Tag Archives: Livni

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.


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.

ISRAELI ELECTIONS: Kadima Fails to ‘coalesce’

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
Ehud Barak – Labor


Netanyahu – Likud
Eli Yshai – Shas
Lieberman – Israel Beitenu

The Smaller Parties:
Meretz, UTJ, Pensioners, NRP, 3 Arab Parties.

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.

Musical Chairs..

The EmperorFirst 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.

Power Trip

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.

Times Up: Kadima needs to request 2 week coalition extension

Slow going

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.

Collective Shaft: Shas Seeks to Unite Haredi Parties (Updated)

Group Shaft! : Just what we needed, a collection of sellouts

The most disappointing party in Israel today by far is Shas. Despite having its former leader Ariyeh Deri thrown out on bribery & corruption charges, nothing has changed at Shas. They are still open to bribery, in fact despite being a religious party.. Standard support for religious issues, such as uniting Jerusalem eternally, protecting Israeli settlements etc have all taken a back seat to political & cash payouts.


For nearly three years now Shas has kept the corrupt Kadima Olmert administration in power as kingmaker of the coalition in return for flat out political appointments & payments. It is blatant to the point of being shocking. Now Shas is again joining the coalition this time under Livni, that much is clear.. DESPITE the fact that Livni is the sole negotiator with the Palestinians, and the openly acknowledged fact she is negotiating away Jerusalem! Mind boggling how Shas pretends to defend Jerusalem while at the same time openly making deals and actually selling out the city.. It’s heartbreaking really.

More Power..

Now Ynet reports Shas seeks to unite religious parties in Israel as a coalition block, to secure more power and apparently sell Jerusalem out collectively!

Haredi cooperation? Shas Chairman Eli Yishai met Wednesday with Knesset Member Yakov Litzman (United Torah Judaism) in a bid to form a united ultra-Orthodox bloc in the negotiations with newly elected Kadima Chairwoman Tzipi Livni.

The two discussed the possibility of joining a new Livni-led government together. A source close to Minister Yishai said following the meeting that “he has been working to form a bloc with UTJ in terms of the child allowances, which are the key issue for both parties. [...]

The two parties did not name a recommended candidate for forming the next government in their meetings with President Shimon Peres earlier this week. Together, Shas and UTJ have 18 MKs, nearly equaling the Labor Party which has 19 members in the Knesset.

Earlier Wednesday, Yishai appointed Attorney David Glass and Prof. Yohanan Shatsman as his representatives in the coalition talks with Kadima. He instructed them that the Jerusalem issue should not be discussed and that there should be no compromise on the child allowance issue. [...]

Everyone acknowledges that the non discussion of Jerusalem is an open farce. How can religious parties sell out the holy city for money & power!? The contrast with diaspora haredi communities is striking, the strongest proponents for a united Jerusalem and maintaining a greater Israel are religious Jews abroad. This wheeling and dealing for money is a national Jewish tragedy. If the haredi community won’t join in support to defend Jerusalem and the communities all around it teeming with religious families who will?

Most shocking of all, with a sizable 12 seats, and now a potential block of 18 the silence from these parties respective voters on this farce is deafening, the lack of leadership by Rabbinical authorities astounding. Eli Yishai is eating ‘Pork’ in the temple, if this isn’t hillul Hashem.. I don’t know what is. Now he’s planning on feasting with all his friends!?

UPDATE: Israel Our Home Lieberman;
Shas committing political suicide

“Their (Shas and Kadima) only common denominator is fear of general elections, and they are clinging to their posts,” he told Ynet on Thursday, adding that Shas was headed toward ‘political suicide’.

Lieberman estimated that should Shas join the coalition, it would lose many mandates in the next elections to the Likud party. He said that Shas activists have expressed their disappointment with the party’s direction. “From what I am feeling on the ground, Shas has already lost two-three mandates to Likud for sitting in (Prime Minister Ehud) Olmert’s government. If they’ll join Livni, and Meretz-Yahad joins as well, I believe they’ll lose another three mandates.

“I’m willing to bet that in the next elections Shas receives only seven or eight mandates,” Lieberman said [...]

I don’t have a problem with anyone’s respective choice on whom they chose to vote for, I’m a sucker for Democracy - But in this case I hope he is right and Shas pays the piper at the voting booth for this dereliction of religious duty. A united Jerusalem crosses religious / secular lines in Israel with between 70-80% support depending on the poll. Sephardi religious Israelis have little problem moving it seems between Likud, Kadima or Shas – They are quite fluid between those parties. Now that Shas is again choosing party over country, I hope its voters begin choosing country over party.

