Thursday, March 19, 2015

From Ian:

Alan Dershowitz: The Role of the Palestinian Authority in Israel's Election Results
Those around the world who are upset with Prime Minister's Benjamin Netanyahu electoral victory over the Zionist Camp party should put much of the responsibility for Israel's rightward turn squarely where it belongs: on the Palestinian Authority (PA).
At least twice over the last 15 years, Israel has offered the Palestinians extraordinarily generous two-state solutions. The first time was in 2000-2001 when Ehud Barak and Bill Clinton offered the Palestinians more than 90% of the West Bank and all of the Gaza Strip, with a capital in Jerusalem. Yassir Arafat turned down the offer and started an intifada, in which 4000 people were killed. This self-inflicted wound by the leader of the PA contributed greatly to the weakening of Israel's peace camp, most particularly of Ehud Barak's Labor party. The current Zionist Camp party, which is an offshoot of Labor, has continued to suffer from that weakening.
Then again, in 2007, Ehud Olmert offered the Palestinians an even more generous resolution, to which Mahmoud Abbas failed to respond positively. This failure also contributed to the weakening of the Israeli center-left and the strengthening of the right.
Israel is a vibrant democracy, in which people vote their experience, their fear and their hope. In 2000-2001 and 2007, most Israelis had high hopes for a peaceful resolution of the Palestinian conflict. These hopes were dashed by Arafat's rejection and Abbas' refusal to accept generous peace offers. It is not surprising therefore, that so many Israelis now vote their fear instead of their hope.
Beinart goes Stalinist
Let me tell Beinart something about the election result: it should not have been a surprise. Israelis did not suddenly vote for ‘occupation’. A majority of Israelis have realized, since the Second Intifada, that they are stuck with it — the alternative is Hamas next door to Tel Aviv — and that the delusional thinking of the Left only brings war, terrorism and death.
This was confirmed when Hamas took over Gaza and began to rain rockets on southern Israel. There hasn’t been a majority for the left-wing bloc since 1999 because of this reality. All Netanyahu did with his “nakedly racist appeal” was to shift some votes to the Likud from parties to the right of it, in order to improve his position in the coalition negotiations to follow.
It is fascinating to watch Beinart, who talks so much about democracy, quickly adopt coercion when the democratic process produces a result he dislikes. Like many of the reactions of the Left to the election results, Beinart quickly slipped into his true, Stalinist persona. You want to annex Area C, Bennett? We’ll freeze your assets! Never mind that there are no possible legal grounds to do so.
I expect that Beinart and Obama are of the same mind about this, so I won’t be surprised when the US votes against Israel at the UN, and does who knows what else to “punish” us. But keep in mind that no Israeli government — not Bibi, but not Buji/Tzipi either — could possibly make the kind of concessions needed to satisfy Obama or the Arabs. The problem isn’t Bibi, it’s reality.
I am pleased, though to take some of the responsibility from the government. As an Israeli voter (who proudly voted for Bibi), Beinart can blame me all he likes. Go ahead, make my day!
Israel Election: Racist Leader Told Voters to ‘Punish’ Their ‘Enemies’
Controversy continues to rage after the Israeli elections. It is–or ought to be–a scandal for any leader of a civilized nation to urge one group of voters to “punish” their “enemies” from another group of voters. The exact quote was: “We’re gonna punish our enemies and we’re gonna reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us.” The leader who uttered those disgraceful words was U.S. President Barack Obama in 2010, and the mainstream media ignored him.
In contrast, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: “Right-wing rule is in danger. Arab voters are coming out in droves to the polls. Left-wing organizations are busing them out.”
It was an unseemly remark, one that Netanyahu later had to clarify.
Yet the mainstream media had been harping on the Arab vote for weeks, specifically warning that it was a threat to Netanyahu’s government. And the U.S. State Department has been funding efforts to target the Israeli Arab vote.
If it is racist to point out that Arab voters are being bused to the polls, then it is racist to bus them to the polls in the first place, and to report (with fervent hope, as in most media articles) that those Arab voters dislodge Netanyahu from power.



