Elections are 28 March 2006. But this time we're seeing a new phenomenon that we've never really seen before.
Copyright ©, Reuven Kossover 2005
It's always fun to look out the window and write an article while a sandstorm blows in from the south. It contributes to one's sense that what one writes is clarifying rather than "muddifying."
On 21 September Debkafile www.debka.com reported that Ariel Sharon had decided to leave the Likud and possibly retire, and had informed President Bush of his intentions. Shlomo Wollins of Israel Reporter said that he believed this story to be unsubstantiated http://israelreporter.com/2005/09/22/.
At the time, there was a fight within the Likud as to when the party primaries would be. Party “rebels” wanted to move it up and try to unhorse Sharon. Sharon wanted to push the primaries off as long he could. Sharon, generously applying pressure to party hacks afraid of losing their seats, succeeded in keeping the party primaries held off until May 2006.
In the meantime, there were elections within the Labor Party for the position of leader of the party. One by one, Shimon Peres, a man of not inconsiderable influence, succeeded in getting his opponents to drop out of the race. By the time the actual vote took place, only two opponents remained. A party hack named ben Eliezer, who had been security minister for a time, and the head of the much-weakened Histadrut, Israel’s labor federation, Amir Peretz. Then came a surprise.
Around the time of the primaries, the Labor hacks were waving the bloody shirt of Yitzhak Rabin, who had been assassinated a decade earlier. News started to leak out that the man who had been convicted of the crime, Yigal Amir, had actually shot blanks at Rabin and that his assassination had been the work of Shaba"k (acronym for Sherút Bitahhón Klalí - General Security Service) agents – who were in the pay of Shimon Peres. It was just enough to defeat Peres in the election, and Amir Peretz, a fellow familiar for his continual strikes to protect Histadrut control over pension funds, was now leader of the Labor Party in Israel.
The newspapers all rumbled “Earthquake in Israel! Peres ousted as Labor leader,” as Amir Peretz moved forward to pull Labor out of the governing coalition, thus forcing early elections – and very possibly an early primary in the Likud.
Sharon had been dropping broad hints that he might leave the party from even before the election within Labor, and now he kept the rumors alive. A few of days ago, a poll came out indicating that were elections held that day, Labor and an unnamed political party headed by Sharon would pull even with 28 seats each, with the Likud falling to 20 seats. Shinúi – a political party of militant secularists whose leader, Yosef Lapid, is remarkably like an Israeli Archie Bunker - would drop to six or seven. Several polls have come out since with similar numbers
To form a governing coalition in Israel you need a majority of the 120 seats in the Knesset. If you were to add the seats of the Sharon's new party, Kadima, Labor and Shinúi together in this poll, you get 61 – a majority.
Nu? Do you really need to ask?
Sharon bolted his own party and informed us Israelis, who were allegedly waiting with baited breath, of his intentions. The phrase "earthquake in Israel” made its appearance again in the English language on-line edition of the left wing paper, Yediot Ahronot.
The last time we had elections here in 2003, Amrám Mitzná, the mayor from Haifa who headed the Labor party, pounded his fist saying, “Gaza First,” meaning that we should pull out of Gaza first. Sharon ridiculed him, sweeping Likud to its highest number of seats in the Knesset ever, 38 and shrinking Labor to 19 seats. Sharon then proceeded to do exactly as Mitzná recommended.
New elections are scheduled for 28 March 2006. The silly season has returned to the Holy Land – again. But we're seeing a new phenomenon this time round that we've never really seen before.
First, just a brief paragraph about how elections work here, for those who are not used to following politics in this fair country. Israel's government operates in the form of a parliamentary régime, meaning there is a prime minister who keeps power by retaining the confidence of a majority of the Knesset, the parliament. Individual members are referred to by the abbreviation, MK. Like the United Kingdom and New Zealand, Israel does not have a written constitution. Unlike these two countries, it has no legislative districts. There is no MK for Haifa, or Natzeret or Eilat. The whole country is one single legislative district. You vote for a political party, and the percentage of votes the party gets determines the number of seats it gets in the Knesset. In the last election, the Likud got about 31.5% of the vote, and therefore got 38 seats in the Knesset. There is a minimum percentage of votes required, but it is lower than the 5% required for election to the Bundestag (the equivalent of the House of Commons or House of Representatives) in Germany.
Now, let’s look at this item from Arutz Sheva, a right wing news source with ties to the National Religious Party in Israel. I show the whole story because I believe this will happen. It is worth looking at in full.
Sharon Plans Massive Withdrawals Sunday, November 27, 2005 / 25 Heshvan 5766
Reports are increasing that Prime Minister Sharon has drafted a plan for Israel's withdrawal from almost all of Judea and Samaria by 2008.
Middle East Newsline (MENL) reports in the name of "political sources" that Sharon has begun briefing senior U.S. officials of his intention to withdraw unilaterally from more than 95% of Judea and Samaria. Sharon is hoping to be elected Prime Minister for a third time - this time not in the Likud, however, but as head of his new Kadima Party.
One of the most valuable "acquisitions" of the Kadima Party, MK Haim Ramon, formerly of Labor, said openly last week that Sharon will unilaterally withdraw to final borders in Judea and Samaria if Palestinian terror continues.
