The Bush Administration may be on its way out but there’s something to be said about the time period between administrations. We saw this week an intense American assault in what appears to be hot pursuit, land American forces into Syria, do some live firefighting and raze part of a village. It is still unclear what their targets were but this is the 1st time in 7 years of Bush’s presidency where we’ve seen this kind of bold moves on the Syrian involvement or lack thereof in stabilizing Iraq.
By the same token, America’s international anti-terrorism efforts scored huge this past week. It is little reported but a massive terror funding ring has been blown wide open in a long, complex US anti-terror and anti drug investigation which has revealed massive ties between Hezbollah & South American and Colombian Narco trafficking. An entire Hezbollah criminal drug funding ring has been busted while at the same time revealing the deep tentacles that organization has to brutal criminal elements and enemies of America. The Terrorists are dealing drugs for profit.
At the same time American intervention in financial markets have brought the dollar up, and oil way way down. The collapse of oil has put a sudden blast of hurt on Iran financially. All together not bad for a ‘lame duck’ President. I pray Obama could accomplish as much in a week.
Power to the People
Kadima under Livni is trying to spin their failure to put together a viable coalition majority, citing an end to ‘political extortion’. In some ways they are right. Kadima is referring to the billions of shekels worth of spending parties requested in order to play ball. But truthfully, the price to pay for the public was even before the billions too high.
The real extortion has been ongoing – A government that has been plagued by;
- failed strategies
- failed military achievements
- massive corruption
While at the same time veering far from its mandated platform, has been scheming along the political strata at the public’s expense for over a year. A deposed but still leading in a transitional government PM, a new Kadima party leader who failed to inspire even an internal party win, wild secret and not so secret negotations coalition wise and diplomatically / internationally, along with nary a statement or political platform, or plan submitted to the public. This steam engine has lacked an engineer for a while now.
In the mean time, serious security matters and state affairs all seemingly have gone on unattended, resulting in deeply negative public opinion. In short, Livni’s failure has saved us from continued totally un-mandated, chaos.
Election roll out
One of two scenarios can play out. President Peres can now afford 28 days for another candidate to try and form a coalition, this is unlikely but that candidate would be leader of the opposition Bibi. Failing that elections would take place likely in February. The Knesset parties can also come to agreement and set an election date themselves to advance the process. Until then, Olmert controls the transitional govt. Should he be indicted in the interim theoretically Livni would head the transitional government. The absurdity of that statement says it all.
|Vying with each other for votes|
Livni – Kadima
Netanyahu – Likud
|The Smaller Parties:
Meretz, UTJ, Pensioners, NRP, 3 Arab Parties.
40,000+ Strong – Half of them hail from battleground states.
According to the get out the vote non partisan ‘Vote From Israel’, if the race is tight in key swing states the Americans living in Israel & registered to vote could tip the balance (JPOST)
[...] “If the election is close, as it was in the past two [presidential] elections, then the deciding votes could be coming from Israel,” he said. According to the organization, Israel has the third-largest group of American voters abroad, behind Canada and Britain.
While the largest number of registered US voters in Israel come from New York or New Jersey, two states heavily in the Democratic camp according to polls, the next two states are the key battlegrounds of Ohio and Florida. Several thousand votes will likely be going to those swing states from Israel.
Furthermore, the significance of the votes from Israel could be magnified because they will come well before the November 4 election. Their choices, to be reported next week in an Israel-based exit poll commissioned by Vote From Israel, could influence American Jews in the United States, believes Greenspan. [...]
Many of these Israeli American good souls are devout, a great many of them in fact. If we look at the block voting from Israel from a purely Jewish perspective in comparison to American Jewish voters with no Israeli ties, polling so far would show that this could be a big chunk of change for McCain in key states.
Data so far from America points to Orthodox Jewish Americans overwhelmingly supporting John McCain for President, in stark contrast to more secular & Liberal Jewish voters who favor not so much Obama as posted yesterday, but the Democratic party itself. The polling numbers also say that McCain pulls heavily in the demographics most cognizant of Israel as an important foreign policy issue, again this issue in polling has shown overwhelming resonance with Orthodox voters for whom a strong Israel, with the Star of David above Jerusalem is non-negotiable.
If we disregard the USA data for a moment and look only at Israeli Americans with votes, I’d surmise the picture for McCain is even stronger coming out of Israel. Poll after poll in Israel of Israelis show heavy leans towards McCain. It is the worst kept secret in Israel that the Military elite which comprises a huge power base here, and the political & government strata also overwhelmingly favor what is being called ‘more of the same’ – Meaning, friendly GOP which under Bush has been a valued friend.
