At breakfast this morning I read in “Die Süddeutsche Zeitung” that Tzip Livni will be unable to form a coalition government and that she has been rejected because she is a woman and a moderate politician. However, the article also gives a more concrete reason for her being unable to form a coalition and that is that “Shas” are angry at her for not increasing child welfare payments.(1) “Shas”, a party, which is led by ultra-Orthodox rabbis whose followers mostly have very large families, was demanding an increase of about a billion shekels (about 200 million €s). Her forming a coalition depended on their twelve seats in the 110 seat Knesset. However, the suspicion has to be that the possibility of her negotiating with the Palestinians on the status of Jerusalem has led to “Shas” withdrawing their support. Now, I can quite understand those who would argue that there is no real difference between a government led by Livni and a government led by the main opposition “Likud” party. Nevertheless, with Binyamin Netanyahu, the leader of the right-wing main opposition Likud party, appearing to be the main beneficiary of Ms Livni’s failure, one cannot help but being depressed. This man is not good news!
The impending elections and the issue of choice in Israel brings me back to the coming election in the United States. After my post, “The Gloves are Off”, from the 5th of October, I entered into a short dialogue with someone who asked me if I see any difference between Obama and McCain. In retrospect, I have to say that I reacted a little bit naively and, no, there probably is no real difference. Being that as it is, I have decided to post two little clips; one is of an interview with Chomsky and the other is a reaction to that interview.* The poster who entered into the dialogue with me, might find the answer to his question somewhere in those two clips and, while the heart would like to tell me otherwise, my head tells me that somewhere there, in those clips, is also an answer to the question is a coalition government headed by the “Kadima” and Livi any different from a government headed by Netanyahu? Still, what would you rather have a President McCain or a President Obama, a Prime Minister Livni or a Prime Minister Netanyahu? Silly, question really!
* It would appear that the CIA or NSA are preventing the uploading of one of the clips; you can find it at you tube, David Fleetwood, “The Lesser of Two Evils”.
1 ‘Süddeutsche Zeitung’, p4. Monday, 27th October.