Wednesday, 17 September 2014
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Neglect and disregard for life in Israeli prisons

The Israeli Prison Service maintains a systematic policy of medical negligence toward Palestinian detainees.

Israel tortures Gazans, targets Palestinian rights defenders

As part of its systematic detention policy against Palestinians since June, Israel is also torturing...

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32 Palestinians were arrested overnight in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, of whom 13 are children...

48 new housing units in northern West Bank settlement

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Please join us at the AICafe on Tuesday 16 September from 7.30 p.m. for Sabra and Shatila with Basem Sbaih.
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Urgent, act now! Tell UEFA to exclude Israel from the bidding to host matches for the UEFA European Football Championship 2020. Hosting decisions will be...

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32 Palestinians arrested overnight, including 13 children...

32 Palestinians were arrested overnight in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, of whom 13 are children.

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32 Palestinians arrested overnight, including 13 children

Hebron

PHOTOS: Protest halts Israeli archaeological dig in Hebron...

Activists succeeded in temporarily halting Israel's archeological dig in Hebron's Tel Rumeida. As in other occupied Palestinian territory, such as Eas...

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PHOTOS: Protest halts Israeli archaeological dig in Hebron

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Loss in Gaza won’t change Israeli political map - yet

Created on 02 December 2012

Despite Netanyahu’s predicted victory in the upcoming elections, it is likely that November’s political and military defeats of Israel will have a long term impact, shifting Israel’s political map. Such occurred following the October 1973 military conflict that had no substantial impact on Israel’s December elections of the same year, but shifted dramatically the political spectrum four years later. Similarly the First Intifada, which broke out in December 1987, had no impact on the 1988 elections, but shifted the political spectrum in 1992.

 

 Lieberman-NetanyahuLieberman-Netanyahu 

Despite Israel's failure in Gaza, the joint list of Benjamin Netanyahu and Avigdor Lieberman is expected to receive 39 of 120 seats in Israel's parliament following the January elections (Photo: Indynews Israel)

 

Eight days after the political blow that ended the Israeli military offensive on Gaza, Benjamin Netanyahu faced a second blow at the U.N. General Assembly in New York when 139 members voted to upgrade the status of the PLO, not the Palestinian Authority, into a non-member observer state.  

 

The Israeli government accepted it could not stop the Palestinians from going forward with their UN move. Israel’s forum of top ministers has yet to decide what steps to take in response to this defeat, although the United States has requested Israel to keep a low profile. On Friday, however, Israel announced that it would build 3,000 housing units in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank in response to the UN move. It has also been revealed that Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has recommended deducting the NIS 750 million owed by the PA to the Israel Electric Corporation from the tax money Israel transfers to the Palestinians every month, in accordance with 1994 Paris Agreement.

 

These stinging political failures will apparently will not harm Benjamin Netanyahu’s bid in Israel’s upcoming January elections.

 

According to a public opinion poll published by Haaretz on November 28, it is expected that the Likud-Israel Beitenu joint list will receive 39 seats in Knesset while Labor will receive 18 (out of 120).

 

It will be naïve to expect that the November military and political failures will have an immediate negative impact on Netanyahu’s performance on the January electoral process. The Labor party, as well the center candidates, Yair Lapid and Tzipi Livni, built their electoral campaign on the growing social unrest and displeasure within Israel’s middle class. However, with Operation Pillar of Defense, Netanyahu set the security question back on the top of the agenda, leaving the center-left opposition with no alternatives.

 

According to the Haaretz poll, despite Ehud Barak’s failure to lead the army into meeting the objectives of Operation Pillar of Defence, 46% of Jewish Israelis would like to see him as Minister of Defense in the next government.

 

The left wing of the political spectrum, Hadash and Meretz, don’t even attempt to become an alternative. Both parties present a grey line of bureaucrats for the Knesset, counting on their captive constituencies. At the same time, the right-wing is divided between agendas and personalities, finding it difficult to capitalize on the dissatisfaction of those who believe Israel should have destroyed the Hamas government in Gaza.

 

According to the poll published in Haaretz, 40% of Jewish-Israelis believe that the candidate list elected by the Likud is too right wing. This further undermines the expectations of right wing parties, Habait Hayehudi (Jewish Home) and Ichud Leumi (National Union).  The two parties now hold seven seats in the Knesset and had expected until now to win at least 10, if not more, in the January 22 elections. They draw their popularity from a new leadership that has thrown out most of the Old Guard, but also because from the waffling policies in the Likud government.

Despite Netanyahu’s predicted victory in the upcoming elections, it is likely that November’s political and military defeats of Israel will have a long term impact, shifting Israel’s political map. Such occurred following the October 1973 military conflict that had no substantial impact on Israel’s December elections of the same year, but shifted dramatically the political spectrum four years later. Similarly the First Intifada, which broke out in December 1987, had no impact on the 1988 elections, but shifted the political spectrum in 1992.

 

Nevertheless there are two key requirements necessary for political change in Israel: 1. There will be an opposition with an inclusive and coherent alternative; and 2. Permanent external pressures, combining Arab and Palestinian forces along with the international community, will expose the adversity of politics of Israel’s upcoming government.