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Divorce Scuttles Shotgun Likud/Kadima Wedding

By Stephen Lendman - Posted on 19 July 2012

  Divorce Scuttles Shotgun Likud/Kadima Wedding


by Stephen Lendman


Shotgun weddings often produce quick and/or ugly divorces. This one was no exception. When announced, public outrage greeted it. 


So-called unity sounded more like surrender. Secret talks arranged it. Israel's faux democracy sustained another blow. What Likud's Benjamin Netanyahu and Kadima's Shaul Mofaz agreed to came asunder. More on why below.


On May 9, Knesset members voted 71 - 23 for a new unity government. Mofaz became deputy prime minister. Netanyahu stayed head of government.


Mofaz served previously as IDF Chief of General Staff. He also held various ministerial posts. 


As former IDF head and defense minister, he's indictable for crimes of war and against humanity. He murdered thousands of Palestinians. He participated in two wars against Lebanon. 


Netanyahu has his own cross to bear. He's a world class thug. Like Mofaz, he's guilty of high crimes against peace. He's an embarrassment to democratic government. He's surrounded by equally hardline types. He and Mofaz made an inglorious pact.


Labor MK Binyamin Ben-Eliezer said:


"I have seen everything, but nothing like this." No wonder increasing numbers of Israelis call its political system "trash."


Likely September elections were cancelled. Kadima agreed to support Likud's policies through late 2013. Only 12 of its 28 MKs showed up to vote. Accord to MK Robert Tibayev:


"We are entering the coalition with no discussion, with four clauses in the agreement," he said." I don't think there has ever been a coalition deal with four clauses and nothing of essence."


Meretz party MK Zehava Gal-On said "the prime minister was spooked by the settlers in the Likud Central Committee, and Mofaz panicked because of the polls that showed that his party is vaporizing."


Her colleague Nitzan Horowitz asked "(w)hat are Israeli citizens supposed to understand from" what's going on?


Many Israelis deplored it. Public rallies opposed it. In Tel Aviv, protesters demonstrated under the slogan "All the People are Opposition." Social activist MKs attended.


Mofaz drew most anger. One sign read "Mofaz is in the coalition. The people are in the opposition." Confrontations erupted. Police made arrests.


After defeating Tzipi Livni for Kadma leadership in March, Mofaz said "We are the opposition. I will oppose Netanyahu." He also called him and Ehud Barak a "couple that is dangerous to Israel." Fast forward two months and he embraced them.


Washington and EU states endorsed coalition unity. Officially the State Department called it an internal matter. Privately it expressed support. 


EU foreign policy/security representative Catherine Ashton said it advances the ball for peace talks. Former EU foreign policy head Javier Solana called Netanyahu too hardline to achieve it.


Ten weeks after it was formed, unity dissolved. Netanyahu lost a partner but retains a solid majority. Kadima voted 24 - 3 to leave over Netanyahu's failure to support new draft law changes.


"Netanyahu has chosen to side with the draft-dodgers," said Mofaz. "I have reached an understanding that the prime minister has not left us a choice and so we have responded."


"(T)here is an attempt here to bypass principles and confuse the public. It doesn't fool me and it doesn't fool the public."


In early July, both leaders met. Mofaz warned Netanyahu about about dissolving unity. At issue is regulations for drafting ultra-Orthodox men. 


They include punishments against anyone refusing to serve. Another rule involves how long implementing an ultra-Orthodox draft program would take. Talks broke down. Neither side would yield enough.


Chief Haredi Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky rejected any law to draft Haredim. "Be careful for your lives," he said. "Know for a fact that the only reason the Jewish people merit existence is the merit of the holy Torah students who have nothing in their lives but the four cubits of halakha."


"It has been simple and clear to every Jew, from the moment we became a people, that interfering with the purity of those studying in the holy yeshivas and introducing them to foreign ideas, God forbid, presents a grave danger."


Eida Haredit is an anti-Zionist ultra-Orthodox umbrella group. It demonstrated against drafting Haredim. Posters announced it in advance declaring "At a time of religious persecution and decrees, no person dare stay home."


Moderate Haredim presented its own proposal to replace the Tal Law. It exempts yeshiva students subject to specific conditions. At age 22, they could choose between one-year civil service or a shortened 16-month military obligation and future reserve duty.


The existing law failed to boost ultra-Orthodox enlistments. Only a few dozen joined Israel's army. In February 2012, the High Court of Justice ruled it unconstitutional. It expires in August. Debate centers on replacing it.


