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 Sept. 21, Debkafile reported that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon had decided to leave the Likud Party 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.
At the time, there was a fight within the Likud as to when the party primaries would be. Party “rebels” wanted to move up the date and try to unhorse Sharon. Sharon wanted to delay the primaries 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, the Labor Party held a vote to elect its new leader. One by one, Shimon Peres – a man of not inconsiderable influence as he once was prime minister and minister of foreign affairs – 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 Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, who had been security minister for a time, and Amir Peretz, head of Israel’s much-weakened labor federation, Histadrut. Then came a surprise.
Around the time of the primaries, the Labor hacks waved the bloody shirt of former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who was assassinated in 1995. News started to leak that the man convicted of the crime, Yigal Amir, actually had shot blanks at Rabin and that the murder had been the work of the General Security Service Sherút Bitahhón Klalí (Shaba”k) agents – who were in the pay of Peres, a Rabin rival. The news was just enough to defeat Peres in the election, and Peretz, a fellow familiar for his continual strikes to protect Histadrut control over pension funds, was now leader of the Labor Party.
The newspapers all rumbled, “Earthquake in Israel! Peres ousted as Labor leader,” as 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 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 that came later reported 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 Sharon’s new party (now named Kadima), Labor and Shinúi together in this poll, you get 61 – a majority.
As is said in Yiddish, nu? What’s new here? Do you really need to ask?
Sharon bolted his own party and informed us Israelis, who allegedly were waiting with bated breath, of his intentions. The phrase “earthquake in Israel” made its appearance again in the English language online 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 March 28, 2006. The silly season has returned to the Holy Land – again. But we’re seeing a new phenomenon this time around 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, 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 percent of the vote, and therefore won 38 seats in the Knesset. There is a minimum percentage of votes required, but it is lower than the 5 percent required for election to the Bundestag (Germany’s equivalent of the House of Commons or House of Representatives).
Now, let’s look at this item from Arutz Sheva, a right-wing news source with ties to the National Religious Party in Israel:
Sharon Plans Massive Withdrawals Sunday, November 27, 2005 / 25 Heshvan 5766Reports 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 US officials of his intention to withdraw unilaterally from more than 95 percent 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….
So here we see where Kadima (the name of Sharon’s new party means “forward”) seeks to lead us. The country 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 and Branch Association English Lecture Series at the Israel Center and explained 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. Yossi Sarid, former leader of the Meretz party that is supposedly on Israel’s extreme left, has left his party. Where is he going? One of the founders of the Shinúi 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, Mifléget Poaléi Yisraél, the Israel Workers’ Party (MAPAI), 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 sinkhole of failure in Israel was the attempt to create a “centrist” party that would be neither left nor right, but would sit at the center like a vacuum cleaner, drawing all the sane elements of the polity into it and making the “ism” parties irrelevant. This has been attempted many times here, particularly since MAPAI’s downfall in 1977. Heretofore, it has been a miserable failure.
Lo and behold, the prime minister bolts the party he helped found, leaves it broke and sets up a new political entity suspiciously like Shlomtzion, the itty-bitty party he founded when he left the army 30 years ago. 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 US flunky. Peres is the bought-out European Union flunky. So I expect to see huge amounts of western money being poured into Kadima’s coffers. It is easier to pour money into one pail than several and attempt to make one political party the holder of power than it would be to coordinate 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, this is 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.
- If the elections are held, Sharon will wind up as prime minister.
Here, I’m only following the words of the two m’kubalim.
- Whether elections are held or not, Sharon will remain prime minister. Again, I’m only following the words of the two m’kubalim. I don’t take elections for granted. Too many things can happen to upset the “natural” order of events.
- Sharon will leave office, for some reason or another, during 2006.
His son, Omri, is scheduled to enter jail soon. Knowing how Israeli justice works, it will be a short prison term. If I could, I’d want to protect my son in prison. Remaining as prime minister wold allow me to do this. Quitting after he got out, selling my ranch and moving to Switzerland would be a smart move, if I were Ariel Sharon.
- During the next year, we will see the rising visibility of American and European soldiers in this country. This only follows the trend of events here. There are five American bases, and an increaing number of EU soldiers here.
- (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 Jan. 1, 2006. This is also 1 Tévet 5766, the day that G-d begins executing judgment against non-Jews (according to Rav Yehoshua Friedman). Here I’m following (more or less) the words of Rav Yizhak Kaduri, the leading m’kubal in Israel, who warned that American Jews should leave and come home because a series of terrible disasters would begin to overtake the world.
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.Powered by Sidelines