A majority of Israelis opposed the fake ceasefire that Obama forced the country to accept. And the latest election polls show it.
Netanyahu’s conservative Likud Party is down from 43 seats to 33 of the 120 Knesset (parliamentary) seats. (Another poll shows them taking 37) These numbers are even worse when you consider that the dubious decision to merge with Yisrael Beiteinu (Israel Is Our Home). This was a panicked response to the supposed rise of a united left party that never came about.
Meanwhile Israel’s political landscape looks incredibly weird right now now.
The Labor Party that once dominated Israel and controlled nearly all political and economic life is back from the brink of death and hanging around at 24 seats. Much as I would have liked to see them die, they’re not quite dead yet.
Kadima (Forward), the fake third party created by Sharon and Olmert, made up of defectors from Likud and Labor, is finally dead. But it’s being replaced by another fake third party, Yesh Atid (There is a Future), fronted by talking head princeling Yair Lapid.
Israel has a tradition of fake third parties that pretend to be centrist, but are actually pushing the unpopular leftist agenda by pretending to be centrist and above the fray, while mixing together phony social justice claims, anti-religious slogans and calls for stronger security and more peace. Yesh Atid is another of the bunch. It’s fake as a three-dollar bill, but with media backing it has managed to convince enough voters to get up to 11 seats. That’s too many. But Yesh Atid will be gone in 4-5 years.
Otzma LYisrael, the conservative alternative to Likud, is shown pulling in 4 seats. There have been many attempts at building a genuine conservative alternative to the Likud, but they never get past a handful of seats.
Meretz, the far left, gets 6 seats. Then there’s Am Shalem (One Nation), which I don’t know what to make of, pulling in 3 seats. Rabbi Amsalem is a reformer who broke with the ridiculously corrupt and dysfunctional Shas Party, whose greed and amorality is largely responsible for Israel’s political situation today. With Aryeh Deri, a felon, back running things, Shas is polling at 10 seats.
Deri has probably done as much damage to Israel as Arafat, but his ability to fool Jewish voters from Arab countries into going along with Shas, with a mixture of handouts and cult-like tactics, and has announced that Shas will court the Arab vote. If Am Shalem can make some headway in countering Deri-Shas among Sefardi voters, then he might be the man who can make a real difference for the country.