By Elaine Magliaro
Award-winning political cartoonist Mark Fiore said that since Benjamin (Bibi) Netanyahu has now given “his very own State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress, the partisan colonization of the world is in full swing!” Fiore added that Bibi “has clearly thrown his lot in with the Republicans, and virtually every Republican in Congress has jumped on the Bibi bandwagon.”
Gone are the days of a unified bipartisan stance toward Israel. With the Israeli government going Republican, what political party will other nations pick?
Maybe we’re about to enter a domestic arms race, where each party will try to align with their chosen nations.
Fiore said that he was personally “reserving Somalia for Paul Ryan and other Ayn Randers.”
Fiore noted that maybe it wasn’t such a bad thing “that the current Likud government in Israel has sided so clearly with Republicans…” He thought it might be “the first step to our politicians seeing a difference between Israeli government policies and support for the Israeli people.” He added that what was forgotten in all of Bibi’s “Congressional showboating is the fact that the Obama Administration is frantically trying to negotiate an effective nuclear agreement with Iran.” Fiore warned that we shouldn’t be fooled by “Bibi’s talk of a ‘better deal,’ more sanctions and a tougher stance toward Iran’s nuke program won’t yield any deal at all, and will yield instead all out military battle with Iran.”
Greater Republica (Mark Fiore)
As I’ve been saying for years, Bibi is a profoundly stupid msn wh thinks he is smart.
The one thing that has come of this massive fail that is that is beneficial is it has highlighted exactly how out of touch with reality Bibi is when it comes to foreign policy. Israel deserves better leadership than the Likhud has provided. Being pro-Israel is one thing. I’m not a huge fan of nationalism as a concept, but in the case of Israel I understand it. The Likhud illustrate what can happen when nationalism goes too far. They are aggressive to the point that (and I’ve been saying this for years as Mike can attest to) they are actively damaging to the regional peace process. I hope he and his party get shown the door and more mature, calmer and less paranoid minds come to the fore in Israeli policy.
Mike, I do think Bibi is pretty smart, but I think his high arrogance clouds his judgement. I suspect he has a messianic complex, as does Erdogan, the former on account of his father, and the latter on account of …I don’t know yet. One of the symptoms of that is they deem themselves inerrant, and will therefore sacrifice the many to their vision.
Gene, I do think that Bibi’s stunt will indeed expose him much more clearly than anything before, and that it will have some impact in Israel, but when it comes to our politics here, am not sure it will change anything. The republicans were as much (of) a tool for Bibi as he was for them, and both are doing the dirty work for the extreme right in Israel and the Christian right here, coupled with the war industry that will be the only one to actually benefit from a war with Iran,
I am not sure why but there is really no real costs to any political misdeed anymore. Cotton won’t pay a price for this, his party wont, and Bibi and the Likud might not either. If they win the Israeli elections, it will be as if the slate was wiped clean and their new mandate will shine a different light , a redeeming one on what should have been a fatal mistake.
My own take is Bibi is a stupid man who is captive to his Jabotinsky heritage. Sadly, while Jabotinsky had many faults, he was socially liberal, while his followers have become reactionary. Bibi also was predominately a secular Jew by his heritage, but I think his contact with the Lubavitch Rebbe, convinced him that the path to political power was via alliances with the religious right. What I find so infuriating about Bibi is that while on one hand he believes he is preserving Israel as a Jewish State, his policies actually threaten that existence. Israel must reach a resolution and support the development of a two state solution. If it tries to exist as an apartheid state there will never be an end to the hostilities and so a separate, viable state must be created. Even after the end of the 1967 war, David Ben Gurion, then in retirement said that Israel must giveback the captured territories as a bargaining chip for peace.
I’m hoping Bibi loses big enough that he won’t be the one forming a coalition government. Bibi’s economically conservative policies have been hurting the Israeli public and I think that will be the determining factor. We must not forget that Bibi has American Republican advisers and has been following a similar course to the Republican Party in America. This is a course of making the public fear aggression, alliance with religious fundamentalists and policies that aid the wealthy. His trip was orchestrated by Republican strategists, as is now apparent from his campaign ads. It was to project him as “tough” in Israel. The curious thing about Israel is that its military and intelligence communities find Bibi’s policies offensive and have campaigned against him. This is unusual in the governance of nations.
The “Iranian” issue is a typical outcropping of the blindness of those enthralled by American exceptionalism. The Iranians have good cause to hate the US. Iran was on a road to democracy in the early 1950’s when the CIA helped overthrow the democratically elected government and installed Reza Palavi as Shah. He was a vicious autocrat who oppressed his people to remain in power and had a brutal national intelligence force know as the Savak, that equaled the KGB, or even the Gestapo in its operations. Sadly, when the long needed Iranian revolution against the Shah took place it was taken over by religious extremists and they also have committed their excesses. I’m certainly not a fan of Iran, but considering many other States in the Area, Saudi Arabia for instance, it seems about par for the course.
