December 20, 2005
So, what’s new here in this area where there’s never a dull moment?
Peres invited Peretz into the Labour party on condition he never ran against him. He did. He won. Peres, disgusted, has given up party politics and…see later.
Peretz is the ex-head of the Trades Union (Histradut), responsible for some crippling strikes.
Peretz is more left-wing than Peres – he immediately left the coalition with Sharon’s Likud.
This gave Sharon an excuse to avoid a Likud leadership battle with Netanyahu.
So he left Likud and formed his own party, Kadima (Forwards).
Peres joined Sharon, although not his party. They will work together.
Mofaz, defence minister and ex-chief of staff, sent out letter saying he would not leave Likud. While this was in the mail, he did leave Likud, but will not get ministry as he hoped. Sharon did not welcome him.
Many others went with Sharon, including Hanegbi (son of Geula Cohen, perhaps least physically attractive ever of all Israel’s female politicians) and Olmert (ex-mayor of Jerusalem). Some came from the changed Labour Party, including Chaim Ramon and Tzipi Livni.
Kadima will be the largest part at the coming March 28 elections, unless…
Sharon continues to have health problems. The 77 year old had a mild stroke Dec 18. If he cannot continue, the house of cards may collapse.
Netanyahu wins vote for leadership of Likud, ahead of Foreign Minister, Silvan Shalom. They say they will unite the party. But the ex-largest party will have problems obtaining 1/3 the vote of Kadima.
And a smile must go to the news that Pnina Rosenblum, ex model and cosmetics queen has finally succeeded in her quest to become a member of the Knesset. When Hanegbi left, she was next on the Likud list and took her place last week. She gave her customary speech before the house, stating her aims. But although the next election is at the end of March, the Knesset has now closed for formal procedures, and Pnina has little chance of retaining her seat after the elections. So she’s had her 15 minutes of political fame.
And while all this is going on here, Kassam rockets continue to be fired at Israel from Gaza, a couple of suicide bombs in Israel, a couple of target attacks by Israel on terrorist leaders.
Local Palestinian elections brought Hamas into power and made the Palestinian Authority look silly. Hamas are, in my opinion, making the mistake (albeit they could be doing this on purpose) of not separating force/resistance/freedom-fighting/terrorism/whatever from politics (as Sinn Fein did from the IRA). This almost guarantees continued problems with Israel.
And the P.A.’s own faction, Fatah? The old guard look as though they will be forced out at the next elections. And who is leading the ‘new guard’? Marwan Barghouti. And where is he? In an Israeli serving 5 life sentences for organising a series of suicide attacks. Many are suggesting that he has the brains and the common sense to be the partner Israel is looking for – a Sadat of the Palestinian people (Sadat, who, despite his anti-Semitism and his admiration of Hitler – read his autobiography – realised that peace with Israel and support from USA was the only course, once Russia had abandoned their support). Would YOU release him from your prison and wish him luck?
A moderate Palestinian declared, after Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza, that the Palestinians now had a chance to prove that they deserve a country. In the succeeding few months, Gaza has become a sad mixture of greenhouse farming and conflict. Several ‘old’ terrorist leaders, including Ahmed Jibril, have now come back to Gaza from Beirut and Damascus. The chances of their being co-operation among so many factions are tiny.
And the prize for the dummy of the year goes to what’s ‘is name, President of Iran. After the ‘Wipe Israel off the map’ jibe, he starts the whole Holocaust denial bit again (the Austrians are putting David Irving on trial at last), saying that Israel should relocated in the lands of the guilty nations (Germany and Austria were mentioned). Well, I think the 1 million Russian Israelis and the 3 million Israelis of N. African descent will have a word or two about that.
And today it’s raining here in Tel Aviv. 2 days ago, we had flash floods.
Maybe I really should retire to British Columbia.