Netanyahu’s Historic Win — and Obama’s Humiliating Loss
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s stunning victory yesterday — polls at the end of last week had people writing off his chances — means he will become only the second person to be elected prime minister for a third term (the other being Israel’s founder David Ben-Gurion). “King Bibi” has established himself as one of the dominant figures in the history of the modern state of Israel. Mr. Netanyahu is hardly a person without flaws. But for those of us who admire his toughness and moral clarity on world events — and who appreciate his obvious love for his nation and for ours — it was a splendid turn of events.
As for the current occupant of the White House, it was a disastrous one.
Barack Obama has an obsessive animosity when it comes to Prime Minister Netanyahu, which he has demonstrated time and again. So much so that Obama and his aides did everything they could to influence the Israeli election, from smearing Mr. Netanyahu — referring to him as a “coward” and a “chickens***” — to childishly elevating a difference over Netanyahu’s speech to a joint session of Congress into a foreign policy crisis to perhaps illegally funneling money to oust the sitting leader of Israel. We know that Jeremy Bird, who served as Obama’s deputy national campaign director in 2008 and his national campaign director in 2012, arrived in Israel in January to help unseat Mr. Netanyahu. This is all quite astonishing, even unprecedented. Benjamin Netanyahu may have won without the outside interference by Obama — but what Obama & Company did certainly helped.
Richard Baehr: Netanyahu's win and Obama's election woes
It is the morning after in Israel, and there are a few developments worth noting. As ‎Bill Kristol joked on Twitter:‎
"BREAKING: British PM Cameron, in close re-election ‎contest, has called WH to ask that Obama intervene ‎against him."
David Cameron might be the first in a string of elected ‎international leaders calling for help for their ‎opponents given U.S. President Barack Obama's track record since ‎he took office.‎
For if there is one consistent political story that has ‎emerged about Obama, it is his unique ‎ability to destroy his political allies. After his ‎landslide victory in the presidential contest following ‎the financial collapse in 2008, the Democratic Party ‎held 60 Senate seats (after one party switch) and ‎‎258 House seats. Today, after two disastrous mid‎term routs, the Democrats have fallen into the ‎minority with 46 Senate seats and 188 House seats. ‎The House total is the lowest for the party in nearly ‎a century. ‎
U.S. Alliance Will Survive Barack-Bibi, Act 3
What this boils down to is that as much as the president detests Netanyahu and has little love for his country, the infrastructure of the alliance, in Congress and the defense establishment is too strong for him to destroy. As he learned last summer when the Department of Defense was automatically transferring arms to Israel during the Gaza war, it takes more than a spat orchestrated by the White House to derail an alliance that has such broad bipartisan political support. As the president learned during the weeks leading up to Netanyahu’s controversial Iran speech to Congress earlier this month, even when the Israeli plays into their hands, the White House has shown a tendency to overplay their hand in a way that only helps the pro-Israel community.
More than all this, a re-elected Netanyahu will be in a position where time will be on his side. As the countdown for Obama’s exit from the White House begins, the prime minister will know that no matter who wins in 2016, they are likely to be far friendly to Israel than the current incumbent. He can afford to wait until January 2017 when he can count on a new relationship with an Obama successor who will be eager to prove his or her bona fides.
The months ahead will be difficult ones for Israel as Obama seethes about his foe’s victory. But as much as Obama has already undermined Israel’s security, his ability to do more damage is constrained by the realities of American politics than can neither be undone nor wished away.
International pressure to grow after election, but sky won’t fall
It was no secret that the international community was keeping its fingers crossed, praying for a change to a more dovish government in Israel. Now that these hopes were crushed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s resounding victory Tuesday, some fear that Europe and the United States will increase pressure on Israel over the stalled peace process with the Palestinians.
There’s certainly cause for concern. The European Union has long threatened to punish Israel for what it perceives as foot-dragging, as well as over ongoing settlement construction, which is considered an obstacle to peace. Neither is US President Barack Obama much of a fan of Netanyahu, especially since the latter’s Congress speech earlier this month, in which he ferociously attacked the administration’s policy on Iran.
Netanyahu’s assertion that no Palestinian state would come into being on his watch, in an interview on Monday, has already raised consternation in Washington.
And yet, the sky won’t fall. While increased pressure on Israel to move toward resuming negotiations and implementing a two-state solution is a given, Israel is not about to become a pariah state, or even be subject to severe punitive measures, as several Israeli officials and analysts have indicated.
