Tag Archives: Kadima

Water Levy: Kadima Opts for Irresponsible Populism; Endangers Nation

Could Dalia Itzik & Tzipi Livni be MORE Out of Touch? Doubtful.

This week Kadima made a grand affair of repealing the Drought Levy going into effect this month. Personally I can’t believe it. Israel’s Kinneret water source is a full 5 meters below its waterline.

It is hovering at a critical level - Meaning any further water tap below these levels can permanently damage the entire source. In Israel they are already talking about a dead lake soon (meaning not enough water to sustain the Lake’s balance which can lead to oxygen depletion & the death of all the fish & wildlife) not too mention the depletion of our fresh water source.

Aquifers Also Tapped Out

The same can be said for Israel’s natural below ground aquifers, they are in danger of permanent damage from salination due to excess pumping. Israel is in a severe drought and it will take a few years to build desalinization capacity to equal current consumption. Thankfully, the water levy encourages conservation in the mean time until that can happen. And let’s be clear, without a lowering of consumption the forecast is that turning on the faucet will soon result in NO WATER COMING OUT!

Drought Levy

Under the levy now in effect as of November, every household member is allocated a certain monthly amount of water, which incidentally is quite cheap overall and sufficient. Excessive use beyond the allocation is charged at a higher level, pretty reasonable stuff considering the national challenge.

Bonus, since the plan was announced a dramatic lowering of consumption has resulted – During the peak summer months yet! Clearly, when faced with a levy for excess use people perk up & pay attention, water consumption goes down. This isn’t rocket science, nor is the levy unmanageable fiscally by any stretch.

Populists

Kadima’s press conference this week complete with signage & catch phrases was the latest irresponsible play by the party. They are calling it the water tax & want it repealed. Do they have alternatives to suggest? Not really. Are they being irresponsible in the extreme? Most certainly, and what’s the payoff? Sheer Populism. Livni stripped of her titles, Dalia Itzik stripped of her Knesset speaker’s chair are both rather desperate it seems to gain cheap political points any way they can in a most pitiful manner.

Mofaz, Livni & Itzik take political opportunism to new heights while reaching for new lows - Water table included.

Mofaz, Livni & Itzik take political opportunism to new heights while reaching for new lows - Water table included.

Kadima in Opposition.. With the World.

At a time when the whole world has moved to reduced largess, conservation where possible, sustainable development and due to economics an effort toward some minimalism & enhanced personal responsibility - Kadima bucks the trend. The ‘drought tax’ according to Kadima is get this a “violent, unjust tax”.

If Kadima thinks that’s violence, wait till they see how people react when they don’t have any water in their taps. We need to conserve, many Israelis are sadly oblivious & I see copious water wastage often enough. Ok so some people are pigs, c’est la vie – No problem, let them pay to fill up the trough.

Link: Haaretz of all places savages Dalia Itzik, Livni & Kadima over this frankly absurd play..

Who can blame them? This is without a doubt the dumbest idea to pour out of Kadima in a while and there have been a few. Livni is proving to be a terrible leader & in lowly opposition yet. What a disaster if she were the Prime Minister of Israel, it is as simple as that. The Kadima motion will go before the Knesset to repeal the already voted on & passed water levy bill – That’s how stupid this is..

Now Available in Stereo: Kadima’s Livni Cut Down by Both Labor and Likud

The Knesset is clearly back in session..

Been a while since I did some politics, mostly related to the fact that Israel’s Parliament was on summer recess. But, have no fear – They’re back & raring to go! Kadima’s Livni late last week opened things up pledging to bring ‘relentless opposition’ to counter internal party criticism of her, which has been mounting steadily.

Her first major move was to sharply criticize Defense Minister & Labor leader Ehud Barak for spending a wad-load of money on a recent excursion to a Paris military exhibition (He was representing Israel’s significant weapons export industry).

Will that be cash or credit? $150,000 dollar hotel bill

Barak & his crew certainly spent a pretty penny, staying in one of Paris’ most expensive hotels & burning serious cash. Not exactly a smooth move by Ehud in tough economic times while on public dime.

In response, Livni pulled her typical above the fray gambit taking an opposition position criticizing Barak on ethics.. Laudable, but surely it occurred to someone in the Kadima brain trust that with former Kadima PM Olmert literally on trial for corruption, playing the little angel might not be the wisest of moves or tactics!?

That’s when all hell broke loose..

Until now, most of the heat Livni has felt has been internal from Kadima, but her critique & the fresh Knesset session clearly caused a snap – Get a load of the Labor & Likud responses!