Israeli Backlash: Legislation aimed at leashing out of control Media & Polling

Who’s in control here? It is no longer clear

It might seem like I’ve been beating a dead horse covering the polling situation in Israel for well over a month now, slamming our big media endlessly for what I have called ‘agenda ridden polling’ and pushing their own views to shape public opinion in their own image, within Israel and abroad.

I apologize if it is tiresome, but I’ve been doing so because it has become more than clear that entirely unqualified & unelected media have had a skewing effect on state affairs for some time now in the realm of national decision making. It needs to stop and now MKs from both Israel Beitenu & Likud are proposing legislation to curtail influence by law. This is a small measure of vindication and allows me to get away with yet another post on this topic..

JPOST: ‘Ban publishing exit polls before voting ends’- Shelly Paz
(reproduced in full, I normally don’t do that but I digress on this topic)

MK Yisrael Hasson (Israel Beiteinu) will hold a special session of the Economic Affairs Committee on Wednesday to discuss banning the publication of exit polls while the ballot boxes are open for voting. Hasson chairs the panel.

“The meeting was set following the profound questions that have arisen regarding the media’s conduct and its influence on several crucial events in the Israeli reality; the disengagement [from Gaza in 2005], the Goldwasser-Regev-Kuntar swap deal [in July] and the Kadima primary last week,” Hasson said on Sunday.

It was important to examine whether the media had became the decision-maker, he said. “In other words, to check whether the watchdog of democracy has turned against the landlord.”

Hasson’s initiative is a result of allegations against the Israeli media and the way it covered the primary, accusations that went as far as to say that new Kadima chairwoman Tzipi Livni won the race thanks to media coverage that was clearly biased in her favor.

It has also been claimed that the publication of exit polls while the ballot boxes were still open, as well as in the days immediately before the primary, influenced the final result.

Also on Sunday, Likud MKs Gilad Erdan and Moshe Kahlon announced on they would soon introduce a bill that would ban the publications of polls in the two weeks before general elections and party primaries.

“Some would say that the intensive coverage of abducted soldiers increases the pressure on the decision-makers, who give in and agree to pay high prices, but that is impossible to quantify,” Erdan told The Jerusalem Post.

He added that he expected decision-makers to be able to withstand such pressure. “However, the general public can be influenced by polls, trends and the general mood that is created by the media.

“The media creates trends and they obviously affect the voters, who lie to pollsters and don’t feel comfortable revealing their real choice, and sometimes they are even discouraged by the polls and don’t even bother to go and exercise their rights at the ballot box,” Erdan said.

Dr. Yariv Ben-Eliezer, director of media studies at the Lauder School of Government at the Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya, said that banning the publications of polls and surveys one or two weeks prior to primaries and general elections would help restrain the media’s eternal struggle for ratings.

“It’s not an exact science, but in general, the function of the media is to report, and when a TV channel or a newspaper commissions a poll, they’re not reporting anymore, they’re creating the news, and that is a failure of the media – where it deviates from its proper role,” Ben-Eliezer said.

Once the media commissioned polls and published them, it no longer reflected reality as it was but rather shaped it. “People are influenced and they can be affected by it [polls], and they may want to join what seems to be the stronger [political] group. I don’t say they do it intentionally, I believe that this is a result of the fight for ratings,” Ben-Eliezer said.

Indeed, Israel is a small country. A vibrant Democracy needs a vibrant free media, but at what point does it become clear that media, ‘elites’ & select opinion is now driving the national agenda? With today’s power in media that point in Israel has not only been crossed it has become untenable, this past week bordering nearly on criminal behavior with the Kadima Primary fiasco.

Crossing the line?

Now our national media pushes an agenda, and then when it is done doing so our media figures drop all pretense entirely and simply get themselves tacked onto party lists where they have already engendered favor through bias in reporting, and become Knesset MKs! Shelley Yacimovich of the Labor party, who was a vocal & visible journalist / activist put into Knesset this past session is a prime example. A number of Haaretz journalists have also recently left to pursue local & national politics as well, it kind of reeks.

Of course, journalists are free to enter politics by all means, but it seems that politics has also been entirely too free to enter Journalism here as well.. It’s time to reign them in because the people need to elect its governments and drive popular issues, not a handful of talking heads. This phenomenon has pushed Israel’s decision making farther to the left overall, while its electorate is solidly majority center and center right. The right is slandered, smeared & deligitimized by a cadre of illegitimate media, oh the irony.