Obama Biden & Iran
Recent sensational statements by Biden about Obama have raised red flags, the notion that Obama will be ‘quickly tested’ according to Biden by enemies of America, and that Obama’s response will go against the grain of American public opinion, thus requiring the ‘far left to explain to the rest of America they are in the right’ immediately conjures up images of Obama leaving Israel flapping in the wind in the face of Iranian nuclear aggression. Both these links above give somewhat divergent interpretations of Biden’s remarks, but I disagree with Allahpundit on this one.
These statements reinforce the worst fears about Obama here in Israel, where few are prepared to go quietly into the wind in the face of a nuclear armed Islamic fundamentalist state that calls for genocidal destruction of Israel. We are wary of Obama here and with good reason.
Get Out the Vote
Israeli American voters here will be by default uber security conscious for obvious reasons, issues like Missile Defense funding, US sponsored peace negotiations, sanctions on Iran & Syria, the isolation & destruction of terrorist organizations etc, are pillars here in Israel. Many Israelis polled refuse to answer whom they prefer openly leaving large undecided blocks, that mirrors American Jewish data stateside as well. There may be of thousands of McCain votes pouring into crucial Ohio, Florida, and linchpin Pennsylvania – Special delivery from the Holy Land.
“Vote From Israel” will hold events in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv on October 26th and 28th, in which registered voters can drop off their ballots and, if they have yet to receive ballots from their state or country, submit a federal ballot provided by the organization.
I am partisan, If you are an American living in Israel, this election may be crucial to both countries in a manner not seen for 60 years. Please register & Vote!
The 2000 U.S. Presidential Election was decided on 537 votes. Your vote can make the difference. Welcome to Votefromisrael.org, where we strive to make it easy for 250,000 US citizens living in Israel to vote in the American elections.
Mrs Clean: Livni goes back on her word; Looks to form Arab based leftist Government coalition (Update II)
Unelected ‘leader’ needs to face the music, er.. electorate
Now into the 2 week extension for coalition building after having burned up the normal month long allocation with no result, the lady elected by less than 1% of the nation’s vote is getting desperate.
First she claimed she was unprepared to serve under Olmert who no longer had a mandate, yet she never resigned. Then she let it be known if she was not chosen the new Kadima head, she was leaving the party. Then she claimed she wanted to lead a center based government under her leadership based on Olmert’s coalition, despite being unelected. Later she claimed she was prepared to call elections, yet weeks later applied for coalition extensions instead.
Getting dizzy yet?
Then she swung radically left and invited Meretz to join. Afterwards she claimed what she really wanted was a national emergency government with the Likud because that was the ‘responsible’ thing to do. Later she stated it was not Meretz but UTJ & Shas who were her obvious natural partners, before of course telling Labor leader Barak he was the ‘supreme’ deputy Prime Minister under her little junta.
Now, after offering up billions of shekels to buy the leadership seat of Israel only to be as of yet spurned, she’s prepared to form an absurd narrow government of 60 MKs based on the radical left Meretz platform and requiring Arab party MKs to keep her afloat.. There’s only one thing missing from this little dictatorship she is looking to form, a mandate and some actual votes.
Not only has Mrs. Clean now waffled on every statement she has ever made, now she’s selling out the entire Kadima center party concept to feed her unabashed unelected ambitions wholesale, putting the power center in the hands of the radical left and traditional anti Zionist Israel haters. Shas, Kadima members themselves, the Pensioners, pretty much everyone save Livni thinks this is somewhat insane. Not only that but it breaks the only deal she managed to sign with Labor, where she pledged to build a solid 2 year proof government or go to elections.
As six Kadima MKs, headed by Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz, said they would not support a narrow government if one were brought to the Knesset for approval next week, Kadima leader and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni threatened Wednesday to hold general elections. [...]
Livni told Mofaz that she preferred a wide government, but that if there were parties – such as Shas and UTJ – that chose not to join a government under her leadership, she would consider forming a narrow one. Livni told Mofaz that all options were still valid, including going to general elections.
Mofaz told Livni that he would like to help form a wide government. Mofaz has gathered five other Kadima MKs who support his position that a narrow government with Labor and Meretz would be too left-wing and would therefore be subject to political extortion and concessions in negotiations with the Palestinians, and later on with the Syrians [...]
A 60 seat skin of your teeth anti Zionist coalition is not what you’d call a solid governing body able to last 2 weeks let alone 2 years in Israel’s political system. Nor would it have anything even resembling a shred of mandate with HUGE issues looming large for Israel including existential threats, unrevealed peace plans, etc. Less than a week later she has already balked on her commitments to Barak, if this is the clean Leader Livni it bodes for disaster.
