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View Diary: Agonistic Politics: Why One State Is Best (137 comments)

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  •  Again... (3+ / 0-) point is that your basis for that is wrong.

    First of all, it seems hard to argue that any person unable to garner more votes than Meretz, Balad, and Hadash is not a radical.  But again, you are failing to distinguish the idea that Israel should have a Jewish majority from the notion that Israel is entitled to Greater Israel and that they should use whatever methods they must to achieve that.  Indeed, considering that Kadima was founded specifically by those who chose to repudiate Greater Israel, the suggestion seems wholly without merit.

    Either you do not understand fully what it is Leiberman stands for, or you have a very poorly formed notion of what Likud and Kadima do stand for.

    The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

    by Jay Elias on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 02:50:54 PM PDT

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    •  What I'm saying is that (4+ / 0-)

      many of his views and much of his ideology comes from exactly the same stock as much of Likud and Kadima. In other words, it's hardly some fringe radicalism (unless Likud and Kadima count as fringe radicalism). It's from the mainstream.

      Let's take a look. In 2001, Lieberman proposed splitting the WEst Bank into four non-contiguous cantons. Unfortauntely, as we know, this was a mainstream opinion (it was effectively what Barak offered at Camp David - he offered three as opposed to four). The offer was rejected and so now, with the help of the 40% increase in roadblocks last year, the WB is split into dozens of small de facto cantons with limited freedom of movement between them.

      Before joining the current Coalition, Yisrael Beitenu demanded that illegal outposts in the West Bank not be evacuated. And indeed, they haven't been - on the contrary, settlement activity has increased.

      Lieberman calls for things like loyalty tests for the Arab minority. And indeed, only recent the Shin Bet declared the Arab minority to be a threat to national security. Lieberman's whole attitude towards the Israeli Arabs is shared by many in Kadima and Likud and in much of Israeli society. See Olmert describing the Arab community in Israel as "a manageable problem", for example, or see today's Ha'aretz article by Ariel Sharon's son.

      Lieberman has opposed diplomacy with any Arab party, and up until very, very recently so has Kadima. Even the recent openness towards talks with the Arab League are not genuine - they come with extreme reluctance at the behest of the U.S.

      And Yisrael Beitenu is certainly bubbling just under the surface, waiting to come out. A poll conducted for Yedioth last November showed that Yisrael Beitenu would win 20 KNesset seats (only Likud got more) if elections were held immediately.

      As Gideon Levy writes,

      "Lieberman to power? He has already been there a long time."

      •  You cannot cherry-pick... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        another American

        ...from the statements of Leiberman which are the least objectionable to attempt to give a rounded view of what he stands for.

        He is a politician.  Naturally, it behooves him to support the policies most in line with his philosophy.  So, of course, you will see him in agreement with the mainstream Israeli right on those issues.  But it is not out of shared beliefs - he is more like the recent alliance between Pat Buchanan and the anti-war left.  He sees the value politically in endorsing and supporting right-wing policies that aid his cause.  That hardly means that the core of his beliefs have considerable constituency with even the Israeli right, much less the Israeli mainstream.

        The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

        by Jay Elias on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 03:13:00 PM PDT

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        •  Well, they are actually pretty extreme statements (4+ / 0-)

          which is why the other parties generally don't openly say those kind of things. They just do them. I agree that Lieberman's fantasies of a Greater Israel are not as widely shared any more as they used to be (although I suspect many in Likud still feel warm thinking about it). But many of his "extreme" views, reactionary and offensive views, are actually quite mainstream, which was the point I was making.

          •  To a degree, fair enough... (0+ / 0-)

   any case, pointing out how the far left of Israeli politics outpolls Leiberman was the main value of my debating this with you.

            After all, Palestinian nationalist parties are over half the vote of Yisrael Beiteinu.  That says a lot to me.

            The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

            by Jay Elias on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 03:19:57 PM PDT

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            •  Where, incidentally, are you getting (0+ / 0-)

              the polling numbers from? Because, you know, polls can be pretty misleading (as we've discussed before). So for example last November, as I say, polls showed that Yisrael Beitenu would get 20 seats - only Likud scored higher.

              •  Well... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                another American

                ...I'm not using polling numbers.  I'm using the 2006 election results.

                Yisrael Beitenu - 281,880 8.985% 11 seats

                Me'retz - 118,302 3.77% 5 seats
                Ra'am-Ta'al - 94,786 3.02% 4 seats
                Hadash - 86,092 2.74% 3 seats
                Balad - 72,066 2.30% 3 seats

                I tend to place little faith in polls, particularly within Israel.

                The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

                by Jay Elias on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 03:28:26 PM PDT

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                •  Oh, right (0+ / 0-)

                  well, I suspect that come next election there will be some change in favour of Yisrael Beitenu (thanks in part to significant parts of the Israeli publics taking what I feel are the wrong lessons away from Lebanon and the Gaza withdrawal, as we've tlaked about briefly before).

                  Hopefully, though, this shift won't be too great. More likely is that Likud will be the greatest benefactor from this change in attitudes, and indeed latest polls show that Likud would win if elections were held tomorrow (that's also down to Netanyahu's cornering of the 'Iran' market, as you noted). In any event, choosing between Likud and Yisrael Beitenu is like choosing between a smelly turd and a slightly smellier one. Sure, I'd go for the least smelly, but the difference is pretty marginal.

                •  It's been said that Israelis are the only (0+ / 0-)

                  people who tell the truth to pollsters and lie at the voting box. Whatever the truth of that comment, if polls were reliable, then Shimon Peres would have been elected Prime Minister.

                  Al Gore should be president.

                  by another American on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 06:49:12 PM PDT

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    •  simple question: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      ...why does such a raving demented lunatic have a position in the present government???

      •  Because giving a raving lunatic... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        brittain33, mickT, another American

        ...with 8% of the vote a spot allows the incompetent regime of Olmert to survive the loss of the left-wing parties which ditched him post-Lebanon.

        The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

        by Jay Elias on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 03:17:50 PM PDT

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