“It’s clear that it won’t be easy, but I don’t know how bad it will really be,” a senior Israeli diplomatic official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Even Netanyahu’s apparent repudiation of Palestinian statehood does not necessarily mean that the international community will turn the screws on Israel.

“There’s a difference between things said during an election campaign and actual policy decisions,” the official said.
The Israeli Left Hates the Israeli People
But perhaps even Levy isn’t really convinced by that claim. For elsewhere he states his feelings far more clearly when he states simply; “The nation must be replaced. Not another election for the country’s leadership, but general elections to choose a new Israeli people – immediately.” That’s it, Israel’s public falls so woefully short of being worthy of implementing Levy’s lofty ideals that it’d be better to just be rid of them and find a new public instead.
After that bombshell, it would be difficult to be surprised by anything else Levy writes. Yet he concludes his piece by arguing that the international community will ultimately punish Israel, and that that will be a good thing. “The only consolation is that another Netanyahu term will prompt the world to act. That possibility is our only refuge,” concludes Levy. But that statement is not so very far from the words of Haaretz’s former editor David Landau who notoriously told then Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that “Israel wants to be raped by the United States.” For its own good you understand, to save Israel from itself.
If it wasn’t clear then, it should be very clear reading Levy’s piece now that, quite simply, much of the Israeli left hates its own country and just about all the people who live there.
Meet the MK: Dr. Anat Berko, Terrorism Expert
Dr. Anat Berko, an internationally recognized expert on terrorism who specializes in studying the motivations of suicide terrorists, was elected to the 20th Knesset yesterday. Berko, who agreed to join the Likud party in December, is also a former lieutenant colonel in the IDF.
The Jerusalem Post gave a brief biography of Berko when it interviewed her last month.
The second of six children, both of Berko’s parents were refugees from Iraq. She served in the army for 25 years, ending her service with the rank of lieutenant colonel.
She directed ground forces in the Southern Command in the IDF’s women’s corps before it disbanded in 2001, and after she earned her doctorate in criminology, she used her skills to administer over a jail.

Berko gained her expertise by interviewing and writing about failed suicide bombers and those who dispatched them. According to the Post, Berko interviewed Hamas leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin for five hours. When asked by the Post about the current chances for a Palestinian state, she said that Israel must negotiate with the Palestinians, but that if Israel were to withdraw from the West Bank, it likely would be taken over by Islamists and become “analogous to Syria.”
All 120 incoming Knesset members
One hundred and twenty lawmakers from 10 parties will take up their posts in the coming weeks, 40 of them rookie lawmakers, following Israel’s 20th general elections for the Knesset Tuesday.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu looks to have retained the premiership after his Likud party garnered 30 seats to become the largest party in the plenum, in elections that were largely seen as a referendum on his rule.
Isaac Herzog’s Zionist Union party stood at 24 seats, the (Arab) Joint List won 13, Yesh Atid 11, Kulanu 10, Jewish Home 8, Shas 7, and Yisrael Beytenu 6, tied with United Torah Judaism. Meretz was the smallest party, with 5 seats.
A record 28 female MKs were slated to enter the Knesset, up slightly from 27 in the 19th Knesset and 21 in the 18th Knesset.
There was also a large increase in number of Arab MKs, 17, up from 12 after the previous elections.
After Netanyahu win, Obama takes off the gloves
Administration officials have already emphasized that the US will be reevaluating its approach based on Netanyahu’s comments; they have laid down a definitive framework going forward, instead alluding to two likely scenarios.
Carefully planted rumors have been circulating around Washington for weeks that the White House and Foggy Bottom are considering presenting a new peace plan, one that bypasses direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority and attempts to impose a reality on the ground. The US – if it wants to play rough – certainly has the leverage to try and strong-arm Israel into an agreement, using critical defense allocations as carrot or stick.
During last summer’s war in Gaza and immediately afterward, Israel got a taste of what it would feel like if military equipment transfers were slowed – not even halted – and the threat of a slackening of military aid is a palpable one.
The pre-elections appointment of Robert Malley as the White House coordinator for the Middle East, North Africa, and the Gulf region puts the right person in the right position to play bad cop. Malley has been the focus of criticism in the past, removed from Obama’s 2008 campaign team because of contacts with Hamas and seen as a Washington insider who is comfortable taking a critical approach to Israel’s policies.
