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Monday, April 3rd

Israeli electorate tells the politicians where to go

With a few exceptions, almost every political faction in Israel can claim some sort of victory in the last elections, but the truth is, that almost everyone was defeated. The greatest defeat of all is not discussed. It was the defeat suffered by political pundits and pollsters. The media will be depending on the pollsters and pundits to generate interest in the next elections, so they are hardly likely to discredit them now. Not one expert predicted the rise of the Pensioners party. Not one pollster predicted more than 2 mandates for the pensioners before the elections, and no poll gave the Kadima party less than 31 mandates. Opinion polls were not too helpful in predicting the results of Palestinian elections or US elections either. Perhaps the public has developed an immunity to polls. Certainly, the total failure of just about everyone to predict the Israeli election outcome should recommend caution to commentators. Let's face it, however, nobody will listen to an analyst who says, "Well I think perhaps that maybe..." Analysts have to be decisive. Not surprisingly, the analysts are still charging full speed ahead.


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Ami Isseroff on 04.03.06 @ 02:58 PM CST [link]

Sunday, April 2nd

To withdraw or not to withdraw

By Ratna Pelle

I recently read two convincing articles, one in favor of further unilateral withdrawals, and one opposing it. Ari Shavit explains that unilateral withdrawals reward Palestinian terrorism:

In September 2000, the Palestinians began a terror offensive against Israel. They did this because they refused to accept the Camp David proposal, which promised them the entire Gaza Strip and 91 percent of the West Bank in exchange for full recognition of Israel and an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. If Ehud Olmert is elected prime minister and implements his convergence plan, then in September 2010 the Palestinians will have sovereignty over the entire Gaza Strip and some 91 percent of the West Bank, and all this without recognizing Israel and without ending the conflict.

Thus will the national Palestinian movement fulfill the objectives of its wars and obtain a full strategic resolution against the State of Israel.

A full Israeli withdrawal behind the fence will not provide for a disengagement from the Palestinians and more quiet, but lead to the emergence of a new hostile entity intent on the destruction of Israel:


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Ratna Pelle on 04.02.06 @ 04:21 AM CST [link]

What will happen after the elections?

By Ratna Pelle

As the final results of the Israeli elections point out, there is a -small- majority for a center-left coalition, and thus for more withdrawals from the West Bank. Although Olmert (29 seats) said he is also open to negotiations with the right, it seems unlikely that he will form a coalition with the very parties that did everything to prevent the disengagement from the Gaza strip. The very formation of Kadima was caused by the stiff resistance to the Gaza pullout, let alone more disengagements from the West Bank. Maybe I am too optimistic, however: Peretz (20 seats) has to show some flexibility for sure, and at least two other parties are needed for a majority: the Pensioners Party (7 seats) and Meretz (5 seats) would make 61 seats, or one or two ultra orthodox parties (Shas (12) and United Torah Judaism(6)), possibly with the Pensioners Party. However the orthodox parties are not likely to agree to further withdrawals from the West Bank without a major change on the Palestinian side.


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Ratna Pelle on 04.02.06 @ 04:14 AM CST [link]

Try Thinking

Daniel Pipes had some very discouraging words for us Israelis just before the elections. In an article variously titled "Israel Shuns Victory" and "Try Victory," Dr. Pipes explained that we Israelis are falling down on the job. We should be aiming to defeat the Palestinians decisively, as the allies defeated Hitler in World War II, or as he believes Ronald Reagan and the neo-conservatives defeated the USSR. Instead, we are aiming for cowardly compromises and half measures.


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Moderator on 04.02.06 @ 03:31 AM CST [link]


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