It seems there is no red line Livni isn’t willing to cross in her quest. Isn’t it time we got real elected leadership, a real mandate by vote not some shady word breaking back room deals? The notion that this woman who received less than 45% of her own party’s vote, less than 25,000 votes in ALL of Israel can possibly be mandated to do anything save tie her own shoes is a real mockery. Stop threatening us endlessly that you will call elections Livni, and call the elections. Please sh*t or get off the pot, we need leadership in this country and we need it now.
At least one thing has become crystal clear and undeniable to all, Livni is a leftist. Light years away from the tough right wing ‘Ariel Sharon heir’ she claimed to be. It seems Mrs. Clean hasn’t been all that honest with us, feel free to choose when and where for yourself as it is a multiple choice question with numerous right answers.
UPDATE: Power Queen plays ‘Who wants to be a billionaire?’
‘Mrs. Clean’ offers Shas 1 Billion Shekels to secure her govt.. First it was 400 million, then 800 million, now a full Billion in 24 hours and the day is not over yet.. Add this to the 1.5 billion promised to Labor, and hundreds million more for Meretz, Pensioners and anyone else who can dig into the Livni leadership trough.. Global Recession? Fiscal conservative, no amount of taxpayer dollars is too much it seems to burn, for what? Did I get a vote to spend billions on this sham, no.. Did you?
UPDATE II: Now it’s back to elections if no coalition deal is done by Sunday
So this would be the hardball I take it? Frankly I injured my neck in whiplash trying to keep track of these machinations all over the map. The Pensioners have pulled out of talks entirely apparently today, because they now also want a few hundred million to a billion sheks and Livni has stated she doesn’t want to act ‘irresponsibly’..
“The moment of reckoning has arrived,” Livni said at a Kadima faction meeting, Wednesday. “Decisions need to be made by Sunday and then we will know whether there will be a coalition or elections. Negotiations have not been exhausted to their fullest, but time is not on our side,” she added.
The Kadima leader insisted that she would not agree to break the budget and that she would not restore child welfare payments to their former levels. In the closed session, the Kadima leader said she preferred a government that was as broad as possible, but admitted that it was not yet clear if she would even get a 61-MK majority, Israel Radio reported. [...]
According to her enamored media, Kadima & Livni herself, she should be all set for a 20% electoral landslide crushing the Likud, so why the reticence to go to the electorate? Might it have something to do with the fact that in reality she is going to get shellacked?
Personally, I maintained she would have difficulty beating Mofaz, that’s how it rolled. I also made my call she would not be able to build a coalition which was pretty ballsy seeing as one already existed - I’m sticking to my guns.. We’ll see what goes on from now till Sunday. If she opts for this 61 Meretz Arab MK coalition I will openly revolt like the Hashmoneans against the Seleucids.
We already know that Obama has an American Jewish vote problem, compared to Democrats running in the previous 4 Presidential election cycles he trails those candidates by approx 15% in even the friendliest polls.
His preacher’s anti semitic led 20 year stint in the Trinity Church certainly does not help, where Rev Wright has referred to Israel as a ‘dirty word’, nor does the fact that he has waffled himself on Israel issues as well as surrounded himself with advisors who believe that squeezing Israel is a handy solution to world problems..
The left is spinning the fact that more Jews vote Democrat by huge numbers, but it is still spin.
New data coming out of NY University paints the Obama Jewish vote in even worse light than I thought, firstly the numbers posted are worse for Obama than previously seen in other polling data, and secondly of those that are voting Obama - The data shows party affiliation with Liberal Jews as the reasoning, not confidence in Mr Obama by any means. In contrast McCain enjoys much higher Jewish support than normal for Republican candidates and wins the race for American Jews listing Israel as an important issue for them, sadly all too few do..
Jews are backing Barack Obama based primarily on traditional identification with the Democratic Party, a new study finds.
The support has less to do with the the presidential candidatesâ€™ positions on issues or other factors, according to the report released Monday by the Berman Jewish Policy Archive at New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.
The report attempted to determine why Jews supported Obama by 30 percentage points more than non-Jewish whites did in simultaneous polls taken in early September. The poll of 1,596 Jews was taken by Synovate shortly after the Republican Party convention and before all four debates and the stock market decline.
It found Jews favoring Obama over McCain by a 51-25 percent margin, with 24 percent undecided — which the authors reconfigured to a 67-33 margin for Obama after throwing out the undecided voters and counting only those who had made a decision. A similar process found 37 percent of non-Jewish whites backing the Democrat.
