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Jan 16th, 2006 03:08 AM
Abcdxxxx I think that's basically the angle they're working when they make threats about taking out Iran's nuclear program, and all that. I don't believe Israel is too concerned about a direct attack from Iran, so much as the direct roll they've had arming guerillas with katyusha rockets at the border. That happened 5 years ago, and now with Gaza returned, we see the effects. It's no secret Iran controls Hezzbalah. I just don't think people are ready to recognize how the crazed agenda of Iran's President is mirrored by the Palestinian leadership. We know Hamas are already winning elections, and they're on the verge of taking over the diplomacy roll of the PA.

Strange times, though. The Dalai Lama is set to honor Ben-Gurion of all people.
Jan 15th, 2006 06:47 PM
Originally Posted by Abcdxxxx
That said, how does Netnyahu step in and reverse the commitments Sharon made?
Well, speaking in purely political terms, I would use the words of this goober in Iran. It's very clear that he is at the very least using the same old anti-semetic rhetoric, mixed with a little nuclear jargon, in order to polarize and scare support out of his own people. If I were Netanyahu, I would use the Iranian threat as a means to beef up security and protection. After all, it certainly isn't a stretch to believe that factions within Gaza and the West Bank would show support and comfort to the aims of Iran....they've done it before.
Jan 7th, 2006 09:05 PM
Abcdxxxx The Labor party leader is Peretz...who is a different guy then Peres, who was one of the old guard that formed Kadima.

Honestly, I think one big terror attack and Kadima is done for. They'll ride the sympathy vote, and get a lot of hype for a while, but a lot can happen in Israeli politics in a span of a few months. It's hard to say. I would never have expected Sharon to be treated as a martyr or discussed with the same reverance normally given to characters like Gorbachev.

They're talking as if Kadima was a lock to win, but that was far from the case. Gaza was Olmert's plan since the 70's, and the move hasn't exactly proven to be rewarding for Israel. There is now talk that there needs to be a buffer zone between the borders...but Gaza WAS the buffer zone before they developed it. Sharon was set to steamroll ahead and return the WB without a vote... and the move would have been suicidal, both political, and otherwise. Nobody else could pull that off without riots. That said, how does Netnyahu step in and reverse the commitments Sharon made?
Jan 7th, 2006 05:26 PM
ItalianStereotype wouldn't this mean that both Likud and Kadima will be weakened? I like Netanyahu, but I don't think he'll be opening up to anyone who walked out to join Kadima.

but then, who is the Labor leader? Peres?

I don't follow Israeli politics that closely!
Jan 7th, 2006 05:01 PM
KevinTheOmnivore So what now? Without Sharon, will the new Kadima Party still romp in March, or will it lose steam without the prime minister as its figurehead...? Will this clear the path for someone in Labor, or will Likud regain power? Is it Bibi time?
Dec 5th, 2005 11:24 PM
Originally Posted by KevinTheOmnivore
I may be unclear here, but I guess I'm asking does Jewish identity have to entail an overtly religious Israel? After all, weren't a lot of very secular, socialist worker-type Jews involved in the original development and creation of the country?
Well actually - no. Not if we're talking about the *original development* of Israel. Somewhere along the way it became unfashionable to talk about Israel, and Zionism's Religious roots. All the communal stuff, the living off the land, etc. actually came from progressive Rabbinical visionaries. Everything the Secular Socialist types went on to do, reflected the failed dreams of some Rabbi.

On one hand, there is the basic right of self determination....but then there is the religious concept of Israel, a Jewish nation with Jerusalem, and at it's core that is a biblical idea. So now you have a nation based on a religion, and that's true wether or not we're speaking of practicing Jews. Add to this that there are Jews of every color, and a debate over issues such as conversion, and the question starts to become, how do we define a Jew? It's confusing for an outsider, let alone Jews themselves.... but the existance of an Israel is being debated and questioned by outsiders, so that's where it's a problem. if a Russian Jew has no ties to any bit of Judaic culture, what claim can he have to 3000 years of Jews in Israel? How can you say you want to live in a Jewish country that incoveniences the world, and then say you don't want it to be Jewish at all? Or that the only way in which you want it to be Jewish, is in demographic majority. Perhaps if it was a theocratic nation, there would be an argument, but we're talking more along the lines of blocking prayer bungalows during Yom Kippur, and other pettiness which suggests self hatred and intolerance more then progress. Keep in mind the largest influx of immigrants are Soviet Jews.... so it's no shock that they want less Socialism, and less Jewishness.

