Tag Archives: Elections 2008

Kadima Vote: Polls are open for tonight’s results (Updated: Livni Leads Kadima)

Just a short post, the real action happens after 10 pm tonight when we will know if it is Livni or Mofaz taking up Olmert’s position as party leader, or perhaps a runoff if things are tight. Each candidate needs at least 40% of the vote to avoid a two person runoff so it is certainly possibility – turnout will be important because polls have been tight at times and Livni needs a huge get out the vote effort to avoid a head to head with Mofaz who controls a large chunk of Kadima party base.

Jpost
Haaretz
Ynet

Keep in mind that sealing the Kadima party win is only a 1st step, the new leader will have approx. 40 days to form a new majority coalition with the existing Knesset tally seats & parties, or Israel heads to the polls in a new general election..

UPDATE: Livni displays ‘leadership poise’

Camp Livni and the Lady herself are sweating it up this evening, because turnout is so far VERY low. (under 30% by 6PM)

Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni disappointed by ‘unsatisfactory turnout rate’, urges voters to head to polling stations; about 19% of Kadima’s registered voters cast ballots by 4 pm.

Attila over at Ynet who is Livni’s greatest cheerleader there must be also stressing, because he’s been updating turnout all day like it is going out of style, raise your hand if you are sure Attila.. Well, take solace Livni, I’ve been pretty disappointed by your unsatisfactory leadership rate too, so I guess so far it all evens out. Good luck and get out that vote!! You need it to win.. 3.5 hours to go until polls close.

UPDATE II: Pitiful – Livni requests 1 hour long poll extension! Gets 30 minutes.. Polls to close at 10:30 NOW. Who goes out to vote suddenly at 10 at night when the day has been beautiful, not a cloud in the sky!? Only those getting desperate phone calls from Livni supporters, sad.. Very very sad. All day Livni in the media begging people to vote like a broken record, over & over again - Desperation is very attractive it seems. The ‘leader with the clean hands’ seems prepared to get dirty even before polls have closed, bodes well for Israel. *eyeroll*

Update III: Initial exit polls are out
Livni 43, Mofaz 38, Sheetrit & Dichter both close to 10%
These are exit polls, 1000 polled – this is not the final result but a projection.  Well off the massive 20 & 15% leads these same pollers attributed to Livni before the election. It looks tight at the top, crossing the 40% mark is crucial for either candidate.

Update IV:
Looks like Livni with further exit calls on polling – Livni 47, Mofaz 38. In the last 2 hours alone over 20% of votes were polled, from a 30% turn out to over 50%, also news that everyone in line will be allowed to vote, so clearly Livni’s late evening push to get polls open later has paid off as she is pulling ahead in exit polls late.

Update V: Mofaz has left his campaign hall
No official call conceding, but close enough.. As Mofaz seems to acknowledge that the difference is now getting too large to close, especially with the big Livni gains coming late. Latest exits show Livni pushing to 48, Mofaz 37-38, Dichter 7, Sheetrit 7.

Channel 1 (Israel’s public broadcaster) reported on the media role in pushing Livni and speculated on the effect noting Mofaz had one media handler, Livni half a dozen with the media all day long touting one message: Livni wants to get out the vote.

Update VI 12am: Official results trickling in

No official win yet, and Livni is still an hour away from announcing / giving a speech as official results are only being tallied. Tzahi Hanegbi, one of the more senior Kadima members says he believes waiting is justified as results will in his eyes likely be closer than these exit polls show despite Livni seemingly having won. (Tzahi endorsed Livni.) Mofaz reportedly to speak tonight was well.

Coalition talk:
Shas the party most seen as critical to Livni to form a coalition is on every network tonight selling the benefits of awarding them billions in Social Payment Shekels to secure their seats in a new coalition. If that happens, prepare for a new reign even more left than Olmert.

Meretz the radical left party is reportedly elated with a Livni win and prepared to join a future coalition as well. If Shas does not join but Meretz, Labor, The Retirees, & Kadima form up with the Arab parties putting them over the top they could get 60-62, a slight majority. That says it all, Israel’s future not in its own hands, but being handed over to our Arab brothers..

Kadima! Forward.. with an even harsher leftward tilt!! (oh joy)

Kadima! 'Forward'.. with an even harsher leftward tilt!! (oh joy)

B’nai Brith: PM Harper has reached out over Sukkot election call

Will the Tories pick up a Parliamentary majority in the snap elections called for October 14th?