“The double standards and hypocrisy of Livni have reached new heights,” Labor responded in an official message. “She would be better off checking first what is going on in her own party, which is the most corrupt party in the history of Israeli politics [and] which has created, through a number of scandals, reprehensible norms in public, criminal and ethical fields. The entire public remembers the parade of suspects for violation of public trust, theft, false documentation, vice and other offenses.

There are some double entendres in there. Olmert as mentioned, but also the criticism that Kadima corruption resulted in Livni stealing the party leadership, sidelining her rival Shaul Mofaz in last years party leadership race – A key source of the welling of internal resistance Livni is facing within Kadima, a divided house. The statement goes on..

“Livni’s voice was not heard then,” the response continued. “Livni would be better off remaining silent rather than reciting slogans from her public relations advisers, and to act in accordance with the saying that ‘people who have butter smeared on their heads shouldn’t go out in the sun.’”

That’s coming from the Labor Peace Party! Never fear however, Kadima’s rivals in the Likud (her former home) had some choice words for her too. Effectively making this broadcast in stereo..

A senior Likud official also issued a response, blasting “Mrs. Livni’s hypocrisy,” which he said was “breaking records in Israeli politics.”

Everyone is clearly well rested and ready to rock up there in Knesset land.. We’re already in ‘record breaking territory’. Should be a fantastic silly season, nothing could make me happier. I’m going to need to buy more popcorn for the big show : )

LaLaLand: Opposition Leader Livni Has Seen Better Weeks

Livni's LaLaLand?Kadima GoldenGirl needs some polish

Things started off well enough this week for Mrs Livni. She was as happy as a peacock eating dinner with Madonna in Tel Aviv this week. This garnered her the most attention she’s been able to muster herself in weeks and she sure does love attention. The international superstar later visited Netanyahu’s home to light Shabbat candles (no, I’m not referring to Livni).

But the fun ended quickly in Kadima faction meetings, replaced by some blistering criticism..

The Kadima faction’s pre-Rosh Hashana gathering at the Knesset on Wednesday turned out to be not very festive, as party head Tzipi Livni endured rare criticism from someone other than her number two in the party, MK Shaul Mofaz.

Mofaz was joined in criticizing Livni’s management of the party by MKs Avi Dichter, Ze’ev Boim, and Gideon Ezra. The main issues of dissent were the handling of the party’s finances and a change to the party’s constitution that was enabled by temporarily removing regional council heads from Kadima’s governing council.

Sixteen MKs came to a meeting of Kadima’s house committee on Thursday during which party spendings were discussed. The MKs demanded greater transparency and complained that the budget for 2009 had still not been passed in September.

“If she doesn’t start considering the others in the party and stop thinking Kadima can be a one-woman show, she is going to have a real problem,” a Kadima MK who supports Livni said Thursday night. [...]

You see while Livni is living it up, Kadima is in debt and facing serious budget concerns. Almost 40 million Shekels worth of it with little winning party results, and even weaker opposition to show for it. Here’s a sample of her latest opposition statements and they show Livni living in a sort of LaLaLand as her colleagues have protested..

“Israel’s leaders, the elected government, in my opinion, still hasn’t made a choice between two different outlooks. One, Jewish existence in every part of Israel, and two, the existence of a Jewish democratic state,” she said in a speech at an IDF pensioners’ event. [...]

“In our time, we built in Jerusalem and the settlement blocs, they never liked it, but it was never the core of the debate between Israel and the world,” continued the opposition leader. “That was because they believed us and understood that our way was not one of biding time and trying to survive. With these attempts to survive and please everyone, we won’t preserve Israel’s interests and what is important to us, and we won’t progress at all.”

Huh? What is Livni rambling about here? The reason this has become the ‘core of the debate’ is President Obama and his need to create an artificial crisis with Israel for his own political purposes.. Not too mention his slimy move to totally disregard American / Israeli agreements – Which provided Madame Livni with the ability to see expansion ‘in her time’, and which were negotiated by Ariel Sharon when she was pretty much a nobody.

Nor was there ever any EU, or American celebratory cheering going on for settlement issues either despite these agreements. As usual Livni seems to coast along in a form of dream state above it all. I guess she has already forgotten Condi Rice’s vehement statements & threats to herself & Olmert over Jerusalem construction last year. Convenient.  It’s all very slippery & slimy and it is a pattern for Livni. She boasts of clean hands & change, but the only thing she often changes are the facts and history – Usually to suit her megalomaniacle ‘me me me’ needs.

Country fairly united

Netanyahu has done a good job building strong consensus and boxing Livni out of any coherent position of opposition. Kadima is in trouble, so is Livni. It’s time to wake up from the reverie. Apparently many in Kadima feel the same. The Power of Me got Livni nowhere, how’s about she start looking out for the rest of us a bit? Maybe with some responsible, coherent opposition in the form of supporting the will of the People of Israel instead of courting celebrities like Madonna or Obama.

