Oznia, a blog of Israel things

~LIVNI WINS!…now what? by zionismlives
September 18, 2008, 12:52 pm
Filed under: politics | Tags: , , , , , ,

Today, in Israel, there were primaries for the Kadima Party. This was the first primary for the young Kadima Party, who will now have its third Prime Minister in as many years. The winner of the primary was Minister of Foreign Affairs, Tzipi Livni. She faced off against Shaul Mofaz, current Transportation Minister and a former military chief and defense minister. She is Israel’s first female Prime Minister in 34 years, but will receive no break; she has just over a month to form a new coalition in the government or there will be new elections in 2009.

To me, Livni was the best choice for Kadima and will be the best choice for Israel if—and when, in my opinion—the coalition cannot be formed and there is a general election. This is partially because the alternatives are very bad.

Mofaz should be honored for his service, but he is too hard-line on Arabs and Palestinians for Israel to really make peace under him. He is more trigger-happy on military operations and will pose preconditions to Palestinians before meeting to arrange a peace. Under his leadership, Israel would be pushed even more towards right-wing policies and away from peace.

Livni, on the other hand is the lead negotiator in peace talks with Palestinians, is a former Mossad agent, and is known for being uncorrupt. The first point tells me that she is the most likely candidate to continue peace talks with Palestinians and strive towards a working peace. That is the single most important thing that Israel needs right now—peace with the Palestinians. She also has a working relationship with Condoleezza Rice, which could help a peace deal to be pushed through before January. The second point tells me that she has experience in the defense of Israel and would not be too lenient on the Palestinians and Arabs when it comes to Israel’s national security. This is an important issue to many Israelis and she has said that, while she prefers diplomacy, she will not hesitate to use military action if necessary. The third point is also very important to Israelis, who are subject to a government that is full of corrupt officials.

My first point addresses Israel’s most pressing issue—peace with the Palestinians and Arabs—while my last two points will allow Livni to have popularity within Israeli society and government, which, today is just as important as the actual actions of the government. If Israel’s government is unpopular, it will dissolve, have another election, and continue to be dysfunctional.

As Tzipi Livni has won the primary, she will now have just over a month to create a coalition government. This means allying with either Labor—the left—or Likud—the right. I believe that she exhaust every option on the table to get a coalition because she doesn’t want to go into an election against
Benjamin Netanyahu, a popular right-winger. Because of this necessary need to form a coalition, I fear that she will make one with Likud and not the Labor. This is for a couple of reasons. First, she leans a little more left than right in the moderate scale, and could therefore be viewed as standing on Labor ground, which Labor will not like. In addition, Likud knows that, if it doesn’t want the government to become very liberal, it must make a coalition with Livni in order to use their seats as pawns to make sure that she does not pass anything that they don’t agree with.

I personally like the Labor party, and hope to god that she allies with them this month. With their help, she will be able to pass more liberal—peace-minded—policies (e.g. pulling out of the West Bank, giving up the Golan for peace with Syria). Also, if Labor allies with the Prime Minister, and if Livni is viewed positively in the public eye, Labor will (transitively) be associated with success. This is key to having the respect restored to the failing Labor party, allowing it to win an election! I think that until Labor has won an election, there will be not be comprehensive peace in Israel.

And that is the ultimate goal, right?


1 Comment so far
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One big problem with Livni is that she has no military experience. She also hasn’t defined her position on Jerusalem and other issues. Although she might seem better than Mofaz, I don’t think she is the best candidate for Prime Minister.

In the end I don’t think she will create a coalition because Bibi Netanyahu wants elections (because he is so popular) and Barak also wants to become Prime Minister. I don’t think it is smart for Israel to continue with what Olmert has been doing and to give the West Bank to the Palestinians. It would be best for the country to just have new elections and have the citizens show who they want to lead the country.

Comment by ronshapiro

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