21 Adar 5778
8 March 2018
Always the Victim:
A Syrian-Palestinian Woman’s Image Of International Women’s Day:
Specifically, the above “cartoon” was drawn by a “Syrian-Palestinian” Hamas widow whose husband was killed in the Syrian war. She is crying from the misery caused by Bashir Assad on the left and Vladimir Putin on the right whose arms are locked together in unity, and behind whose legs/bars she is being held.
Pathetic Picture of the Day
How pathetic can you get? Avi Gabbay, desperate to bolster his sagging Israel poll numbers (see below), meets with Bill Clinton, a shadow of his former self–but still trying to have influence even over someone as pathetic as Gabbay.
The News on the Israel Street
Palestinian terror in the last 24 hours . . .
Two groups of Palestinian terrorists were captured at the Tapuach Crossing in Samaria last night. In both cases alert Border Guards spotted suspicious vehicles and discovered terrorists armed with knives and assault rifles.
A number of Israelis were wounded in “rock” and Molotov attacks yesterday. Some of the worst occured at Bruchin, Eli, Umm Safa, Luban a-Sharqiya, Abud, the Havat Yehuda, Talia Farm, Yatir, Elon Moreh, Givat Ronen, Azzun, Itamar, El Aruv, Qalandiya, the Postal Junction in Binyamin, and Hevron.
Two of the Israelis wounded at Givat Ronen suffered severe head injuries and are in critical condition at this hour.
Elections! Elections! Elections!
(Don’t Count On Them Anytime Soon)
Elections! Elections! Elections! This is the unending exhortation emanating from the Israeli media these days as the Israeli left fervently hopes that a compromise will not be found to keep the Coalition together until November of next year.
As reported several days ago, the current impasse is between the ultra-orthodox United Torah Judaism party which wants a draft law that will exclude yeshiva students from military conscription, the Kulanu party which wants to pass a budget without a draft law, and the Yisrael Beiteinu party which will not endorse any draft law granting the ultra-orthodox exemptions.
In your humble servant’s opinion, the idea that new elections will be called is absurd on its face. No party in the current Coalition has anything to gain from new elections, and each one one has something to lose:
*The two ultra-orthodox religious parties, United Torah Judaism and Shas, have never had a government so compliant with their wishes as the current Coalition. To think that a new center-leftist government headed by someone like Yair Lapid of the Yesh Atid party will listen to even one syllable that the ultra-orthodox want is laughable. Lapid hates the ultra-orthodox, and they despise him.
What is even worse for the Sephardic ultra-orthodox is that the some of the latest polls have their party Shas not even receiving enough votes to be in a future government.
*On the subject of representation, Avigdor Lieberman’s party Yisrael Beiteinu also stands to lose representatives according to current polls. And if Lieberman really thinks that he will get a plum job like Minister of Defense in a new government, he is delusional.
*Moshe Kahlon’s party Kulanu is also down in the polls. Kahlon might align himself with the center-left, but he almost certainly lose his coveted position as the Minister of Finance in any new government.
*As for Jewish Home, the polls show that it might register small gains in Knesset seats, but again, it will not even be in a government headed by Lapid–and therefore will obviously lose its extremely important ministries of Education and Justice.
*Insofar as Likud is concerned, polls show Netanyahu’s party gaining seats, but guess what? It will still have to form a coalition with the same parties as it is aligned with now. What is more, Netanyahu’s legal situation creates a strong environment of volatility (who knows what tomorrow’s “news” will bring?).
Here is the most recent poll published this morning from Walla:
30 Likud (Netanyahu), 24 Yesh Atid (Lapid), 11 Jewish Home (Bennett), 11 Labor (Gabbay), 10 Joint Arab List, 8 United Torah Judaism, 8 Meretz, 7 Kulanu (Kahlon), 7 Yisrael Beiteinu (Lieberman), 4 Shas
This poll is almost exactly the same as a poll three days ago commissioned by Channel 10. Other polls show Likud with an even larger lead, and Shas under the 4-seat threshold for entering the Knesset.
What is the bottom line? Barring some unforeseen event, there are not likely to be any elections anytime soon.
Almost certainly a compromise will be found. In fact, in the last few hours, it has been reported that Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked of the Jewish Home party have come up with an acceptable draft law which they will be introducing to the Ministerial Committee on Legislation on Sunday.