The second option – this is the one the administration has been publicly hinting at in the aftermath of the elections – is a reduction of US support for Israel in the United Nations and its affiliated institutions.
GOP’s 2016 Hopefuls Quick to Congratulate Netanyahu
Likely Republican presidential candidates wasted no time Wednesday congratulating Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on winning his fourth term. The statements out Wednesday ranged from simple congratulations to taking digs at President Barack Obama‘s relationship with the leader.
The White House hopefuls were quicker off the mark than the White House itself, which has had a chilly relationship with Mr. Netanyahu. The White House said Wednesday afternoon that Secretary of State John Kerry had called Mr. Netanyahu with his congratulations, and that Mr. Obama would be calling him in “coming days.” Tension between the U.S. and Israel is expected to continue after the elections.
IsraellyCool: Who HAS Congratulated Binyamin Netanyahu
As I posted before, US President Barack Obama has not congratulated Binyamin Netanyahu on his election victory.
But let’s see who has.
CUFI applauds Netanyahu's reelection, expresses worry over US-Israeli ties
Christians United for Israel congratulated Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on securing his fourth term in office, expressing hope that the Israeli leader and US President Barack Obama would have better relations during this term.
"The US- Israel relationship is central to the national security interests of both nations," CUFI spokesman Ari Morgenstern told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday. "Unfortunately, we do not believe President Obama has been a good steward of this alliance and in general has created a situation in which our enemies do not fear us and our friends do not trust us."
Christians United for Israel has taken copious steps to support Israel's security and its interests in the US government. Most recently they supported Netanyahu’s speech before Congress and have also called on their more than two million members to support the Corker-Menendez legislation that would help block Obama’s current deal with Iran regarding nuclear weapons.
"As Prime Minister Netanyahu begins his next term and President Obama concludes his final term, we hope the President will approach Israel as the friend and front line ally she is," Morgenstern said.
Krauthammer On Obama: He 'Loathes Netanyahu More Than Any Other World Leader'
Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer said on “Special Report” Wednesday President Barack Obama “loathes” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “more than any world leader.”
Adding to that point, Krauthammer added that that includes the likes of Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Ayatollah of Iran.
The conservative commentator told host Bret Baier that the toughest thing for Obama to swallow with Netanyahu’s victory is that the Israeli’s disagree with the president’s approach to dealing with Iran.


White House Spokesman Won't Utter Netanyahu's Name
How angry is the White House that Benjamin Netanyahu won the parliamentary elections? David Simas, White House Director of Political Strategy and Outreach, was a guest on CNN the morning after the elections and couldn't even bring himself to say the name "Netanyahu."
CNN New Day co-anchor Alisyn Camerota asked the questions, and even mentioned the Prime Minister's name in each query, but to White House spokesman Simas, the Israeli Premier was like Lord Voldemort in the Harry Potter books:"He who must not be named."
U.S. Should “Re-Evaluate” Peace Process
The talk of re-evaluating was, no doubt, intended as a warning to Israel not a sign of much-needed introspection. The White House is hoping that Netanyahu will see it as a warning that if he doesn’t do as he is told, the administration might cease defending Israel at the United Nations and instead join European efforts to isolate the Jewish state by recognizing Palestinian independence without first making them make peace with Israel and granting them sovereignty over borders that should be negotiated rather than imposed on the parties.
This is neither an idle threat nor one that wouldn’t hurt Israel. If the Palestinians were to realize their fantasy of getting the UN Security Council to pass a resolution recognizing their independence in the territories taken by Israel during the Six Day War, including Jerusalem, it would do more than to relieve them of any obligation to negotiate peace with Israel. It would also put the United Nations officially behind a campaign to isolate Israel that could do real damage to the Jewish state’s ability to defend itself.
The administration could also seek to cut back on military aid to Israel and pursue other efforts to downgrade the alliance.
But if that’s what Obama is contemplating as he prepares for the third act of his stormy relationship with Netanyahu, he needs to step back and think long and hard about the implications of a policy that would be based more in spite than in the interests of either the United States or the cause of peace.
