A universe of beauty, mystery and wonder

A universe of beauty, mystery and wonder

Monday, March 16, 2015


© Unauthorized duplication of this blog's material is prohibited.   Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full credit and link is given to Otters and Science News Blogspot.  Link to this post: - Thank you for visiting my blog.

The following is a chart to further confuse the Muddled East observer.


The above blog does not claim this chart to be accurate.  It could never be.  The main candidates are making changes to their platforms even hours before the voting takes place. 
Tzipi Livni of the post-Zionist
 "Zionist Union"

Labour has made some tactical changes.  And a desperate Bibi Netanyahu has made a radical shift to the right:  No to a Palestinian state on his watch. 

But if we go by past experience, if Bibi wins he will change his mind again.  And so will other candidates.  To them it is all a game  - a game of power and politics.  The fate of the country is sometimes the last thing on politicians' mind.
So-called Zionist Union candidates presenting themselves as the leading "Anybody but Bibi" alternative.  The leftist "Zionist Union" has received direct assistance from a strategic team of White House advisers.  Their task:  to unseat Netanyahu for a government more agreeable to president Obama's agenda for Israel.

In the PREVIOUS election of 2013, a coalition of Likud and Yisrael Beitenu - both parties with an undeserved reputation for being "right wing" - ran with a SECRET PLATFORM.  The reason was that both parties disagreed on certain issues and found it more convenient to run without a platform.  Much easier than define their agenda.  Israelis voted for them anyway! 

In this election - and in order to confuse and dupe the electorate - the left-wing parties have adopted the name "Zionist Union" although there is nothing Zionist about them.

One of the components of the Zionist Union is the Labour Party, which used to be Zionist many, many decades ago - during the pioneer years (Ben Gurion, Golda Meir). 

But new generations of Labour Party members have become what is called "POST-ZIONIST," stressing their eagerness to partition the country along the 1967 lines, de-Judeize Israel, and empower the Arabs. 

In this election the left-wing Zionist Union has brazenly made use of a White House team of election advisers for the manipulation of the electorate and the mobilization of the Arab vote.  A bipartisan US Congress panel is investigating this White House interference with the Israeli election, possibly financed with taxpayers' money.

Cartoons - Asher Schwartz -

Related:  The international conspiracy to topple PM Netanyahu
Follow the Israeli elections here:


The old tradition of holding elections
 at the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo

Elephant 'votes' at the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo

An elephant 'votes' in the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo's election to find the King of the Animal Kingdom, March 17, 2015. (photo credit: Shai Ben Ami/Jerusalem Biblical Zoo)

A 'campaign'  poster for the lion in the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo' s ' Most Popular Animal'  elections, held on March 17, 2015. (photo credit: Jerusalem Biblical Zoo)Each of the participating animals had a poster complete with campaign slogan and party identity code just like their human counterparts (see lion campaign poster on the right).

However, the posters also included educational information about the species and preservation activities.

The zoo has been holding elections for king of the animal kingdom for some 15 years, with the late King Lieder, the zoo’s Asiatic lion, reigning for a great majority of that period.

However, the new male lion, Ziv, who on Monday met his lionesses face to face for the first time, has not yet attained that sort of popularity.



Will Israel become a banana republic, a puppet of the Obama administration? Or defend its independence?
By Vic Rosenthal

Will Israel become a 'Banana republic'?As Israel’s election draws near, there is one issue that is of overriding importance.
No, it is not the question of whether to try to restart negotiations with the Palestinian Authority. And it is not related to the price of apartments, income inequality or any other domestic issue.
It is the question of whether Israel will remain a sovereign, independent state, or whether it will become a satellite of the US, a ‘banana republic’ without an independent foreign policy.
Continue reading this column, and a brief outline explaining Israeli elections and who is running.