Moderate Haredim believe "military service is critical to preserving the state, and civilian service is crucial to sustaining society."


"Anyone who isn't studying Torah must serve. Such service must be compensated and non-service must carry a price."


In early July, talks produced political deadlock. On July 11, Mofaz convened Kadima members. Policy going forward was discussed. Likud Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Ya'alon and Kadima MK Yohanan Plesner disagreed strongly.


Mofaz told party members "(w)e are at a crucial moment, and if we do not introduce a bill in the government meeting we will not be able to maintain this partnership."


On July 9, Ya'alon and Plesner planned a new bill introduction. Disagreement remained over ultra-Orthodox men draft regulations. Netanyahu said he'll only support a new measure if it applies to all Israeli citizens. It must include Haredim and Arab citizens, he said.


Before Mofaz scuttled unity, Netanyahu submitted a new legislative proposal. It aimed to equalize military service. His attorney, David Shimron sent it to Alon Gellert. He represents Kadima.


Provisions exclude drafting Haredim past age 23. At the same time, they'd get incentives for enlisting at age 18. Those opting out would perform operational civil service functions. It includes firefighting, police and Prison Service duty.


Mofaz rejected the proposal, saying: 


"Netanyahu's proposal contradicts the ruling of the High Court of Justice, does not conform to the principle of equality, is disproportionate and does not meet the tests of effectiveness that are set down in the High Court's ruling, or the principles of the committee on equalizing the burden of IDF service."


"Let's make this clear: We are referring to enlistment targets that do not include all of those eligible for the draft, and we are therefore countenancing a 'word- laundering' that in effect leaves the situation as it was."


Another senior Kadima official called the proposal "rubbish." It's the same one sent before, he said. Eleventh hour talks resolved nothing. Breaking up was simple as saying goodbye.


Likud/Kadima unity mocked democratic values. Dissolution shamed them further. Coalition governments are commonplace. This one differed from others. Moments before the Knesset planned to schedule September elections, Netanyahu and Mofaz announced a "historic" agreement.


Four goals were announced. They included adopting a universal draft law, changing Israel's system of government, restarting the peace process, and passing an emergency budget. Ten weeks of unity brought divorce. No objective was achieved.


Both sides look bad. They're more at odds than ever. Mofaz claimed good intentions. The road to hell reached dead end. Days before dissolution, signs showed it was coming. Likud Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar said Mofaz was planning to bolt.


It's imminent, he said. Disbanding the Plesner Equalizing the Burden committee cinched it. Mofaz postponed his announcement until after Hillary Clinton's visit. He didn't meet her. He knew he was returning to opposition status.


Friction with Netanyahu went beyond draft law provisions. Senior Kadima members said former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert asked party officials to remain in coalition partnership until fall. 


Perhaps his remaining legal issues will be resolved by them. Some believe he hopes to return to political life. If so, he'll challenge Mofaz for Kadima leadership. Bolting coalition unity had Olmert's ambitions in mind.


Mofaz hopes it increases party strength. Failure to accomplish anything in 10 weeks suggests otherwise. Likud greeted his announcement saying "goodbye and we will not meet again." Expect new elections sometime between late 2012 and fall 2013. 


Political insiders say Mofaz is finished. He partnered with Likud. He held on for 10 weeks, and accomplished nothing. He returns to opposition status without influence. 


He'll claim he held firm to principles. Others call him weak and ineffective. Instead of distancing himself from hardline ideology, he joined it. He succeeded only in delaying elections until late this year or next. Kadima rivals got more time to oppose him. 


What's next for Netanyahu remains uncertain. Social justice protesters deplore him. They demand he resign. If they marshal greater support, perhaps they and other Israelis will force him out for someone else.


Likud, Kadima, Labor, or new centrist party leadership hardly matters. Israel remains hardline, belligerent, and repressive. Arab citizens have no rights. 


They and most Jews chafe under neoliberal harshness. Instead of improving conditions, they're worsening.


Malcolm X once said "I see America through the eyes of the victim. I don't see any American dream - I see an American nightmare." 


Israelis face similar harshness. Remaining rights are eroding en route to being lost altogether. Populist change demands sustained public rage. Nothing else can work.


Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at 


His new book is titled "How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War"


Visit his blog site at and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.


