spacer.png, 0 kB
Home arrow Columnists arrow Archives arrow The Problem With Livni
spacer.png, 0 kB
spacer.png, 0 kB
 
The Problem With Livni Print E-mail

By Jay Bushinsky 
November 10, 2008

Why can't Israel be like the United States and New Zealand and just change?

Why doesn't the so-called Jewish Democratic State follow the example set by President-elect Barack Obama and Prime Minister-elect John Key and show that a political leader who does not belong to the racial or religious majority can rise to the highest governmental office in the land?

After all, America's voters chose a man who is part-black and part-white to be their next President and New Zealand's voters chose a Jew to be their next prime minister.  So why shouldn't the Israelis who will troop to the polls come Feb. 10, 2009, not elect Foreign Minister Zippy Livni and her still-new Qadima party to follow suit?

True, Israel already has had a female prime minister: the late Golda Meir, who served from 1969 to 1977.  But unlike Ms. Livni, who would give up as much territory as she may deem necessary to achieve peace with the Palestinians and Syrians, Mrs. Meir would not.
 
Be that as it may, there is a big difference between Livni and Obama, not to mention
New Zealand's Key.  She does not have the oratorical panache, personal charisma and electoral know-how that enabled the junior senator from Illinois to qualify as the 44th president of the United States.
 
Rather than generate the emotional enthusiasm of a revival meeting, as did Obama, Livni comes across as an irate schoolmarm, constantly trying to convince her audiences that she knows best and that all of the so-called painful concessions she is prepared to make are for the good of the country.

The trouble is that no one knows exactly what those concessions may be.  Livni's concept of bi-lateral negotiation is that all of her cards must be played close to her chest. When her endless talks with the Palestinian Authority's representatives are over she evidently will present the Israeli public with a take-it-or-leave-it fait accompli.  Refusal to accept the deal she hopes to conclude with the support and approval of the Obama Administration not only might impair Israel's relations with the U.S., but also set the stage for another war in the Middle East, according to her probable argument.

Like President-elect Obama, Livni derides the "old politics," implying that it was based on cronyism, favoritism and catering to special interests.  However, her choices for Israel's next ministerial cabinet are almost a carbon copy of the incumbent one. 
 
On the other hand, her main opponent, former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has willingly and gladly delved into the past to produce a new leadership for his right-of-center political party, the Likud.  His first choice was Benny Begin, son of the Likud's first Prime Minister, Menachem Begin.  Benny Begin quit Netanyahu's last government a decade ago when it handed over the West Bank's Biblical city of Hebron to the Palestinian Authority -- a commitment made by his immediate predecessor, Shimon Peres that Netanyahu believed he was duty bound to honor.
 
Netanyahu also recruited another scion of the historic Zionist-Revisionist, Herut and Likud movement -- Dan Meridor, a former justice minister who retained his national popularity
despite a series of ideological shifts.
 
Unlike Livni, Netanyahu and his team, which may include outspoken ex-military chief of staff Moshe Yaalon and ex-northern area commander Yossi Peled, will abandon Livni's notion that there are "pragmatic" Palestinians with whom Israel can and should come to terms. 

A Netanyahu government would give its highest priority to Israel's security needs as it sees them: retaining Jerusalem as a unified city rather dividing it as the capital of the projected Palestinian state as well as that of Israel, barring a withdrawal to the armistice line that existed from 1949 to 1967, refusing to give up the Golan Heights in to and making Palestinian independence conditional on the prior elimination of all terrorist elements from its domain.
 
This may be more than the easy-going, bon vivant and non-confrontational Israelis of today can prepared to take.  The fact that the outgoing Qadima-led government refrained from using the military force at its disposal to put an end to Qassam missile launchings from the Gaza Strip and in the process bring down the Iranian-backed Hamas regime there that sponsors or tolerates them reflects this state of mind. 
 
Besides, peace or the avoidance of all-out war is good for business and is favored by Israel's financial elite, most of which prefers Livni to Netanyahu.  With its money as well as the transparent support she has been getting from Israel's news media -- a virtual replay of the recent American experience -- Livni probably will stay neck and neck with "Bibi" (Netanyahu's nickname) in the public opinion polls.  And at every opportunity Israeli TV news anchors will slip in snide remarks about her opponent being only "too well known" to them. 

In short, it may boil down to the timeworn slogan, "Anyone except Bibi!"

   
            

 

Comments (0) >> feed
Write comment
quote
bold
italicize
underline
strike
url
image
quote
quote
Smiley
Smiley
Smiley
Smiley
Smiley
Smiley
Smiley
Smiley
Smiley
Smiley
Smiley
Smiley

busy
 
< Prev   Next >
spacer.png, 0 kB
spacer.png, 0 kB
Copyright © 2005 - 2017 - MGI NEWS - All rights reserved. Web Design & Maintenance By: AA TECH DESIGN spacer.png, 0 kB
MGI News is the sole U.S. incorporated news and programming organization specializing in the Middle East directed by Jay Bushinsky, founding Bureau Chief of CNN Jerusalem. Topics from President Barak Obama, Binyamin Netanyahu, Mahmoud Abbas, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Hamas, Hizbollah and more...

Topics include: Middle East News, President Barak Obama, Netanyahu, Abbas, Ahmadinejad, Hamas, Hizbollah, Goldstone Report, Nobel Peace Prize,Al Qaeda, Terrorists in the U.S., Iran, Palestinians, Israel, Enriched Uranium, Two-State Solution, UN Security Council, Human Rights Commission, Paelstinian Authority, Yitzhak Noy, Elif Ural and more...