Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Psychology, Medicine, Science, Politics, Oppression, Integrity, Philosophy, Jews

Spinning Israel’s election results beyond recognition

Aryeh Deri (left), leader of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party, seen with head of the Yisrael Beytenu political party Avigdor Liberman at the “Sheva Brachot” of Deri’s daughter. December 23, 2015. (Yaacov Cohen/FLASH90)
Aryeh Deri (left), leader of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party, seen with head of the Yisrael Beytenu political party Avigdor Liberman at the “Sheva Brachot” of Deri’s daughter. December 23, 2015. (Yaacov Cohen/FLASH90)

In case you really believe one of the following spins, just assume that I don’t know what I’m talking about there and then move on to amuse yourself with all the others that deserve qualifications between ‘How can anyone believe such nonsense?’ and ‘This is just laughable.’

Spin 1: Israel is in great danger and something drastic needs to happen quickly. Rather, we’re all doing fine, thank you. We could do with many more months of a caretaker cabinet. Now we’ve voted, our job is to stay calm and laugh at all the falsely generated anxiety. And say no to war.

Spin 2: Bibi won. Rather, he lost three times in a row. First he lost Lieberman. He deemed a 61-majority too small and went to the polls. His coalition shrank to 59. ‘Great victory.’ But that was ‘still’ not good enough. Elections again left him now with some 56 rightwing seats. ‘Bibi will head the next rightwing government; he has already 56 seats for it.’ That is three less than the last time and five less than the time before.

Spin 3: Gantz won. No, he didn’t. The only ones who really won were the Joint Arab parties and Lieberman. And on the left and on the right, some played some musical chairs. So, there are various new party names but basically, the non-Lieberman Right shrank and so did the Jewish Left.

Spin 4: This leader hates that one/those voters and that leader hates them. This one will not sit with that one and that one not with those. These false sentiments will all disappear as snow for the sun as soon as political opportunities will come into sight. Don’t forget that in the Knesset cafeteria, almost everyone chats with almost everyone. The animosity in front of the cameras is make-belief.

Spin 5: We have a stalemate. No! Stalemate means lack of negotiations. There are so many ways to hammer our a coalition that it’s dazzling. Probably, Gantz is going to try first and succeed. Bibi now says that the whole of the Right is one political block. But saying it doesn’t make it so.

Spin 6: Lieberman is either a liar or incompetent. A political scientist wrote this recently in his TOI blog. He can’t be serious. There is an easy third option. In a democracy, one can’t always get what one wants.

Spin 7: The Bibi era is over. Well, that depends largely on him and on how much he is willing to compromise. But soon, he can become President. Nice job for a political leader at the end of his carrier. Compare Peres. But he could also be PM again. We’ll see.

Spin 8: There is no likely coalition of any group of parties that can form a majority. None of the elected Members of Knesset are glued to their parties’ seats. Reasonable people from any party can sit together in a gigantic unity coalition while all the extremists huddle in the opposition. Across party lines. Don’t forget, most of these parties are young and contrived. And also older ones have irreconcilable sections within them.

Spin 9: Israel has voted for a broad national unity government. No, it has not. The only way to form a coalition is by combining some of the leftwing and rightwing seats. But only seven percent voted Lieberman and that’s what he stood for. Most voters wanted something else.

***

BTW: I don’t believe everything the media say about Bibi. That’s why I’m shocked at how racist he spoke even after the elections. Every Arab is an anti-Zionist and every Arab vote encourages terrorism? Even Trump was smart enough to insert a lifeless: ‘Not every Mexican is a rapist.’ A man who always was a proud Zionism morphed into just an Arab-hater?

First, he came out against Iran. He was right. They’re a mortal enemy. Then he opposed Hamas and Hezbollah. Right again. But then he dropped Ethiopian Jews, the PA, the Bedouin, and all Israeli Arabs for no good reason at all. His attempt to make an exception for the Druze, only made him sound more racist. All in all, an unworthy exit for a once great leader.

***

The award for the most embarrassing election report goes, hands down, to the Jerusalem Post. It wrote that Blue and White each received 32 seats.

About the Author
The author is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (DES - Diethylstilbestrol), born in 1953 to two Dutch survivors who met in the largest concentration camp in the Netherlands, Westerbork, and holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam). He taught Re-evaluation Co-counseling, became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids. He wrote an unpublished tome about Jewish Free Will. He's a vegan for 8 years now. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. * His most influential teachers (chronologically) are: his parents, Nico (natan) van Zuiden and Betty (beisye) Nieweg, Wim Kan, Mozart, Harvey Jackins, Marshal Rosenberg, Reb Shlomo Carlebach and lehavdiel bein chayim lechayim: Rabbi Dr. Natan Lopes Cardozo, Rav Zev Leff and Rav Meir Lubin. * Previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. For a couple of years he wrote hasbara for the Dutch public. His fields of attention now are varied: Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine (including physical immortality), Science (statistics), Politics (Israel, the US and the Netherlands, Activism - more than leftwing or rightwing, he hopes to highlight Truth), Oppression and Liberation (intersectionally, for young people, the elderly, non-Whites, women, workers, Jews, GLBTQAI, foreigners and anyone else who's dehumanized or exploited), Integrity, Philosophy, Jews (Judaism, Zionism, Holocaust and Jewish Liberation), Ecology and Veganism. Sometimes he's misunderstood because he has such a wide vision that never fits any specialist's box. But that's exactly what many love about him. Many of his posts relate to affairs from the news or the Torah Portion of the Week or are new insights that suddenly befell him. * He hopes that his words will inspire and inform, reassure the doubters but make the self-assured doubt more. He strives to bring a fresh perspective rather than bore you with the obvious. He doesn't expect his readers to agree. Rather, original minds must be disputed. In short, his main political positions are: anti-Trumpism, for Zionism, Intersectionality, non-violence, democracy, anti the fake peace process, for original-Orthodoxy, Science, Free Will, anti blaming-the-victim and for down-to-earth optimism. Read his blog how he attempts to bridge any discrepancies. He admits sometimes exaggerating to make a point, which could have him come across as nasty, while in actuality, he's quit a lovely person to interact with. He holds - how Dutch - that a strong opinion doesn't imply intolerance of other views. * His writing has been made possible by an allowance for second generation Holocaust survivors from the Netherlands. It has been his dream since he was 38 to try to make a difference by teaching through writing. He had three times 9-out-of-10 for Dutch at his high school finals but is spending his days communicating in English and Hebrew - how ironic. G-d must have a fine sense of humor. In case you wonder - yes, he is a bit dyslectic. November 13, 2018, he published his 500st blog post with the ToI. If you're a native English speaker and wonder why you should read from people whose English is only their second language, consider the advantage of having a peek outside of your cultural bubble. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me. To see other blog posts by him, a second blog - under construction - can be found by clicking on the Website icon next to his picture.
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