Tuesday, February 12

The Coalition Circus and Sport

As I mentioned in one of my articles prior to the Israeli Elections 2013 that after the elections new alliances will form that were unimaginable before. It is as if all the parties have become potential coalition partners despite giving the impression of the opposite.

There are parties such as Meretz, Hadash and the Arab Parties that stated that they would never join a Likud-Beiteinu led coalition. The Labor Party stated that later on in their campaign but we have to wait and see if their leader, Shelly Yachimovitz, will not be enticed to join the coalition by the wily Netanyahu and keep her word.

Yesh Atid is almost a foregone conclusion to join the coalition even with the ultra-Orthodox parties with whom Lapid has severe diffences over the balloting of ultras into the army.

Yair Lapid makes no bones about replacing Netanyahu after some time in the opposition if he does not join the coalition. Do we discern a certain self-righteous, megalomanic streak in Lapid?

Nobody knows what kind of macabre coalition we are going to get. There is a lot of haggling going on. Even Tzippi Livne's Tnua will be sucked into the coalition morass. I wonder what Amram Mitzna and Amir Peretz are thinking about this move? They do not share Likud-Beiteinu ideology or maybe like most of the politicians they have compromised their beliefs and principles for a tasty seat in the ruling coalition under Netanyahu. Possibly this is the case - perks and priviledges win over ideologies which can be compromised pro re nata  without a concern for the voters who supported them.

So the coalition circus continues. To be or not to be that is the question. What kind of strange bedfellows are we about to get and then suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune (for the coalition partners of course)?

Maybe we will not die, but rather sleep with apathy and perchance to dream of an opportunity of peace with our Arab neighbours which will take the backburner as non important issues take the fore Lapid-like style, leading us to a disaster. Aye! There's the rub!

It is not over yet as new right wingers enter the Likud-Beitenu wing. Habayit Hayehudi has joined the haggling. This will be the right wing occupation Zionist settlement flank of Likud-Beitenu with its charismatic leader,Naftali Bennet, who is bombastic and abrasive. We must not forget the Feiglin ilk in Netanyahu coalition who are no moderate influence. Despite Netanyahu's personal problems with Bennett,  he will be an important part of the coalition. I fail to see much difference between the 19 th Knesset and the present outgoing Knesset. Even if Yesh Atid joins the coalition as expected, even with the ultra-Orthodox, the most important issue will be buried in the mists of time. Yesh Atid is a two issue party. Compulsory conscription for the ultra-Orthodox and an easing of the tax burden on the middle class. This is far too narrow a platform on which to get elected. This upstart party with a loquacious Lapid at the helm will pass into oblivion like all the centre parties before it. There was Dash in the late 1970's, Shinui in the early 2000s with Tommy Lapid (Yair Lapid's father as leader) and Kadima in the mid 2000's. All came in with a bang and disappeared with a bare noticeable fizzle.

Meanwhile the circus goes on and trends of little change are moving on the horizon no matter which coalition partners will be part of the Netanyahu Government.

Another issue which should be of great concern is the Betar Jerusalem Football Club. Here we see hard core Likud supporters reaching the zenith of the ugliest racism towards Arabs and Muslims resulting in the trophies room being burnt down by vandals. This hardcore of despicable racists have always supported Betar Jerusalem at the Teddy Stadium for generations. It is as if a tradition of Arab and Muslim hate has always been an integral part of the Betar Jerusalem supporters. It comes to the fore when there are league matches against Arab teams. The police force has to be reinforced on these occasions to prevent racial violence which can reach ugly proportions.

It is the same hardcore racists who inherited the hate from their right wing supporting parents. They are the ones who shout "Death to The Arabs!" at every match involving Arab teams. In the past, very little had been done to stop these outrages of violence. I wonder what would have happened had Arab teams shouted "Death to the Jews!" during soccer matches involving Jewish teams. It would not be tolerated not for a second! The police would have gone in with tear gas and rubber bullets and the crowds would be dispersed by water canon. The tolerance by the authorities for the racist Betar Jerusalem supporters was unjustifiable in the past and this racist cancer of hooliganism was allowed to blossom unhindered over the years. These racist hooligans are a strange mutant of the extreme right in the Likud and no matter what the Likud-Beitenu leadership say they must share the blame for instilling the hate for Arabs and Muslims who are not Arabs as evidenced by the violent outcry against the two Muslim soccer players from Chechniya who were contracted to play for Betar Jerusalem. The racist Betar Jerusalem supporters are more numerous than meets the eye despite statements to the contrary. A stronger hand of the law against these hooligans should be enforced. They are damaging Israel's image and adding grist to the mill that Zionism is racism.

The statements coming from Netanyahu against these racists was mild as would be expected - certainly not convincing!

Well we are all in for a tough ride. If people think that the new Likud-Beitenu Government will be moving towards peace with justice we will be disappointed because there is nobody in the government who has stressed the importance of peace with our neighbors. It is just not popular and considered almost treason.

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