Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Raise your hands if the things you wanted to hear most out of an Israeli election were the phrases "inconclusive", "right wing coalition government", "hard-right victory", "hard-line", "ultra orthodox", "two-state solution dead", and the kingmaker of the coalition government described as "a former bouncer from Moldova who has risen in Israeli politics on a platform of racial hatred for Israeli-Palestinians (20% of the population), whom he has urged be "executed" or made to take loyalty oaths, stripped of their citizenship and possibly transferred to the Palestine Authority." and a "...certified gangster...who is the Israeli equivalent of Jorg Haider of Austria (now dead) and Jean-Marie LePen."? Well, good news then. You got what you wanted.
Inconclusive election results sent Israel into political limbo Wednesday with both Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and hard-line leader Benjamin Netanyahu claiming victory and leaving the kingmaker role to a rising political hawk with an anti-Arab platform.

Livni's Kadima Party won 28 seats, just one more than Netanyahu's Likud, in Tuesday's election for the 120-member parliament, according to nearly complete results. Both held victory rallies, but without a clear majority neither can govern alone. Hard-line parties won a majority of the votes, meaning that Netanyahu has more natural allies and a better chance of forming a coalition.

The results set the stage for what could be weeks of coalition negotiations. The first meetings began Wednesday, with Netanyahu meeting the head of the ultra-Orthodox Shas faction and Livni meeting Avigdor Lieberman, whose ultranationalist party received 15 seats and emerged as the third-largest force in parliament.
All this essentially means Netanyahu is all but assured the PM spot, with immense power given to a crazy gangster. I guess the Gaza invasion did work out alright for the far-right parties in Israel. Who would have thought? Copy-cats. Also, in Gaza post-invasion, Hamas is more popular than ever as hardliners have been empowered and extremists strengthened! Win-win for hardline extremists! Everyone breathes a sigh of relief as things get less tense in the Middle East, especially in Israel. Wait, I meant the opposite.

Those sounds you heard? That was Rahm Emanuel grabbing the razor before Barry could slit his wrists, Hillary calling Governor Patterson to see if her old seat was still open, and Jimmy Carter comically pulling on his collar and going "Yeeesh!" Oh well, this is just going to increase the degree of difficulty and thus allow for higher scores in the Negotiation Olympics.

No comments: