On Political Defectors, The Magic Number 61 And The Oslo/Iran Connection

I do not have all that much respect for the Israeli government sadly, or any other government for that matter. Fear of government I have aplenty. I always obey. But respect, I’m already as asymptotically close to absolute zero as possible. You can’t go any lower than that according to the third law of political thermodynamics.

The corollary to this is that I am almost never surprised by how low Israeli politics can get. It is really therefore quite refreshing in an oddly perverse sort of way to say that on March 4, 2020, for the first time in 8 years since becoming a libertarian, something the Israeli government did actually utterly floored me. Completely shocked me. My heart actually skipped a beat when I discovered this. I am not exaggerating.

And no, this has nothing to do with a potential round 4 of elections or the brazen attempts by political opponents to depose Netanyahu in the Knesset as Prime Minister post facto by making it illegal for someone under indictment to get a mandate to form a government. I don’t care all that much about this, other than being entertained on the sidelines by the spectacle. Let the State apparatus attack itself for all I care. That’s less time they have to attack the rest of us private citizens with new laws, regulations, and taxes.

Plus, if the center/left wants to try to force Netanyahu out even though among Jewish voters he is the preferred choice over Gantz by a nearly 2:1 margin, I wish the center/left the best of luck, and don’t be surprised if you get completely obliterated at the polls in the next round if you succeed. (In coming up with a 2:1 ratio figure for Bibi among Jewish voters, I am making the – I believe – reasonable assumption that all or virtually all Yamina, Shas, United Torah Judaism, and Yisrael Beteinu voters prefer Bibi as Prime Minister over Benny Gantz. No matter though.)

Back to the matter at hand. What is it then that shocked me so deeply on March 4? Read on. Stay with me. I promise you will not be disappointed no matter what your opinion on government may be.

As you all know by now, the Knesset cannot cobble together a governing coalition. This I am actually very pleased with as a proud member of the Movement for the Advancement of Repeat Elections and Political Deadlock in Israel. I have been smiling ear to ear ever since the election results came in for the third time. If no bloc can get a 61-seat majority, the government is impotent. No negotiating land for peace, no new taxes, no new regulations, no new spending.

Nothing. It all stops by force of political paralysis. It is absolutely beautiful.

Now, on March 4, I was reading the news and I came across an article about past political defectors, Knesset members who switched sides for one reason or another in the past. The context being that Bibi is looking for 3 defectors from the Center/Left bloc to help him get to 61. As I was reading, I was crossing my fingers that the chances were slim to none that he would be able to get any MK to join him. I am still hoping that everyone stays absolutely faithful to their respective constituents and refuses to budge an inch. I do not want a new government. I like the old transitional one and I want to keep it forever. Bring on round 4, and 5 and 6 and 7 and so on. Around and around and around forever until the Messiah comes, until everyone gets so sick of democracy that they can’t take it anymore.

I digress. In the article I was reading about defectors, I came across a bit of sordid history I was already partially familiar with. You might be familiar with it as well. It goes like this. Back in the mid 90’s, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin had exactly 58 MKs behind his Oslo Accords bill. He needed exactly three more to get the Accords passed into law. Just like Bibi is doing now from the other side, Rabin back then was looking for 3 defectors from the Right to join him and get Oslo passed.

He got them. Three defectors from the Tzomet party agreed to cross over and vote for the Oslo Accords, giving Rabin, together with support of the Arab parties from the outside, a razor-thin 61-seat majority.

One of the defectors named Alex Goldfarb got a ministerial position and a Mitzubishi. Hence, the bitter Right refrain that Oslo was “passed on the tip of a Mitzubishi.” This piece of automobile trivia was not new to me so it didn’t surprise me obviously. This next part, though, was, and did.

Another Tzomet defector also became a minister for switching sides to support Oslo. This person later got arrested for trying to smuggle drugs into Israel claiming they were M&Ms while under the cover of diplomatic immunity as a Knesset member. His name: Gonen Segev. That was entertaining. Oslo was passed by a wannabe ecstacy dealer. I wanted to learn more about this hilarious story, so I googled Gonen Segev.

That’s when my heart stopped.

In January 2019, Gonen Segev, the man without whose vote Oslo would not have passed, was convicted of spying for Iranian intelligence. He was sentenced to 11 years in prison. Now, let us ask, do any of the many articles on Times of Israel, or anywhere else for that matter on Segev’s role as an Iranian spy, mention anything about his also being the deciding vote in the Knesset on the Oslo Accords?

Of course not.

But that’s the truth. Connect the dots, all laid out for anyone to see. The Oslo Accords did not only become law on the tip of a Mitzubishi. They did, but the full force of the corruption was much, much worse than that. The Oslo Accords became law by the single razor-thin deciding vote of one Iranian spy named Gonen Segev.

Long live Oslo. Long live the Israeli government.

I hear Bibi is looking for three defectors. He best be careful who he recruits.

See you all in round 4!

About the Author
Rafi is from Miami, made Aliyah in 2007, and lives with his wife and four kids in the Golan. He analyzes financial markets for a living. Rafi is a libertarian running for Knesset for slot #10 on Moshe Feiglin's Zehut Party Knesset slate.
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