So let's say Israel removes all traces of a Jewish identity. How can it justify keeping a Jewish majority, or the need for a Jewish homeland when it's own citizens reject their Jewishness ?
Dec 3rd, 2005 03:25 PM
KevinTheOmnivore I guess I'm curious about Sharon also. I've studied Israeli politics a tad, but not nearly enough to fully grasp what's going on there.

As an outsider, it seems to me like Sharon is at least earnest about what he would like to accomplish. I don't know if he's just legacy building or what, but it seems to me like he has put his ass on the line here (any subsequent fat jokes would be cruel and far too easy).

Again, coming from the novice perspective, does Israel really need to maintain a religious identity in order to be a Jewish state? Doesn't the fact that a majority of Israelis are comfortable enough to ease up on the religious aspect to Judaism indicate that there is still a Jewish identity there? I may be unclear here, but I guess I'm asking does Jewish identity have to entail an overtly religious Israel? After all, weren't a lot of very secular, socialist worker-type Jews involved in the original development and creation of the country?
Dec 3rd, 2005 12:22 AM
Abcdxxxx Just to clarify some points and add some thought...
What's happening is a power play by Secular Israeli's who view themselves as Israeli first. They think that the Religious minority are infringing on their rights, and hope to win over all the Israelis who feel inconvenienced by certain civil laws.

If Israel isn't a Jewish State, then I'm not sure what argument will be left for it's existance.

Why Sharon, a Religious Jew has adopted those kind of divisive politics is still curious. If re-elected Israel will return to the 1967 borders, at his doing, but as I like to point out, there was a lot of padding, and no mans land to those borders. Gaza was empty. You didn't have millions of people right at the border line itself. 1967 borders are a misnomer. Oh, but wait, the Kadima party wants to keep East Jerusalem. So that will be called a land grab.

Israel's highest court ruled that all settlements were illegal. So the argument now becomes, what exactly do we call a Settlement. If you apply the same ruling and definition then Tel Aviv could be called a settlement.
Dec 1st, 2005 04:25 AM
Abcdxxxx Well. I'm not completely certain yet, but... I can try to sum it up...

Israel's Left ( that once hated him) have been hinting towards rumors of Sharon leaving Likud to start his own party (The Forward party), for a while now. It will supposedly be a "centrist" party with someone like Peres on board. There is also a move to view Israel's domestic politics as a Jewish vs. Israeli issue. Meaning, marginalizing the religious parties, the socialist aspects of the country, and adopting a traditional constitution, and some other things they think will make them more Democratic. Most Centrists politicians want to outlaw religious parties and other measures which border on anti-Judiaism. Which um... isn't very Democratic. Somehow they want to keep a Jewish identity through all that. Many Israelis are saying this election will be decided on domestic politics and none security issues, for a change. Centrist parties are trendy there, but they've never worked in the past. The largest of the centrist unity parties was built off the Peace Now platform (though they will never admit this) dates back to the 70's. So in short, there is a movement to change the entire Government system, and electoral process out there.

We know Sharon had a no confidence vote from his own party after the Gaza retreat (but then they voted to back him anyway, which was odd). He's also facing a controversy sparked by his critics on the left involving his campaign fundraising, and there are hints of some possible blackmailing. Who knows., maybe he's just trying to stay afloat. What is clear, is he campaigned to keep Gaza intact, and used a lot of religious rhetoric to do it. So he lied and breached the Likkud platform. He was never considered a hardliner in Israel, and so far Gaza was a botch job, taking progressive functional communities and leaving them in tents without a plan for their futures.

I'm not sure if this is what you were asking. A lot of it's still speculation.
Nov 21st, 2005 08:05 AM

WHERE are you!?

I would like to hear your take on Sharon leaving Likud.

That is all.

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