The below was written just over 10 years ago when I had just started blogging. There are some interesting parallels but also some changes in Israeli politics that are noticeable since then. Really though the take away is that as much as things change, they really stay the same:
I don’t understand how Israel can claim to have a political system at all!
What they have is certainly democratic, so democratic that it ensures everyone no matter how idiotic or racist or bigoted or just plain old offensive their policies are they are guaranteed a seat in the Knesset!
Who won in this election?
Oops no one knows,
who’s going to form the next government?
Oops impossible to tell!
With Kedima on about 30 seats and the Likud on about 28 seats Tzipi Livni has come out on top, well whoppee, she has only won about 25% of the seats in the Knesset anyway and the Right wing block have got themselves 65 seats, enough to form a majority government.
What an uplifting thought that is, a government coalition with Bibi as the most left wing element!
So now what?
Barak managed to get himself an abysmal 14 or so seats which is pretty useless for a left wing coalition to be able to take effect. So here is what is going to happen:
Bibi is going to play brinkmanship for a week or two insisting that he is in fact the new Prime Minister of Israel and eventually when he has been offered enough power he will form a government of national unity alongside Livni’s Kedima, Great!
So who really wins and what really is the outcome?
Well all the same people will still be in government, their positions will change yeah but the faces won’t. Bibi is against a two state solution and Livni is in favour of one that doesn’t leave much room for manoeuvre but it leaves alot of room for static and thats what Bibi’s supporters really want. They are petrified of change, they are petrified of what something unfamiliar might bring, Bibi is attractive not because of what he promises but presicely because he promises so little.
And so another government of so called national unity is born where everybody gets to be in charge and no one has any real power to do anything.
Barak is no fool he was right (if supremely arrogant) when he blamed Israel’s political system for these constant crises. It’s about time something was done to ensure that the party that wins the election is the party that is the government rather than the party that goes hat in hand to all of the smaller less relevant parties pleading with them to come into the government.