Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter 1 Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend (1 Shares)  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites View Stats   1 comment

OpEdNews Op Eds

Weird Elections

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 3 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H3 1/5/13

- Advertisement -
Cross-posted from Gush Shalom

IN A few hundred years, a professor looking for an especially esoteric subject will ask his students to research the Israeli elections of 2013.

The students will come back with a unanimous report: the results of our research are incredible.

Faced with at least three grave dangers, they report, Israeli parties and voters just ignored them. As if joined in a conspiracy, they tacitly agreed among themselves not to talk about them. Instead, they bickered and quarreled about totally insignificant and irrelevant issues.

ONE REMARKABLE fact was that the elections were called early -- they were not due till November 2013 -- because of the Prime Minister's declared inability to obtain Knesset approval for the annual state budget.

The proposed budget was shaped by the fact that the state had developed a huge deficit, which made drastic measures inevitable. Taxes had to be raised dramatically and social services had to be cut even more than during the last four years of Binyamin Netanyahu's stewardship.

(This, by the way, did not deter Netanyahu from making election speeches about the Israeli economy being in excellent condition, far superior to the economies of the major Western countries.)

For comparison: the recent elections in the United States were also held in the shadow of a severe fiscal crisis. Two basic conceptions about the solution were presented by the antagonists, the main debate was about the deficit, taxes and the social services. This went on even after the elections and a kind of compromise was achieved just in time to avert national bankruptcy.

- Advertisement -

Nothing of the kind in Israel. There was no debate at all.

True, the Labor Party, expected to garner about 15% of the vote, indeed came out with a grandiose economic plan for the next years, composed by an assortment of university professors. However, this plan was quite irrelevant to the crucial problem facing the state on the day after the elections: How to stop the hole of tens of billions of shekels in the 2013 budget.

The Likud did not say a word about the budget which it had intended to present to the Knesset. Neither did the Labor Party mention it, nor any of the other dozen or so parties that were competing.

When we put our ballot papers into the ballot box, what are we voting for? For higher taxes, surely. But taxes on whom? Will the rich pay more, or will the fabled "middle class" pay more? What will be cut -- aid to the disabled, the sick, the old, the unemployed? What about the immense military budget? The settlements? Is Israel going to lose its favorable international credit rating? Are we going to slide into a severe recession?

It is obvious why no party wants to go into details -- any serious proposal would cause it to lose votes. But we, the people -- why do we let them get away with it? Why don't we demand answers? Why do we accept fatuous generalities, which no one takes seriously?

- Advertisement -

Riddle No. 1

ISRAEL IS faced with a severe constitutional crisis -- if such a term is applicable to a state without a constitution.

The ODME ("Only Democracy in the Middle East") is threatened from within, along a wide front.

The most immediate danger faces the Supreme Court, the strongest remaining bastion of what was once a flourishing democracy. The court tries -- rather timidly -- to resist the most egregious actions and bills of the right-wing Knesset majority. Applications to the court to annul glaringly anti-democratic legislation are postponed for years. (Including my own application to annul the law that levies huge penalties on anyone advocating a boycott of the products of the settlements. The case -- "Avnery v. the State of Israel" -- has been postponed again and again.)

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3

 

Gush

Uri Avnery is a longtime Israeli peace activist. Since 1948 has advocated the setting up of a Palestinian state alongside Israel. In 1974, Uri Avnery was the first Israeli to establish contact with PLO leadership. In 1982 he was the first Israeli ever to meet Yassir Arafat, after crossing the lines in besieged Beirut. He served three terms in the Israeli (more...)
 

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon


Go To Commenting

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles
- Advertisement -

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

"Stupid and Mean and Brutal"

Israeli Idiocracy

Spitting In The Face of Obama

The Tone and the Music; Reaction to Obama's Cairo Speech

A Flash of Lightning

The Grand Default

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
1 people are discussing this page, with 1 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

because most of us work eight hours a day, five da... by molly cruz on Monday, Jan 7, 2013 at 1:23:29 PM