Tea Leaves: 11 Weeks Left On My Latest Kadima Predictions of Imminent Disaster

Politics!!!!!

Last Friday, in my domestic analysis of Bibi’s first 100 days I made a prediction regarding Likud strategy & Kadima. You can read the whole post if it is of interest on the hows & whys, but I chased it with bold statements like these..

[...] Bibi is a masterful political operator. He has pulled the rug out from under Livni, and if Mofaz is smart he will make his move to push for coalition. If Netanyahu is equally smart and he is, I expect it in the next 10-12 weeks as posted above.

Resistance is futile..

Should Kadima resist.. We may see it fracture with Mofaz leaving. The challenge for Bibi is mustering some portfolios for the senior defense Kadima man. The best case scenario for Netanyahu is such a fracture, for now he is surely content to allow Livni to wallow in obscurity otherwise, as the coalition play would be a pressure gambit only. Should he succeed in splitting Kadima (no small feat), the ground is clear for an opposition-less path for years ahead & a Likud power reign of the right.

In order to keep myself entertained on the blog I do this fairly often, I’m pretty good at it too. Alas, it’s more finely honed polling trolling and a fairly religiously pursued tap on Israel’s political pulse than magic sadly.. Else I’d be a lot richer in general. Nonetheless, it has only been 6 days – but my seed is starting to sprout despite the oppressive Tel Aviv heat. In today’s YNET, senior Likud strategists confirm my thinking on what comes next..

PM’s associates: Next target – dismantling Kadima (Somfalvi)

In the wake of the State Budget’s approval Wednesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s close associates are setting their sights on the next target: Facilitating a split within the ranks of their main rival, Kadima.

The PM’s associates told Ynet that the so-called “Shaul Mofaz Bill,” which would allow 25% of the members of one Knesset faction to split and join another, is meant to prompt a Kadima split. “Should the Mofaz bill be passed, it will mark a significant strategic victory,” a senior official in Netanyahu’s office said.

The PM’s associates are claiming that at this time already, seven Kadima Knesset members will agree to leave their party and join Netanyahu’s coalition, even if Mofaz himself decides to shun the move for the time being. The prime minister’s associates said that in the near future they will be exerting intense pressure in a bid to approve the Mofaz Bill, in an effort to undermine the opposition. [...]

Approach to Danger

Livni, you are approaching the danger zone. It is no wonder that all of a sudden Livni’s tune is changing. Now we hear gems along the lines of ‘if Israel Beitenu leaves the coalition due to possible investigations of party head Avigdor Lieberman, Kadima would have no problem joining the coalition’.. More comedy gold.

Not looking good for Livni

Not looking good for Livni

Please don’t tell anyone that this ‘supposed aversion’ to Lieberman’s party is obviously the reason Livni spent the bulk of her own coalition efforts courting him, including such an invitation in her Victory Speech! to the nation on election night.

Oy! It’s not nice to laugh at your former party’s misfortunes, but I can’t help it. For a year+ I was posting post after post on Livni’s political fortunes, her handlers tall tales, and the fact that Bibi would eat her for breakfast. So far in my latest game of pick the political future I have scored big, with the Kadima implosion strategy now tabled as the next target for the Likud. We shall see if 11 weeks is enough time for me to sink a double bogey.. and watch Kadima split open like a melon.

Good Stuff..

Gil Hoffman at JPOST in a great article about Israel Beitenu’s legal woes and the possible fallout, mentions Mofaz as a dark horse for the Foreign Ministry should Avigdor Lieberman resign. But there’s the rub. Not enough English for Shaul in my opinion to make the position truly effective. What or how does Bibi shuffle the deck to make a tantalizing spot open for Mofaz to entice a full bail & bring a 1/3 of Kadima with him? The way the Kadima party& Livni treated him in the primary, it is difficult but doable as he & Livni seriously dislike each other. Will Mofaz try to oust Livni and take the party? Will he move to Israel Beitenu or more likely Likud?

No matter what there are fun times ahead for us Tea Leave readers everywhere.

‘Great Statesman’: Obama will have something to prove here in Israel

That’s a big sell these days, that Obama is a ‘Great Statesman’

Other than the fact that he mostly met his 1st foreign leaders 3 months ago this summer on his big world tour, this like most everything else about Obama is mostly fantasy spun up by his adoring legions. Personally Obama reminds me more of the Teflon Don, you know the gangster in the suit employing Chicago style dirt to achieve his aims while the common folk sing his eternal praise.

Willingness to meet the World’s worst regimes for coffee & tea does not a great statesman make incidentally, but that’s not my concern at the moment. A greater concern are the statements made by Obama & Biden regarding Israeli politics previously, specifically Obama’s denigration of the Likud, historically one of Israel two leading parties and a current favorite to sweep into power in our upcoming elections..