From Tel Aviv to Turtle Bay
Shortly before this week’s election, the United States informed its diplomatic partners that it would hold off any moves in the U.N. Security Council designed to put Israel on the spot at the United Nations in the event that Netanyahu’s challenger, Isaac Herzog, won the election. But U.S. officials signaled a willingness to consider a U.N. resolution in the event that Netanyahu was re-elected and formed a coalition government opposed to peace talks. The United States has not yet circulated a draft, but diplomats say Washington has set some red lines and is unwilling to agree to set a fixed deadline for political talks to conclude.
“The more the new government veers to the right the more likely you will see something in New York,” said a Western diplomat.
Netanyahu’s government will likely be made up of right-wing and Orthodox parties adamantly opposed to making concessions to Palestinians. According to a statement from Netanyahu’s office, the Israeli leader has already consulted with party leaders he plans to add to his coalition, including Naftali Bennett of the pro-settlement Jewish Home party, Avigdor Lieberman of the far-right nationalist Yisrael Beitenu party, and leaders of the ultra-Orthodox Shas and United Torah Judaism parties.
On Wednesday, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki did not rule out the possibility of the United States supporting a U.N. resolution on Israel-Palestine.
“We’re currently evaluating our approach. We’re not going to prejudge what we would do if there was a U.N. action,” she told reporters.
NY Times: Obama may agree to UN resolution on '67 borders after Netanyahu campaign rhetoric
According to several administration officials, the Obama administration is now seriously considering agreeing to the passage of a United Nations Security Council resolution "embodying the principles of a two-state solution that would include Israel’s 1967 borders with Palestine and mutually agreed swaps of territory," according to The New York Times.
Although the relationship between Israel and the United States would remain strong, according to administration officials, it would not be managed by US President Barack Obama and Netanyahu. Instead, US Secretary of State John Kerry, one of Netanyahu's only remaining friends in the president's administration, would take over along with Pentagon officials who handle the close military alliance with Israel.
“The president is a pretty pragmatic person and if he felt it would be useful, he will certainly engage,” the Times quoted a senior administration official as saying. “But he’s not going to waste his time,” he added.
‘UK, Germany have held EU back from tougher stance with Israel’
British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond warned that Britain and Germany had been holding back the European Union from taking a tougher stance with Israel and expressed concern for the prospects of a two-state solution.
Hammond made the comments before a question and answer session at the Hendon United Synagogue in London on Tuesday, as Israel held national elections, the Jewish News reported.
Britain, he said, was willing to work with whichever government resulted from the elections, but he made it clear that the international community expects the next Israeli leadership to work towards a peace deal.
“The window [for a two-state solution] is closing because of settlement patterns as much as anything else,” Hammond said. “If we see restraint in terms of not settling new areas, areas that are critical to the coherence of a two-state solution, the window will be a bit bigger. But it’s I’m afraid what feels and looks like a deliberate campaign of trying to sabotage the delivery of a two-state solution that is causing most concern over the past couple of years. For many people that’s what it looks like.”
Abbas: Two-state solution impossible under Netanyahu's rule
As the Likud party secured a sweeping win in Israeli elections, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas charged Thursday that the possibility of achieving a two-state solution would be impossible with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in power, AFP reported.
The PA president lambasted the premier after he appeared to walk back his support for a Palestinian state ahead of the Israeli election.
"Netanyahu's statements against a two-state solution and against a Palestinian state... are proof, if correct, that there is no seriousness in the (future) Israeli government about a political solution," AFP quoted Abbas as saying.
Abbas's comments came a day after his spokesman had emphasized that the Palestinians were in favor of any Israeli leader whose policy supported the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel.
WH And Media's New Narrative: Bibi Dangerous For Israel
CNN, using incredibly demeaning language for the Israeli prime minister, added, “President Barack Obama made it clear to Netanyahu on Wednesday that the Israeli prime minister, with whom he has repeatedly clashed, is still in the doghouse…” CNN quoted Steven Simon, a former National Security Council official for Obama, saying the White House might abandon supporting Israel at the U.N.
The New York Times got the message, too, quoting Martin S. Indyk, who functioned as Obama’s special envoy in negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians, and the executive vice president of the leftist Brookings Institution, warning, “Israel does not need to be, and should not aspire to be, a nation that dwells alone.”
