Sunday, December 11, 2005

Likud Burning?

In the midst of my scanning the internet for reports on the London dramas, Shaul Mofaz has suddenly announced that he is off to Kadima too. This is a big blow for the Likud, as if they weren't already down for the count after the first rounds of this painful election contest.

This almost predictable and yet somewhat pathetic move by the Defence Minister sums up my respect for Uzi Landau you see. How can Mofaz stand a few days a go and say publicly: "I'm committed to the Likud. I'm staying where my home is and I'm going to lead the Likud to victory".

Where is the loyalty, the fight and the dedication? Is it possible to really know where any Israeli politician stands on any issue right now?

Here was Mofaz, considered a strong proponent of security and a Sephardi Jew from a working class background. He was said to have the only real chance of beating Bibi to the head of the Likud. Only he might have been able to attract mainstream Israelis, working class, Sephardim and even some religious folk back to the Likud.

Now Mofaz is gone too.

I can't decide whether the right-wing of the Likud is alienating its brothers (like Mofaz, Hanegbi etc) or whether Sharon and friends have simply changed their minds about the road to peace. Without a doubt, Kadima's policies are not in line with the traditional Likud and certainly not in line with what Sharon promised the electorate in 2001 and 2003. So maybe it was and is best that those who are truly 'rebels' find a new home to call their own.

As I see it though, I wouldn't worry about the Likud yet. (If their demise doesn't bother you then no need to worry anyway...)
There is a lot of dirty filthy water to pass under the bridge yet and probably some nasty Palestinian terror gangs will have a go at sending the electorate back rightwards. That's almost a ridiculous certainty!

For now then, a KICprediction. Of all the friends of Sharon that remain at the helm of Likud (and in the leadership battle), I predict that Silvan Shalom, the current Foreign Minister, will be the next to jump headfirst into the Kadima melting pot of a million ideologies. The Likud "needs someone who can return the Likud to the nation and I can do it," Shalom said. "The Likud is my home and it's a way of life for me. I'm sorry about anyone who leaves the Likud." (Jerusalem Post)

Shalom stood by Sharon throughout the Disengagement and no Mofaz-like words of dedication of "my home is in the Likud" will convince me that he'll stay around to fight for his home if he can't see himself winning that home for himself.

It is just such a shame that there is no consistency in what one Israeli leader says from week to week. How can we even begin to think about which party to support in the March elections when there is so much ship-hopping?

Democracy is a wonderful thing, but there has to be some semblance of leadership shown and some earnest commitment to the voter. Sadly, in Israel's party list system, there is little scope for voters to 'reward' or 'repay' individual Knesset members for their honesty and integrity or lack thereof.


ifyouwillit said...

Kadima's success in the next election dosn't worry me, it's the size of the Labor party that will stand by destroy this countries chances of a successful future.

Maybe the right wing parties should think about merging in order to give the country a chance of a demographic democratic voice.

Michael Lawrence said...

Mr ifyouwillit - why do u think Labor is such a danger?

ifyouwillit said...

A centrist leadership I can cope with, but the way coallitons go in this country, a centrist-left partnership could, willingly or through pressure applied when it comes to budget day and the like, make unjust concessions, like those put on the table by Barak.

I imagine Kadima and Labour working hand in hand would be quite similar to a Labour majority.

Michael Lawrence said...

..."like Barak". At the end of the day, I can't see Sharon (or almost anyone for that matter) making an offer less generous (and controversial) than that apparently made at Camp David 2000.

Tzur Brill Hadassa said...

I agree with you Michael, and I also wanted to point out that Bibi has been the only candidate loyal to his party. Yes, he has had a dodgy past, but I think he may, repeat may, have learnt from it. Just for that he would get my vote. Like you said, integrity and leadership will go a long way.

ifyouwillit said...

How many politicians don't have a shakey history? Bibi's a good man.