B’nai Brith says Orthodox voters can and should participate. Canadian Jews were a bit miffed that the snap election call in Canada set for mid October falls in line with Sukkot this year, making it more difficult for Orthodox Canadians to head out to polling stations. It would be a big stretch however to paint Harper & the conservatives as anything but welcoming and friendly to the Canadian Jewish community and by extension Israel.

Canada has made big strides in its Israeli relationship over the past 2-3 years with Harper at the helm of a minority govt, compared to a 12 year plus Liberal reign that was at times nearly hostile.. Under Harper the Hezbollah conflict and a much more balanced stance at the UN come to mind.

B’nai Brith has issued a statement on the matter of the elections, highlighting new electoral options to ensure full & fair participation by Orthodox Canadians to the process..

OTTAWA, September 5, 2008 – Prime Minister Stephen Harper has been in ongoing discussion with B’nai Brith Canada over his decision to hold an election on October 14, 2008, the Jewish holiday of Succot. The Jewish human rights organization, which would have preferred an election date that did not coincide with a significant day on the calendar of the Jewish religion, nevertheless characterized the Government’s decision as “understandable” in light of electoral campaign laws and international obligations. 

Prime Minister Harper has personally reached out to the Jewish communityand contacted B’nai Brith regarding his decision to hold the upcoming federal election on a date that falls on a Jewish holiday,” said Frank Dimant, Executive Vice President of B’nai Brith Canada. “While it is regrettable that the Prime Minister ultimately settled on the date of Succot, we understand that the government had only the narrowest window of opportunity to schedule an election. We also recognize that the Prime Minister has made every sincere effort to arrive at a resolution that would not impose limitations on Orthodox Jews.

“Unlike previous elections, there is currently in place a new set of electoral laws that provide ample alternatives for voters to cast their ballot on days other than the scheduled election date. We appreciate the careful deliberation of the Prime Minster Harper on this sensitive matter to the Jewish community. B’nai Brith will work with Jewish community members to ensure their full participation in the election process.”

B’nai Brith Canada will be convening Town Hall pre-election debates across the country to bring issues of Jewish community concern to the fore. The first is to take place in Toronto on Wednesday, September 10 in the riding of Don Valley West. B’nai Brith will shortly release an Election Task Force Guide titled, ‘Issues of Concern and Recommendations for Action’ that will be accessible on the organization’s website www.bnaibrith.ca.

I will be voting by mail myself but not so much because of Sukkot per say, but because I’m in the holy land. It’s no secret who will be getting my vote either, despite the fact that Liberal opposition leader Stephan Dion is my riding’s representative / minister in Canada. Wouldn’t it be nice to see Canada hold conservative, the US hold conservative, and Israel usher in a new Likud govt? Trifecta.

Cruising down J-Street: Obama Attacks Likud, Biden Attacks AIPAC!? (UPDATED Biden threatened AID cut)

‘Biden won’t take a back seat to no one’.. Except maybe to Iran
(Updated damagingly below)

In a strange supportive mixed-message play at American Jews & Media in the US Biden re-inforced his strong support of Israel, stating that Israeli decisions should be made in Jerusalem, that’s certainly sound and appreciated. Oddly, he then went on to trash AIPAC which is not..

[...] The Vice Presidential nominee vowed that the United States will “always standby Israel, without telling Israelis what they can and cannot do.”

Biden dismissed the prominent role played by the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC, saying the group “doesn’t speak for the entire Jewish community,” and it “doesn’t speak for the state of Israel, no matter what it insists on any occasion.”

The Delaware senator also attacked critics who have questioned his support of Israel saying, “I will take a back seat to no one, and again, no one, in AIPAC or any other organization, in terms of questioning my support of the State of Israel.” [...]

Obama Biden Call Shotgun in J-Street front seat?

The new hard left ‘Progressive Lobby Group’ J-Street seems to have deep ties to the Democrat ticket. Despite being nearly totally unknown, clearly not in Israel’s best interest policy wise, and not having anywhere near the support of Jewish Americans compared to AIPAC, if any. But J-Street does have something quite clutch – Obama & Biden fans it seems. It’s no wonder why, when you look at the ticket’s foreign policy spiel..

[...] Biden also questioned the wisdom of a pre-emptive U.S.-led attack on Iran, at a time when the U.S. is “bogged-down in Iraq,” adding that he has been “stunned by the incompetence” of the Bush administration in its handling of the war in Iraq.

Biden also defended his opposition to the The Kyl-Lieberman Iran amendment which called for labeling Iran’s Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization and passed by a vote of 76 – 22, saying that he didn’t want to help the government find a “pretext for war with Iran”, especially in light of what he described as the Bush administration’s inept handling of the war in Iraq. [...]