Politico jumped on the bandwagon, quoting former White House adviser David Axelrod unintentionally causing hilarity by sniping at Netanyahu, “Let’s acknowledge the obvious: Bibi Netanyahu is a great politician and there’s no question he’s willing to do whatever is necessary to keep himself in power.” In one more attempt to paint Netanyahu as dangerous for Israel, Axelrod snapped that the prime minister had “mortgaged the future.”
The Washington Post, not to be outdone, warned, “In the past, Israeli leaders who risked damaging the country’s most important relationship, that with Washington, tended to pay a price."
V15: Election Day Was 'Confusing' And 'Painful'
According to reports, V15 is led by, among others, Jeremy Bird, who was the national field director for US President Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign. V15 is also backed by the leftist One Voice organization, which receives money from the New Israel Fund, which raises most of its money in the US and Europe.
Reportedly, V15's job is to recruit tens of thousands of volunteers for house-to-house canvassing, knocking on anywhere between 150,000 and 1 million doors — a method that was effective in Obama’s first presidential campaign, in particular.
The group continued to operate, hiring hundreds of workers to knock on doors and drive voters to the polls on Election Day, among other activities. But it was to no avail, as Netanyahu went on to decimate Zionist Union/Labor at the polls. As a result, the group said, Netanyahu, who “does not care” about Israelis but is only worried about “his own seat in the government,” would be able to “continue his caesar-like rule.”
“Unfortunately,” the group said, Netanyahu's “scare tactics worked on too many people, who are afraid of something new. But we are not angry, nor do we need to be. Despite the tears in our eyes, our hearts are filed with hope” for a victory in the future.
Ezra Levant on Netanyahu's reelection (despite Obama's experts)
Ezra Levant of TheRebel.media explains how Obama's minions tried and failed to prevent Benjamin Netanyahu's reelection in Israel on March 17.


Israel Tells UN to Worry About Abbas & Hamas, Not Jewish State
Israel told the United Nations on Wednesday to worry more about Hamas and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, than the state of Israel’s democracy.
The comments followed a statement by United Nations spokesman Farhan Haq demanding the end of Israeli settlements in “Palestinian territory” and the creation of a “viable Palestinian state.”
“It’s incumbent on the new Israeli Government, once formed, to create the conditions for a negotiated final peace agreement with the active engagement of the international community that will end the Israeli occupation and realize the creation of a viable Palestinian State living in peace and security alongside Israel,” said Haq following Israel’s elections on Tuesday that saw a strong victory for Prime Minister Netanyahu.
“This includes the cessation of illegal settlement building in the Occupied Palestinian Territory,” Haq continued. “The Secretary-General firmly believes this is also the best and only way forward for Israel to remain a democratic state.”
Israeli Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor responded to Haq’s statement by reminding the UN that the Jewish state is the only democracy in the Middle East.
“The United Nations may disagree with the policies of the Israeli government, but there is one fact that can’t be disputed – that Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East,” Prosor shot back.
Analyst Upset That Election Results Defied Polls
In an interview Wednesday, Israeli television broadcast pioneer Uzi Peled advocated for an “investigation” into the results of the elections – because they did not match the television projections broadcast Tuesday night.
Peled, who helped establish Channel 1 in the mid-1960s, and later went on to manage Channel Two's Tel-ad Network, told Israel Radio on Wednesday that he was disturbed by the turn of events. “I have to say that I do not understand what happened Tuesday night,” he said. “How could it be that there were three exit polls from three different sources all showing the same results?
“It seems to me that the pollsters worked together to produce a specific result, for whatever reason,” Peled said. “Otherwise how could you have such similar results, and yet the results Wednesday were so different? I would thus suggest that the government's anti-trust organization investigate the three polling organizations responsible for these three exit polls, to determine if they colluded to produce the same results, which would be illegal.
“But if it turns out that the pollsters did their work properly, we must ask what happened the next morning, when the results were so different? I would go to the head of the Central Elections Committee and ask him to investigate what happened between 10 PM Tuesday and Wednesday morning. I am not G-d forbid accusing anyone of anything, but based on my professional opinion, these two items just don't match up,” he added.
Dewey Defeats Truman – This Time in Israel
Israelis went to bed on March 17 thinking that the two main political parties in that day’s election were tied and that their nation’s future was unknown. They awoke the next morning to the news that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likud party had decisively defeated his left-wing rivals. Several left-leaning Israeli newspapers went to press too soon, with headlines hopefully reporting that the Zionist Union party might yet be able to head the next government—or at least serve as an equal partner in a “national unity” government with Netanyahu.