The report finds that such a discrepancy could not be explained by differences in education or income, or by their stands on issues. For example, the study found that Jews are about as equally concerned with social welfare issues — health care, education and poverty — as non-Jewish whites and Hispanics and less concerned than blacks.
Instead, the report states support for Obama can best be explained by Jewsâ€™ â€œhistoric, passionate, and high significant commitment to the Democratic Party and the liberal camp in America” — with the numbers finding that Jews are “excessively” connected to the party and and a liberal political identity.
â€œI was surprised,â€ said Hebrew Union College professor and Berman Archive director Steven M. Cohen, one of three authors of the study. â€œI thought Jews were voting more in line with issue orientation.â€ But Jews, he said, â€œdo not look like extreme liberalsâ€ when one looks at their stands on issues.
Israel fell in the middle — eighth out of 15 — when Jews were asked how to rate their issues of importance. Those who rated Israel more important also were more likely to back McCain
I didn’t run any polls but it seems fairly obvious today that American Jewry is less attached to Judaism & Israel than it has been historically, a look at assimilation numbers would easily confirm this. At such a critical time for the region and American foreign policy in general, at least some of our brethren are keeping America’s historical commitment to a strong Israel in mind as evidenced by a miniscule 55% showing for Obama in the Jewish vote, which is a full 25 points short of usual Democratic candidates high numbers..
Unfortunately, many Jews seem to have also replaced Judaism with a new religion, Democratic Liberalism, where party affiliation trumps all even though the Democratic party bears little resemblance to the party it once was, and has instead embraced much more radical left wing stances, as evidenced even by the choice of Obama himself who is far to the left of Clinton.
There are real and serious contrasts
While Hillary Clinton famously answered a few months ago in the primaries that if Iran attacked Israel under her leadership America would have to ‘destroy them’, Obama in contrast is looking to court Iran and said nothing remotely of the sort. While Hillary’s husband Bill squarely opined after Camp David II that it was not Israel, but Arafat that was the obstacle to peace, Obama chose Robert Malley the lone dissenter to Clinton on that very issue, to be one of his Israel advisors. Malley then called for dialog with Hamas terrorists which made him a crutch to the Obama campaign..
Historic election in more ways than one?
I hope in the end we are all wrong about Obama, however it seems clear enough to me that he is likely to retreat on the concept of keeping Israel strong as an American pillar of foreign policy, which in essence weakens America. He was all too eager to retreat from Iraq weakening America, so it seems clear that Israel would be an even lesser priority and rightly so generally. However, the US / Israel relationship is symbiotic, when Israel is strong it strengthens America and her policies, just as when the USA is strong it strengthens Israel by leaps.
That huge 20% undecided Jewish block may very well make the difference between a strong or weak Israel, between a strong or weak America, and between the Islamic Republic of Iran – the world’s foremost sponsor of terrorism possessing nuclear weapons or not.
Livni’s associates are blaming holidays for delays, but wherever the blame lies the 1 month coalition constructing period allocated by law expires today. Having been elected by 400 some votes in the Kadima primary, Livni was supposed to have put together her ruling coalition by this date and applied formally to institute her government.
Alas, so far only Labor has agreed in talks formally to participate, and there are problems internally within Labor over the agreement. I blasted Barak last week over what I perceive as profound weakness and prominent members of the party agree, which will pose a small challenge in ratification. Kadima & Shas meanwhile are in talks to come to terms over billions more shekels, upon which the coalition talks still hinge.
Livni is a big spender
The agreements so far hammered out by Kadima with Labor are estimated to cost the state in excess of 1.5 billion new shekels worth of unallocated spending with a cool billion or two more still coming via Shas. It has been an expensive few weeks, now Livni will apply for her last 2 weeks allowed by extension in order to try and spend more to secure her un-elected government.
Some hints as to the direction of Livni’s possible government are already manifesting, while the Palestinian, Lebanese, Syrian & Iranian tracks are bouncing all over the map with varying parties trying to secure their interests in the chaos. On the question of Lebanon & Hezbullah tying in Syria the word from Livni so far is:
- Capitulation on the UN resolutions she herself negotiated.
- Capitulation on borders already affirmed by the UN as legitimate
- Capitulation by Israel regarding security overflights..
All in return for what Livni’s associates are calling a ‘non-aggression pact‘, which will prove to be worthless clearly as it will not be recognized by Hezbullah who now control south Lebanon & beyond.
In other words, Livni’s government will be vying with Olmert’s previous government for the honors of ‘worst leadership period in the history of the State of Israel’ and she hasn’t even cemented her coalition yet.