The left in Israel is already trying to make hay

Israel cannot elect Likud chairman Binyamin Netanyahu prime minister after the United States voted for president-elect Barack Obama, because of the differences in their views on the Middle East conflict and economic issues, Labor and Kadima MKs charged Wednesday in the wake of Obama’s victory. [...]

There’s more there, including the sad & pitiful statements so typical of our left wing of late, who have tried everything under the sun to secure their own asses and seats in a manner not befitting statesmen of any stripe. Bush was of the right, yet he dealt fairly and with respect with our center left governments as well as our center right wing governments. He respected Israel’s right to choose & define its own destiny in this regard.

We don’t need no thought control..

Will Obama step forward, in contrast to his previous statements before he became a ‘great statesman’, and state that Israel has both the right & the responsibility to choose its own destiny and elect its own leaders in democracy? Or will he play into the hands of Israel’s left and his own convenience, by unduly influencing Israel’s internal politics and subtly intimidating Israel’s electorate, as our own left is already doing in order to create the great socialist order?

Before Syria, Iran, the Palestinians and all manner of dangerous foreign policy plays available to him, Obama will have an opportunity to first show how much he respects the State of Israel and her vibrant democracy, specifically by repudiating the kind of self serving schlock served up above by our own politicians and stating that whatever Israel chooses, the choice will be respected & welcomed by the new US administration once he takes office. He met with Bibi previously, that’s a positive start though the meeting reportedly was cool.

Netanyahu and Israel’s own right wing have so far been gracious in regard to Obama’s victory. We will be at the height of election fever specifically around Obama’s inauguration, he will have ample opportunity to shows us his statesman ways in this regard..

Full Disclosure: Anti Bias Polling Bill To Become Law (Updated)

In an effort to quell what has become evident media bias & undue influence on the public, a bill designed to limit media influence before primary voting has become law.

This may seem somewhat controversial, but in light of the cycle of events in recent elections and the polling which is routinely absurdly off base here, something needed to be done. Is this a solution? Perhaps not, but it does constitute a sharp slap & message to both pollsters & media in Israel who were wholly unapologetic for their bias recently, in what was clearly an attempt to influence elections.

Via YNET:

The Knesset on Wednesday approved a bill prohibiting the publication of polls during the four days prior to any primary election. The bill constitutes a fine of NIS 67,300 (about $17,700).

The bill also states that polls that are published will be obligated to include certain details such as number of people polled, their background, and information regarding the method used to gather the data.

The proposal was initiated by Knesset Members Ophir Pines-Paz (Labor), Tzachi Hangebi (Kadima), Gideon Sa’ar (Likud) and Yuli Edelstein (Likud). It was submitted a few months ago, and legislative procedure was spurred after Kadima Chairwoman Tzipi Livni’s victory over her opponent, Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz.

The polls on the Kadima primaries showed a landslide victory for Livni, but on election eve she won by just a small margin. [...]

One notes that major players in all major parties were in favor & proposal, because the situation has become totally untenable to the point of openly influencing & manipulating Israeli Democracy by paid flacks in Israeli media, which has become like its US counterpart a sad, ill respected partisan joke. Israel is a small country with a heavy heavy media presence, this causes much more influence than larger markets may be accustomed to.

Subtle warning?

I would consider this a warning a shot, as it applies to primary votes not general elections. A free society depends on a free press, this is a signal in my belief to the media that it is time to start acting more responsibly, and to let the people not the agenda decide elections. The media sham that took place in the Kadima primary was the most shameful display in recent Israeli election history, the election of Livni was manipulated and everyone including Kadima itself knows it. Disclosure clauses in the bill would indicate a well warranted lack of trust in the media & polling, and puts the pollsters on notice..

Update: Israel Channel 2 to cease reporting primary polling entirely

Globes: Sources inform ”Globes” that Channel 2 News CEO Avi Weiss has decided that the company will no longer report primaries polls. He cited a professional recommendation by several polling and research firms because of polling inaccuracies. Until now, Channel 2 News and other news stations and media published primaries poll data, including polls in the Kadima party primaries mid-September, which were won by Minister of Foreign Affairs Tzipi Livni. The decision will apply to primaries held by any party. [...]

We never do anything half way in Israel, it’s part of our charm.. Channel 10 is now under the spotlight, the Public broadcaster Channel 1 also released polling data on Primary night but waited until polls closed, an improvement but they still called the election in error based ENTIRELY on exit polling like other media outlets! Can you imagine!? Calling the elections on Exit Polls without counting votes, in some cases before polls even closed!? Total insanity. Incidentally, major print media are affiliated with the TV media stations and share / initiate polling data jointly.