Israeli electoral history now has a counterpart to the iconic photo of a beaming Harry Truman holding up the front page of the Chicago Tribune, with its infamously premature headline, “Dewey Defeats Truman.” Smiling Likud activists are now pointing to the headlines of the two newspapers that were the most passionate in their opposition to Netanyahu in this election: “Neck and Neck,” announced Yedioth Ahronoth; “Netanyahu, Herzog tied—[President] Rivlin demanding national unity government,” declared Ha’aretz. These newspapers’ bewildered editors were left wondering how Israeli voters could have betrayed the media’s expectations.
No Palestinian Elections? So Delegitimize Israeli Democracy
A particularly nasty commentary by British Palestinian Yara Hawari makes the following claim in The Independent concerning Israel’s elections:
"In fact, approximately 4.5m Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza have no say in deciding which Israeli political party will control every aspect of their lives."
But why should they have a vote in an Israeli election? That would only be possible if a one-state solution came to fruition where the aforementioned 4.5 million Palestinians would simply vote Israel out of existence as a Jewish state.
And what of Israel’s Arab citizens who came out and voted?
"Although they have citizenship, it is on a nominal basis, and there is an entire body of Israeli laws designed to discriminate against them. Their situation is one of an internally colonised people and the type of occupation they face, although subtle, is very real."
Hawari links to the radical Adalah organization, which maintains a database of “50 discriminatory laws.” NGO Monitor states that “contrary to Adalah’s ongoing attempts to portray Israel as anti-democratic and racist, including frequent events in the UN and other international platforms, many of the laws listed have nothing to do with Israeli Arabs nor could they be described as “discriminatory”.”
Elite Media Fumes at Bibi Win: Outrage From New York to Los Angeles
The New York Times then attacks Netanyahu for “failing to address the issues that Israelis said they were most worried about, namely the high cost of housing and everyday living in Israel.” The Times adds, “Although the economy has grown, the country has experienced widening income disparities and is now one of the most unequal societies in the advanced world.” The socialist-minded Editorial Board seemingly implies it is better that all Israelis be poor and “equal” than for a Netanyahu-approved, market-oriented system to prevail.
The equally-upset Los Angeles Times Editorial Board writes, “Netanyahu fought to hold on to power in the worst way. In a desperate attempt to win the support of hard-line voters, he repudiated his tepid-from-the-start support for a two-state solution in which Israel would coexist peacefully with an independent Palestinian state.”
“We don’t mind saying that we were hoping for the end of the counterproductive Netanyahu era in Israeli politics,” the Editorial Board admits.
The Los Angeles paper ends by lecturing its readers on how the decades-old two-state solution idea is best for “regional peace” and for “Israel’s self-interest.” By doing so, the newspaper implies that Israelis apparently do not know what is in their own best interests, because they elected another Netanyahu-led government.
Michael Lumish: Hatred: The Natural Daily Kos Reaction to Netanyahu's Victory
As everyone knows, the people at Daily Kos just love Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, and Jews Zionists.
That being the case, let's take a gander at some of their musings upon Netanyahu's victory, yesterday, in the Israeli election.
Let's start by looking at the comments under this David Harris-Gershon "diary" with the fair and balanced title, Netanyahu's racist incitement against Arabs & rejection of two states lead to a comeback victory.
The first thing to note are the ubiquitous charges of racism against pretty much anyone that they do not like. In this case all the high-pitched screechings are due to the fact that Netanyahu apparently claimed that anti-Likud operatives are getting the Arab vote out in large numbers and that Likud needs to step up their own get-out-the-vote drive.
That is it. That is all. In fact, what Harris-Gershon naturally will not tell you is that within the very link that he directs us towards we read:
Likud MK Gila Gamliel expressed her happiness with reports of high voter turnout among Arab citizens.
Israel markets gain, shrug off Netanyahu election win
The Likud said it intended to form a new government within weeks. Negotiations are already under way with the pro-settler Jewish Home party, the centrist Kulanu party and ultra-Orthodox groups.
