Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Current state of Israeli politics

It is becoming clear that Israel's political state is in shambles and has hit new lows. Unfortunately, the near future doesn't look too bright - both for Israel internally, and the Middle East as a region.

1) President Moshe Katsav is being accused of rape. A President should never be accused of rape. Guilty or not, he has already failed in maintaining an iconic image. Doubts have already entered the minds of Israeli's, and shame is felt. I mean, 'cmon man, what are you thinking? Not being loyal to your wife is one thing, but getting to the point where you're being accused of rape? Not slick. At least Clinton was only caught lying to the people of America about cheating on his wife, and not forcing Lewinski to taste his Cigar.

2) Israel's political system is as unstable as it ever has been. We are once again feeling and seeing the effects of a multi party coalition based government. It seems as if the standard 4 year term for the PM is becoming an obsolete policy. While nobody planned the sudden collapse of Sharon and the quick replacement of Olmert, Israel's government is shaking like a 4.3 earthquake. Calls for the Prime Minister to resign are constant, and patience, like always with Israeli's, is short.

3) The main and obvious reason for Olmert's low rating is his handling of the Lebanon conflict. The war became a good indicator of Israel's intelligence failures, and especially it's incompetence when executing. That being said, Israel does face an unconventional type of warfare and resistance. However, you would have thought by now that the levels of competence should be at a peak - not a low. I mean, what happened to Israel's reputation when it comes to terrorism and intelligence? For some reason, it seems like those capabilities are quickly diminishing. Irael's overall mentality of reactionary action is starting to catch up to her. At the same time, that mentality is what kept Israel in tact for the last 50 years. Where do you draw the line?

4) Avigdor Lieberman of Yisrael Beitenu was added to the government this past week. That's good news for the very extreme people here, and horrible news for the moderates and leftists. Lieberman hasn't been the most "politically correct" figure, but hey, at least that means he's honest and he'll speak his mind. In this case however, I personally don't agree with him and his ideas to figure out how to seperate the Israeli Arabs from non Arabs. It's a shame, as I truly admire and appreciate the reality of blended life that exists here - and so I imagine and hope
his vision doesn't become a reality.

Other events worthy of mention:

5) Civil unrest in Palestine. Not much news about it, but realize that the situation in the West Bank and Gaza is not pleasant - not only due to the grave conditions, but also due to the ongoing civil feud between Hamas and Fatah (PLO). It is apparent that the US and Israel (and others) are backing Abbas and his Fatah. I think it's starting to become more apparent that it may not only be oral support, but quite possibly monetary and physical (i.e. weapons).

6) Haredim and Muslims unite! -- Who would have thought? The Haredim, more commonly known as Orthodox Jews (the extremists in Israel), and the Muslim world - extreme and non extreme alike have united to sponsor a message: "we do not like gay people -first and foremost." They have voiced their opinions of the Gay Pride parade scheduled to be help in Jerusalem this week. The Haredim have already started violent protests. On one hand, Israel is a democracy and all groups have the right to march. At the same time, Israel is a Jewish state, and the majority of religious people within the state live in Jerusalem, where gay relationships is sensitive.

Israel's complexities continue to evolve in all facets. We can only hope for positive outcomes, as they say "you can only go up when you are that low".


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