IMRA reported that Ramon said this on a live interview on Channel 10's "London and Kirschenbaum" news program just hours after he announced his decision to join Sharon's Kadima.
Ramon explained that Sharon will keep his plans secret until the elections because he wants to give the Road Map a chance.
Many public figures said, both immediately before and after Sharon's decision to quit the Likud, that this decision stems from his desire to carry out dramatic diplomatic moves that he knows the Likud would not approve.
Among those who have said this are Binyamin Netanyahu, former Ashkelon Mayor and long-time Sharon confidante Eli Landau, Likud ministers, and others.
The MENL report indicates that Sharon would seek a U.S. and international security presence in Judea and Samaria, as well as yet another commitment for the dismantling of Palestinian terrorist groups.
Sharon's reported plan is to order a unilateral withdrawal, at first, from more than 90% of Judea and Samaria, while retaining control over air space. The pullout would be accompanied by a pledge of an additional withdrawal, as well as full Palestinian independence, once the PA dismantles terrorist groups and maintains security cooperation with Israel. The MENL sources said a version of the plan has already been drafted by Israel's National Security Council.
Though Sharon has denied that he plans any further disengagements, he pledged last week to "lay the foundation for a peace in which we set the permanent borders of the state, while insisting on the dismantling of the terror organizations."
So here we see what "Kadima" (forward) seeks to lead us forward to. The State is to be shrunken further in size and the idea of occupying Judea and Samaria is to be erased from the minds of Jews, and thus from Judaism. This was the precise analysis of Dr. Paul Eidelberg in the summer of 2004 when he spoke at the Root & Branch Association English Lecture Series at the Israel Center explaining what he believed to Sharon's long-term strategy...
Only today news reports circulate about Shimon Peres having reached a deal to leave Labor and support his friend, Ariel Sharon, in the Kadima party. The former leader of the Meretz party, supposedly on Israel's extreme left,Yossi Sarid, has left his party. Where is he going? One of the founders of the Shinui party, that great group of secularists who hate religion and pretend to represent the Ashkenazi (upper) middle class that used to solidly vote for Labor and before it, MAPAI (acronym for Mifléget Poaléi Yisraél, the Israel Workers' Party), has left Shinúi and joined Kadima. Is all the trash jumping into one basket?
This would be an interesting phenomenon indeed.
In the past, the great enterprise that sucked many would-be leaders down the sink-hole of failure in Israel was the attempt to create a "centrist" party that would be neither left nor right, but sit at the center, like a vacuum cleaner, drawing all the sane elments of the polity into it and making the "ism" parties irrelevant. This has been attempted many times here, particularly since the downfall of the MAPAI in 1977.
Heretofore, it has been a miserable failure.
Lo and behold, the prime minister bolts his party (which he helped found), leaves it broke and sets up a new political entity suspiciously like the itty bitty party he founded when he left the army thirty years ago, Shlomtzion. And he appears to be vacuuming up leading figures from the secular establishment in his country like a Hoover out of control. Yesterday he called a meeting of local councils and mayors in his office and collected more people for his party.
For decades, good government types have been dreaming of accomplishing what this thief seems to have pulled off in a few days. In addition, a major pillar of the Labor party leaves after being booted out as leader, while several of his close colleagues (including a rumored mistress) join Kadima.
It appears to the cynical eyes of this Middle Easterner, who was once a Middle Westerner, that all the trash is indeed jumping into the same basket. Sharon is the bought out flunky of the US. Peres is the bought out flunky of the EU. So I expect to see huge amounts of western money being poured into the coffers of this political party. It is easier to pour money into one pail than several, and attempt to make one single political party the holder of power, rather than coordinate the efforts through several political parties as has been done in the past. What I'm saying is that this strange phenomenon of the "successful center party" is the result of manipulation of foreign powers determined to control events here.
I will make one further observation here, given that this is the Holy Land, and according to Jewish ideas at least, G-d always has His Eye on the place. Two m'kubalim (holy men who recieve kabbalót, Divine messages) have stated that Ariel Sharon will be the last prime minister of Israel and that this will be the last time we see a government of this type.
Given that, I'm going to make some predictions. Naturally, they are only my opinion, and I am no prophet (though it would be nice if I could pull off a profit). I really do not think I'm going out on a limb, but I have learned that whenever people make predictions others stand at the ready to debunk them if they don't come out correct, like loggers with a saw.
1. If the elections are held, Sharon will wind up as prime minister.
2. Whether elections are held or not, Sharon will remain prime minister.
3. Sharon will leave office, for some reason or another, during 2006.
4. During the next year, we will see the rising visibility of American and European soldiers in this country.
5. (this is the biggie - here I am going out on a limb) Reality has begun to become unhinged. What this means is that events are leaving the path we define as "normal" and taking another path. This process will accelerate after 1 January 2006. This is also 1 Tevet, the day that G-d begins executing judgment against non-Jews (according to Rav Yehoshua Friedman).
If I were you, I'd really celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah this year, and if you can, buy some gold coins and store them in a safe place. Pick up Yeats' poem, "The Second Coming" and read it over a time or two. K'dái l'khá - it will be worth it to you.