One clearly begins to understand, that there will never be pre-text for striking Iran according to Biden, as taking any sort of action whatsoever even if benign might be interpreted as yet another step towards such a strike, heaven’s forbid this is anathema to this ticket and that’s fine. American policy should be decided in America. But even the threat of a strike – The single piece of real leverage America has is clearly not in the cards.

Easy come, easy go Israel policy?

It brings in to question how strongly Biden or Obama would really support allied Israel if IT felt it needed to strike in the end, support Israel would need badly. Clearly these two take a backseat in their own words to no one, American Jews or AIPAC included, and certainly not Israel legitimately, which is a foreign sovereign country. But somehow I get the feeling allies will not be riding along in the backseat with these guys, more like in the trunk.

Obama himself has already made his views on The Likud quite clear. Apparently as long as we here in ‘Jerusalem’ choose to drive on J-Street, choose appeasement, or surrender, and the Meretz Peace platform ‘to endanger the state’ supported by 1% of our own population, we should be just fine in the buddy department under the New Democrats. Phew!

But what happens if that’s not what we decide?

In that case it is very comforting knowing that this ticket disparages AIPAC, the closest American organizational friend Israel has in America, its number one ally in the world. Why did Obama pander to AIPAC in the first place if it’s not important? Who was he trying to impress, clearly not Joe Biden. It is also comforting that Obama disparages the Likud, the largest political party representing the largest slice of the Israeli electorate for the last decade in Israel, where Israelis themselves get to ‘decide’.

AIPAC responds:

[...] Joe Biden is a strong supporter of the US-Israel relationship,” said AIPAC spokesman Josh Block in response to Biden’s statements. “He’s been a staunch supporter of US aid to Israel, a leader in the fight against Palestinian terrorism and is a vocal advocate of the special relationship between the two democracies,” he continued. “We look forward to continuing to work with him in the Senate or the White House,” should he win.

“Barack Obama and Joe Biden have both enjoyed close and effective cooperation with AIPAC over many years, grounded in their respect for its important mission to support Israel’s security and a strong US-Israel relationship,” Obama spokeswoman Wendy Morigi said in a statement released later Wednesday. “That is a mission they share, and they look forward to continuing to work closely with AIPAC on their common goals.” [...]

Biden’s Big Mouth & Obama’s Big Talk

These guys & their 300 policy advisers are baffled as to why they can’t secure more of the Jewish vote stateside, is it any wonder? What with them attacking the Likud, AIPAC and preaching the virtues of J-Street? The bigger question might be how they have secured any of the American Jewish vote at all! Both these men are Pro-Israel, but the more they talk the more one wonders which Israel it is they are supporting in this election, the one that is an American ally and depends on the good people of the USA, or the one that will win them the most votes?

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UPDATE (HT SD) – Biden should probably ease off, in light of this damaging exchange with Israel’s Peace negotiating Prime Minister Begin..

The quotes came out a few days ago but were unsubstantiated, my right word has done some fantastic digging to bring up the relevant facts.

The exchange is between Likud Prime Minister Menachem Begin of Israel, and a younger Senator Joe Biden in 1982 around the time of Operation Peace for the Galilee (Lebanon War I) in which Biden to get his way threatens TO CUT OFF AID TO ISRAEL and is chided in return by Begin for his fair weather friendship..

New York Times, June 24, 1982:

Reporting on his meetings with the members of Congress, Mr. Begin said one of the senators had threatened to cut off aid if Israel continued creating settlements in the West Bank. The senator is reported to have been Joseph R. Biden Jr., Democrat of Delaware,

Mr. Begin cited the incident to give voice to a feeling that is held in his entourage – that Israel has rendered military service to the United States in battle-testing American arms.

“Sir, do not threaten us with cutting aid,” Mr. Begin said, in recounting his reply. “First of all, you should know that this is not a one-way street. You help us, and we are very grateful for your help, but this is a two-way street. We do a lot for you.”

Indeed, Mr Biden a pro Israel senator may want to ease up on the AIPAC bashing and aid cutting, lest someone like me get the wrong idea and think an Obama/Biden ticket might be a disaster for Israel..

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UPDATE MORE LINKS
the memeo is on the story now, Rosner who seems to have left the comforts of Haaretz and spread his wings a bit ties into the J-Street theme, while the Huffington Post keeps desperately trying to get the Jews for Jesus meme going and smear Palin, too bad we’ve already been there and done that, with Obama turning out the loser.