"The market's indifference to the results apparently stems from its belief that the coalition that will be formed will be more stable than its predecessor," said Idan Azoulay, chief investment officer at the Epsilon brokerage.
Coalition partners are likely to have financial demands, but Netanyahu should be able to stand firm on the budget after Likud's big win, he said.
The benchmark Tel Aviv 100 index was up 0.7 pct to 1,384 points at 0935 GMT. Energy shares Avner Oil, Delek Drilling and Delek Group were all up over 5 percent after they announced a deal to sell $1.2 billion of natural gas from the Tamar field to Egypt
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries was up 2.1 percent after it announced on Tuesday the sale of four oncology development programmes to Ignyta in exchange for 6 percent of Ignyta's stock.
Khaled Abu Toameh: PA: We hope election will help push international community to revive peace process
Chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat said that the results of the election “show the success of a campaign platform based on settlements, racism, apartheid and the denial of the fundamental human rights of the Palestinian people.”
Such a result would not have been possible had the international community held Israel to account for its “systematic violations of international law,” Erekat said.
He urged the international community to support Palestinian efforts to “internationalize our struggle for dignity and freedom through the International Criminal Court and through all peaceful means.”
One Israeli government official responded to Erekat by saying that it was “difficult to take him seriously,” since his government “signed a pact with Hamas, a brutal terrorist organization committed to Israel’s destruction.”
The official added that it was also difficult to take Erekat seriously as the PA “conducts a propaganda campaign encouraging hatred of Israel and denying the very legitimacy of the country.”
Hamas Urges Palestine To 'Forget' Peace Talks After Netanyahu Re-Election
The Hamas terrorist organization in Gaza reacted to the election of Benjamin Netanyahu by urging the Palestinian Authority to forget peace talks with Israel.
“The results are enough to convince the (Palestinian) Authority to forget a continuation of the absurd peace talks,” Hamas said in a statement, reports Arutz Sheva.
Both Hamas and the Palestinian Authority were unhappy with Monday’s results, especially after Netanyahu, in a final push for election, declared on Monday that there would be no Palestinian state on his watch.
“Anyone who is going to establish a Palestinian state, anyone who is going to evacuate territories today, is simply giving a base for attacks to the radical Islam against Israel,” Netanyahu told NRG, an Israeli news site. “This is the true reality that was created here in the last few years.”
Bloomberg Column: Progress in Peace Process Depends on Palestinians
The decision by Israeli voters to return Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Likud party to power is because progress in the peace process depends on the Palestinians, and currently “the Palestinian side doesn’t have a credible partner with which Israel could make a lasting peace,” Noah Feldman argued today in a column for Bloomberg View.
The most important is that Israeli-Palestinian relations, the only area in which the Herzog-Livni coalition would’ve differed meaningfully from Netanyahu, don’t depend only on Israel. They depend on the Palestinians, too.
Right now, the Palestinian side doesn’t have a credible partner with which Israel could make a lasting peace. Mahmoud Abbas might conceivably be willing to do a deal, but it appears he can’t deliver a unified Palestinian public behind him. Hamas, which controls Gaza, hasn’t truly reconciled with him. Equally important, Abbas, who turns 80 next week, has limited staying power — and it’s unclear who will follow him.
Historically, Israelis have been prepared to choose center-left governments and negotiate peace when the possibility seemed realistic. Otherwise, they tend to prefer the center-right. More than any other factor, this historical reality explains the defeat of the center-left.
MEMRI: Palestinian Intellectual Praises Israeli Democracy: Palestinians Must Learn From Israel And Israeli Arabs How To Handle Controversy, Work For Benefit Of The Public
Following the recent Israeli elections, 'Imad Al-Falouji, head of the Gaza-based Institute for Intercultural Dialogue, wrote an article titled "Israel's Democracy and Our Anarchy." Falouji is a former Hamas member who left the movement in 1996 and later served as information minister and as an advisor under Yasser Arafat. In his article he praised Israel's way of handling controversy, and also praised the Israeli political parties for concerning themselves with the citizens' wellbeing and with domains such as economy, education and security; this, in contrast to Palestinian parties which, he said, are concerned mostly with political grandstanding and do not seek solutions to the people's everyday problems. He called upon the Palestinians to emulate the Israeli Arabs who united their ranks in order to bring about change.


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