Social control over civil society is the real definition of democracy and free markets. Social control over wealth and labor as the means of production also means universal human rights, free from the inverted totalitarian class hierarchies, free from parasitic ruling classes and its deformed, stunted, partially developed middle shock troops, class whores, class thugs which enforce parasitic, class control over civil society.   The essence of all class systems and their class deforming hierarchies is a RIGGED, ZERO SUM game, not only transferring social wealth upwards to its ruling classes, but denying human rights, deforming Human Nature, to pretend social control over civil society, which requires class myths, class dogmas, false social rhetoric and a class mechanism, which inverts, co opts, corrupts, substitutes, and falsely conflates, makes false social claims for civil society.

This inverted totalitarian class principle is the essence of the whole failure of class history and its failed class states, which start out as crippled, class republics, another class form, that the ancient Greeks classified alongside other class deformed civil societies like oligarchy, plutocracy.  Linked to this historical failure is recognition by social thinkers, like Plato, Aristotle, and others, that class systems devolve, degenerate into class tyrants and class Empires. The organic, yet degenerating class cycles, from class republics to class empires was seen by early social thinkers in ancient Greece as an organic, dialectical degenerating class principle where Democracy and Empire militarism were seen as a historical process within class history, since Patriarchy established its class hierarchies and class mechanism.  The Social Enlightenment clearly understood the source of this failure to control civil society through social classes, not parasitic classes, and called for combined outcome of establishing independent, indivisible, social, universal middle layers, that would create critical mass, dissolve all class hierarchies, and re establish the social, historical mechanism, which makes permanent, automatic, de facto social outcomes, where social control over civil society would finally destroy not just Feudal class power, but all class systems linked to milleniums of the Patriarchal class mechanism.

The Social Enlightenment was co opted, corrupted, inverted, and substituted social patriotism, Adam Smith's free markets, for class patriotism, class nationalism and class deformed markets that justified monopoly, mercantilist, class control , parasitic control over social wealth and labor.   Smith's social wealth theories and the classical school of economics were turned upside down, through the INVERTED IDEOLOGICAL TOTALITARIAN CLASS PRINCIPLE, inverting reality, creating class myths, just as the Patriarchal religious class myth and its 3 patriarchal religions created the religious class myth of the Garden of Eden, to hide the establishment of class tyranny, Patriarchy, and the downfall of social control over civil society, that existed before class history and Patriarchy established these forms of slavery, enslavement through property laws, class laws, deforming human nature through its class mechanism, yet claiming it to be "original sin", "human nature."   This religious class myth became under Capitalism, the secular class myth of "free markets", which hides the class deformed markets, class tyranny, with its own secular class myths, to continue class systems for parasitic ruling classes.   The two most pernicious forms of class myths is first, that parasitic classes produce job, wealth creation, as the fascist democrats and republicans claim, followed by the second class myth that their fake social control over civil society , fake democracy, can actually represent social power, when it represents class tyranny.   The failure of the public to see that class systems cannot represent social justice, that their social demands will be betrayed, that the class politicians are all TROJAN HORSES, who falsely claim social unity, social representation.   ONLY INDEPENDENT SOCIAL, MIDDLE LAYERS, INDIVISIBLE, FREE FROM CLASS HIERARCHIES TIED TO THE PATRIARCHA CLASS MECHANISM can socia demands, social votes establish real democracy, real social control over wealth and labor, in control of the means of production and productive forces.

Israel became a class state, which incorporated the historical failure of FEUDAL MERCANTILISM, which under Capitalism, is called FASCISM, and thus became joined at the hip to other failed Western class states, whose degenerating class principles produced the very Holocaust and Fascism that was aimed at Jews, socialists and unionists, where the victims become the NEW FASCIST MASTERS , through Western Fascism, Late Capitalism, with its fascist austerity, enslavement, and permanent militarism of class Empires.  ISRAEL ON DAY ONE EMBRACED FASCIST ETHNIC CLEANSING OF ITS ARAB POPULATIONS, and reproduced all the very same pathologies that the Western degenerate class systems have produced, namely COLONIALISM, APARTHEID, RACISM, FASCISM AND WAR.   This failed class state joins with the FAILED CLASS PARTIES AROUND THE WORLD, WHERE DEMOCRATS, REPUBLICANS BECOME FASCISTS IN ITS NEO LIBERAL TOTALITARIAN CLASS POLICIES AND FASCIST FOREIGN POLICIES. 


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