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25 January 2013

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Medicine Man

A lot of what I'm reading indicates that there was a strong "guns or butter"-dynamic to this election. Netanyahu's obsessive focus on security issues gave gas to an opposition that is animated strongly by domestic economic issues and hostility to the subsidies and exemptions enjoyed by the ultra-orthodox.

It will be interesting to see what kind of coalition Bibi forms. Similarly we will have to wait and see how able Yair Lapid is as a politician.

jdledell

Netanyahu's job over the coming year is going to be extremely difficult no matter what coalition he assembles. His own party, Likud-Beiteinu is far more right wing after the Likud primary where just about every moderate got dumped. Most of the remaining Likud members are closer to Habayit Hayehudi in ideology (ie vehemently against a Palestinian state)than to Bibi. If Bibi tries to bring in Yesh Atid, that still gives Bibi only 50 seats. He could bring in his traditional allies, the religious parties, Shas and UTJ but the clash with Lapid over ultra-orthodox funding and IDF service would be quick and fatal to that coalition even with 68 mandates.

Bibi could go left with Yesh Atid, Labor and Hatuna (Livni's party)that would give him a total of 71 Knesset seats. However, this coalition would also soon fail as the hardliners in Likud- Beiteinu chaff at what they consider left-wing nonsense on security and economics.

My guess is that Bibi will go for the most comfortable coalition for himself and his party. That is a narrow right wing coalition of Likud-Beiteinu(31), Habayit Hayehudi(12), Shas(11) and UTJ(7)or a total of 61 seats. Bibi has no big plans he wants to accomplish other than Iran. This coalition is the only one which would support such a plan. Yair Lapid is NOT going to approve a strike against Iran which I've heard him talk about several times as stupid and a disaster for Israel economically and militarily.

If this 61 seat coalition fails, then and only then, will Bibi reach out to others with the compromises necessary to retain power.

Edward Amame

The old hand Bibi will eat the inexperienced pol for lunch if Lapid isn't very careful. Lapid might be smarter in the long run to join the opposition instead.

Medicine Man

Thank you for the information, jdledell. Most appreciated.

Lee

Sad, but somewhat relevant:

http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/israelis-admit-giving-long-term-contraceptives-ethiopian-women

Fred

Did these women ask for this or were they forced? There's a big difference.

jdledell

Fred - My guess is there was no Health Ministry memo recommending this practice. However, among Jews in the Tel Aviv area, it is common to hear a LOT of talk about how Africans are ruining Israel. Most Israeli Jews do not consider the Ethiopian's to be "real" Jews and thus they are ill-treated the same way non-Jewish African illegal immigrants are.

There is a definite caste system of Jews in Israel with European/American heritage on top, with middle eastern heritage next, Russians next, Africans are dead last. Spend time in Tel Aviv and you can't go a day without hearing someone say " you can't tell a good African from a bad one - not by looking or talking to them.

It is this attitude that I suspect is behind this generalized physician activity of giving Depo-Provera shots to all the Ethiopians they see in their clinics. I'm quite certain that these women are not asked if they want the shot. I'm sure the doctor just advises them that they are being immunized against disease. However, the reasoning behind this is a desire by Israeli Jews not to make Israel's welfare and education burden bigger by allowing the population of uneducated poor people to expand.

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