I don’t believe the real issue with Iran is about nuclear capability, I think it is as always about oil mainly, but it is also about ethnicity. As you know the Iranians are not Arabs, but actually descendants of one of the most dominant cultures in world history. The Shia/Sunni feud is also a factor and with it a fight for dominance in the Middle Eastern Muslim world, with our “ally” Saudi Arabia as the chief opponent. The Western European trope has always seen these countries they were able to conquer via imperialism as “backward” which fails to realize the rich, sophisticated cultural heritage they represent. These are societies that are every bit as capable as any developed in Western Europe, but their perspective differs. Cotton and his cronies wrote that letter to Iran dripping with condescension, as if writing to people incapable of understanding the US system. It was written with an attitude that they were writing to barbarians who couldn’t grasp the essentials of American governance. I think the Iranians understand it far better than Cotton and his coterie who are blinded by the log of again American Exceptionalism.
I don’t know, po. The last I read it’s close with polls putting the Zionist Union party ahead 24 seats to 21 for Likud. The Haaretz poll last week was from a smallish but valid sample space though. As for here? No, it won’t change a thing here if the Likhud ends up in the opposition in Israel.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/israel-election-2015/.premium-1.647138 “he poll blackout since Friday evening means that for the last four days of the Israeli election polls, aside from rumors regarding the parties’ own internal polling, we have little indication of the final and crucial voting trends. In the absence of information, we can only go on the current polls, which – perhaps unsurprisingly – are pretty uniform and on the kind of known unknowns that we can try to foresee based on previous elections.
As the voting ends at 10 P.M. on Tuesday, the three main television channels will broadcast their exit-polls. These are usually quite accurate, and are swiftly updated with results coming in from districts which have finished their count. The picture may be quite clear by midnight; but if the gap between the two largest parties (Likud and Zionist Union) is close, and if any of the smaller parties are hovering around the electoral threshold, it may take a couple of days before the soldiers’ votes are in before we know for certain. And then of course, there will be long weeks of meetings at the president’s residence and coalition horse-trading.
With all that taken into account, here are the main scenarios and sub-plots which could play out from Tuesday night onwards.” Scenarios follow in the article………
http://www.haaretz.com/news/israel-election-2015/1.647304 ” “Israelis are voting on Tuesday in the election called last December by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The election culminates a strident, personal campaign that, to the surprise of many, finds the incumbent fighting for his political life against once implausible challenger Isaac Herzog.
Ballots are being cast at 10,372 polling stations throughout Israel, and will remain open until 10 P.M. There are 5,881,696 Israelis (citizens over the age of 18) who are eligible to vote today for the 20th Knesset.
The weather is good and many Israelis are likely to take outdoor advantage of the public holiday. “
http://www.jpost.com/Israel-Elections/Netanyahu-warns-The-Left-is-busing-Arabs-to-vote-the-Right-is-in-danger-394176 “Tibi says Netanyahu is inciting against Arab voters who are taking advantage of their natural and democratic right as citizens. “
Herzog stands a good chance, especially on the economic issues. I’m not all that upset by the Republicans moves with Bibi for Herzog’s people made very good use of advisors to Obama’s ’08 & ’12 campaigns. In fact, it may be that those very same advisors who helped in the development of tactics that will put Herzog over the top.
Both parties are mixing into the election which indicates just how important Israel is to the U.S.
Exit polls: Zionist Union, Netanyahu neck-and-neck, slight advantage to Likud
Live Updates: Channel 10 and Channel 1 both gave Likud and Zionist Union 27 Knesset seats, while Channel 2’s exit poll gave 28 seats to Likud, and 27 to Zionist Union. Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein said final tally may not be published until Friday.
David Axelrod @davidaxelrod 4m4 minutes ago
Tightness of exits in Israel suggests Bibi’s shameful 11th hour demagoguery may have swayed enough votes to save him. But at what cost?
Glenn Greenwald retweeted
noam sheizaf @nsheizaf 35m35 minutes ago
All exit poll point to another Netanyahu government. Bibi is almost tied with Herzog but has more paths to a 61 coaltion
Well . . . sorry Israel. Looks like the Likhud is going to continue to hold sway.
I’m literally too depressed to write much today. Bibi is quite capable of destroying Israel with his hubris and blind stupidity.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/israel-election-2015/.premium-1.647580” If there was any doubt of the need for a meaningful dialog with Israel’s Arab minority, Netanyahu’s racist call to right-wingers on Election Day to go and vote because “droves of Arabs” were descending on the polling booths, dispelled it. The prime minister tried to backpedal, explaining that “there’s nothing wrong with people voting” but foreign interests were “funneling millions” to influence the outcome. In his victory speech he promised to work “for all citizens of Israel, Jews and non-Jews.” Too late. He knew exactly what he was doing when he sent out that message and why.
Some pundits criticized Netanyahu for his “foul,” as if it was a sporting offense, but insisted that he isn’t racist. It’s immaterial what Netanyahu actually believes. What matters is how he acts. He may not have a racist bone in his body, but he cynically used a racist ploy and went on to win handily a few hours later. That is what we must remember from this dismal election. “