Netanyahu, the darling of the American far right, will somehow suddenly be transformed into some grand peace maker. But perhaps sensing a change in Washington and other political reality, Netanyahu is being backed into political reality. Or maybe not. Only time will tell.


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Comments (2)

bryanD:

Good post, but the Labor Party is the pre-eminent Zionist element in Israel. It has been from the beginning, encouraging Germans and Poles to change their names into Hebraic versions, such as Meyerson into "Meir", to buttress the claim that the immigrants to the proposed Zionist state BELONG within the Afro-Semitic weltanshauung. In fact, have always been "here". Which would be harder to do if everyone had kept surnames such as Meyerson and Levine and Maisky.

Anyway, the Jews of Israel are made up of 90% good people. Most born after 1948. Nevertheless, as Jesus Himself pronounced: a "stumbling block". And by "stumbling block" He meant to *peace*.

Long-short: Zionists consider the sons of Lot and/or the sons of Esau (eschatology differs)...monkeys. Because "they" were in the way when (in the late 19th century)the Zionist Congress (in their imperialist imaginations and advertisements) imagined Judea as being only sand and date palms. Which is no reason at all, but we're talking European imperialism, here.

Anyway, rage at the "surprise" ever since.

On the plus side, without Labor in coalition with Likud, Arabs might be considered Terroristic Monkeys, so let's take what we can get.

P.S. Kadima is zionist, too. See Lebanon.

Chad:

I guess it should be no surprise, but I think Netanyahu is probably the best choice for Israel right now. Israel needs to get the "iron shield" operational, and he is a big proponent for it. If Iran would stop sending the militants missles, mortars and rockets, that would help too. The Israelis have as much right to that land as anyone, and they are willing to live in peace as long as their neighbors will let them. Sure, they've got fringe elements that are aggressively expansionist, but that's the result of being surrounded for generations by people that want to kill you. Bryan, Ummmm....hate to break it to you, but all of Israel's political parties are zionist. They all think Israel has a right to exist as a nation. That is what zionism means. I don't quite understand what you mean by Jesus being a stumbling block to peace. Care to elaborate? I don't think a conflict between Jews (that reject any teaching of Jesus) and Muslims (who reject Jesus in favor of Muhammed) can be laid at Jesus' feet. The entire "Palestinian Problem" could be laid to rest with a few simple steps.
1.) Arab states refusing to fund terrorism and allowing Palestinians to immigrate, rather than keeping them in refugee camps to promote their agenda against Israel.
2.) Iran, Syria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, etc. cutting off funding to Palestinian terrorist organizations.
3.) Regulation of the Palestinian Authority by a group to make sure that aid money gets spent on aid, not on weapons.
4.) Getting Palestinian kids to schools not taught by mosques. So they can realize that Allah does not demand that they grow up to kill jews.
5.) Establishment of infrastructure and economic infrastructure in the "West Bank" and Gaza.
6.) And last but not least, STOP SHOOTING, BOMBING, AND MUDERING ISRAELIS.
I don't think we're ever going to see peace between Israel and it's neighbors. Just never going to happen. I don't know why people put so much effort into it. Israel is going to defend itself. Sometimes aggressively as a result of the last 70 years. Palestinians are going to murder, terrorize, and destroy any chance they can get. That's just the way it is. Israel agrees to a cease fire, and gets rockets lobbed at it, or Israel doesn't agree, kills terrorists, and still gets rockets lobbed at it. I don't see much difference. I know Israel is supposedly the "bad guy" here, but I don't see it. Sure, giving jews from all over the world a place to live was noble, but anyone that didn't see what was going to happen afterward was blind. It's a done deal, can't change the past. If we try to remove the jews, then they'd be the persecuted ones. And they are the only ones that have done anything to improve their chunk of real estate. Lebanon, Jordan, the Palestinian Authority, Hamas, Hezbollah, all they've done is to let it fester and rot.


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Publisher: Kevin Aylward

Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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