I had a discussion this weekend over our Shabbat table with my son-in-law. “Look,” he said. “Buji and Tzipi aren’t going to make a deal with the Palestinians. Everyone knows that there’s no common ground. So what’s left are the domestic issues. And Netanyahu has failed miserably. It’s time for a change.” He speaks for many Israelis, especially young ones. But he’s missing the point.
Leave aside the question of whether PM Netanyahu has indeed failed, if indeed a different government would do a better job of making it possible for young people to afford an apartment, relieve the stress on the hospitals, improve the educational system, etc. Leave aside the question of whether a different government would have dealt with Hamas more effectively last summer.
Let’s say, בא נגיד, as Israelis like to say, that there really is no significant difference in the real-life security policies of Netanyahu’s Likud and Buji Herzog’s Zionist Union. Let’s say that Netanyahu would be more open to ceding territory to the Arabs than he says he would be, and that Herzog would be less ready to make a deal than he says.
Even if all this were true, there is still one elephant left in the room. And that is the relationship with the Obama Administration. And that elephant is not that Netanyahu has a poor one — it’s that Buji and Tzipi’s is too good.
Netanyahu went to Washington and stood up for Israel’s interests, receiving a huge amount of abuse from Obama partisans in America and the Left in Israel in return. There is no doubt that the vindictive Obama will do his best to punish him personally in any way that he can.
But the PM believed that his action would possibly tip the balance against an agreement with Iran that would legitimize rather then retard its progress toward nuclear weapons, and that preventing this is of the utmost importance.
Buji, on the other hand, did not go to Washington in solidarity with the PM. In fact, he opposed the visit, saying that the Iranian program, while “a big threat,” was not “existential.” And he said “I trust Obama to get a good deal.”
For an Israeli to trust Obama after he has consistently demonstrated — both in speech and action — his lack of sympathy (even a poorly-hidden antipathy) for Israel, along with empathy for its enemies, is simply breathtaking.
But it is not surprising, considering the backing that Herzog and Livni’s Zionist Union has received from the Obama Administration. There is no doubt that large amounts of money are flowing from American and other foreign sources into groups working against Netanyahu, with administration encouragement at the very least — and direct connivance at most.
A nonpartisan Senate investigation into the possibility that taxpayer funds were used to interfere in Israel’s election is now taking place. If any smoking guns are discovered, it will be far too late to affect the election. But both PM Netanyahu and many Israelis are absolutely certain that the administration is doing its best to defeat him.
Assuming that Herzog becomes Prime Minister, how easy will it be for him to say ‘no’ to the man that helped get him elected? The administration has said it will push to restart talks with the Palestinians after the election.
That means immediate pressure for concessions “to bring the Palestinians to the table,” such as freezing building in settlement blocs and eastern Jerusalem, releasing terrorists from Israeli prisons, and so forth. We’ve played this game before, and it always turns out the same way: the Palestinians pocket the concessions and continue making their maximal demands.
There is also the next war to consider. We don’t know whether it will be with Hamas or Hizballah, but we can expect that the moment it starts, so will the pressure from Washington to accept a cease-fire that will be highly disadvantageous.
During the recent Gaza conflict, the administration tried to push a cease-fire agreement developed with the help of Hamas supporters Qatar and Turkey; embargoed the delivery of arms to Israel; encouraged the FAA to ground US flights to Ben-Gurion airport; and accused Israel of “disproportionate” actions. How will Herzog and Livni react to similar pressure?
And of course, the big one, Iran. But we already know what Buji will do on this issue — trust his good friend, Barack Obama.
The bad relationship between Netanyahu and Obama is not a personality clash. It is directly due to the fact that Netanyahu will not follow instructions from the White House. And that is the way it has to be, because what Barack Obama wants is not necessarily what is good for Israel.
Maybe Buji and Tzipi think they will be strong enough to resist once they are in power. But as I wrote last week, you don’t make a deal with the devil and ask for your soul back.



There are 25 parties running and 5,881,696 eligible voters • In Israel's 67-year history, no party has ever won an outright majority of 61 seats, and the country has always been governed by a coalition • Voter turnout in 2013 was 67.8 percent.
What is at stake?

Voters will elect a 120-member parliament, the Knesset, Israel's 20th. Citizens vote for party lists, not individual candidates. Seats are allocated in the Knesset according to the percentage of the national vote the parties win.
Who is running?

There are 25 parties running. Key parties are:
  • the governing Likud party, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who takes a hard line against Iran;
  • the Zionist Union, a joint list headed by Isaac Herzog and Tzipi Livni, which wants to resume negotiations with the Palestinians;
  • the Joint List, a union of Arab parties that is expected to drive up chronically low voter turnout among Israel's Arab minority;
  • Kulanu, led by Likud defector Moshe Kahlon, who has focused on the economy and set his sights on the Finance Ministry;
  • Habayit Hayehudi, led by high-tech millionaire Naftali Bennett, who is angling for the support of West Bank settlers;
  • and Yesh Atid, led by former TV personality Yair Lapid, who is promising relief for the struggling middle class.
  • Two ultra-Orthodox Jewish parties could play key roles after the election. According to a 2014 law, a party must win 3.25 percent of the vote to be represented in the Knesset.
How is a government formed?

In Israel's 67-year history, no party has ever won an outright majority of 61 seats, and the country has always been governed by a coalition. After the vote, Israel's president meets with party leaders to determine who has the best chance of forming a government.
The president then taps the head of that party, which is usually -- but not necessarily -- the largest party, to undertake that task. That person will have up to six weeks to form a coalition. If successful, he or she becomes prime minister; if not, the president chooses another party to try.
The president could also ask the leaders of the two biggest parties to form a unity government.
What are the election-day logistics?
There are 5,881,696 eligible voters. Most of the 10,119 polling stations across the country are open from 7 a.m. (1 a.m. EST) until 10 p.m. (4 p.m. EST). Exit polls will be released immediately after voting ends, and official results will trickle in throughout the night. Voter turnout in the last election, in 2013, was 67.8 percent. Election day is a national holiday, and most workers have the day off.
What are Israel's demographics?
Population: 8.2 million, of whom 75 percent (6.2 million) are Jews, 20 percent (1.7 million) are Arabs and the rest are classified as "others," most of them non-Jewish immigrants. Per capita GDP is $36,051.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for visiting my blog. Your comments are always appreciated, but please do not include links.