A swing to the right? The Israeli Elections

Ron Weiser, who was a discussant at a recent SZC evening about the Israeli elections, has written an election analysis published in his Australian Jewish News blog in which “he tries to read the tea leaves”. The analysis is well worth reading.

One area Ron Weiser focuses on is the potential composition of the coalition.

Shimon Peres in his book “Battling for Peace” provides insight into previous coalition negotiations. This anecdote occurred in one of President Peres’ many lives – he was a Vice-President of the Socialist International organisation for several years.

“One of my biggest problems was trying to explain to Brandt and other leaders of the Socialist International why we decided to enter a government of national unity with the Likud in 1984 and again in 1988. Each time our decision followed an inconclusive election, which left both major parties, Labour and Likud, unable to form a more homogeneous government. Brandt supported me. He was enormously amused when I reported to the International the conversation I had had with Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, an eminent Talmudic sage and the spiritual leader of Shas, the Sephardic, ultra-orthodox party.
“Don’t be sad” Yosef consoled me, “there is a historical precedent”
“Where?”, I asked.
“In the garden of Eden”, he replied smiling.
“How’s that?” I asked.
“Simple,” the Rabbi said. “When Adam realised that there was no woman available other than Eve, and Eve understood that she had no alternative either, they decided to set up home together and named it Paradise”.

It appears that Benjamin Netanyahu will be the Prime Minister. A recent interchange on BBC television suggests that Netanyahu will hold his own in the give and take of international opinion. . and provides a guide on how to respond to a challenging question.

The interviewer asked him: “How come so many more Palestinians have been killed in this conflict than Israelis?”

Netanyahu: “Are you sure that you want to start asking in that direction?”

Interviewer: “Why not?”

Netanyahu: “Because in World War II more Germans were killed than British and Americans combined, but there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that the war was caused by Germany ‘s aggression. And in response to the German blitz on London, the British wiped out the entire city of Dresden, burning to death more German civilians than the number of people killed in Hiroshima. Moreover, I could remind you that in 1944, when the R.A.F. tried to bomb the Gestapo Headquarters in Copenhagen, some of the bombs missed their target and fell on a Danish children’s hospital, killing 83 little children. Perhaps you have another question?”

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