This is my attempt at blogging. I'm still learning about the blogging world, and this is my own personal study hall.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Bibi, impress me. Please

OK, so some ppl are impressed with Netanyahu's decision to oppose the disengagement by resigning his post. But let's take a closer look.

I didn't really begin following Israeli politics that long ago, but if I recall correctly, Bibi ran on a platform of opposing land-for-peace deals. He ran as a hardliner. But when faced with pressure from the Clinton Administration and the Israeli public, as well as world opinion, he softened his stance. His hawkish stance got him elected in the first place, but when the winds changed he fluttered. That cost him his job. He bided his time and now he's got an opportunity to get back in power. He's rallying to the call - the people are against the disengagement, so he is too.

With the economy in Israel in decline, and poverty on the rise, now is NOT the time for the Finance Minister to be leaving his post. It's selfish, it does not help the cause he is trying to represent (Minister of the Interior or Foreign Minister would be able to make a statement by resigning, but not Finance), and it hurts an already vulnerable segment of the government.

Bibi is the poster child for what's wrong with the parliamentary system, in its current form, in Israel. That is not to say that every MK is corrupt, or that to be an MK a person needs to be corrupt. But the system, as it exists right now, requires opportunism, and it requires the successful politician to fan the flames of the public opinion and to play the extremist card in order to make a run.

My opinions on the parliamentary system in Israel are many and I think it needs to be reformed in a number of ways, and they are too detailed for this post, but here's what I think of Bibi's decision to resign. It was opportunisitic and insincere.

At this point I think that Bibi is a disgrace to his family name. Yoni Netanyahu was a hero, who gave his life to his people. Binyamin Netanyahu, to me, right now, comes off as a sleaze, who is using his people to give him the life he wants. I guess time will tell on everything. But if he does manage to succeed in manipulating public opinion to get himself elected as Prime Minister again, he will have to do SOMETHING consistent, particularly something for Israel's well-being, in order to impress me like he once did. He is Israel's most articulate advocate, both in English and in Hebrew, and like Superman, he has "powers" that can be used for good or for his own gain. But that's just my opinion.


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8:04 PM

Blogger menachem said...

wow, hot stocks! i was wondering when spammers would catch on to blog comments.

anyways, not to argue with bibi being an opportunist, but a couple of points i hjave issue with.

the economy is doing great in israel, back to pre intifadeh levels and still rising at over 4%. bibi's detractors can't even touch that, when they critisize him they don't challenge the results, they just try to reassign credit (disengagement, global recovery, blah blah blah)

also, as great a hero yoni netanyahu may be (quite possibly, the greatest hero ever) lets be reasonable. had he lived, do you doubt he would have ended up any different than bibi? in all honesty, i think he would have been prime minister and bibi sidelined (much like iddo) and we would right now be debating yoni's sleaziness.

5:30 PM

Blogger Seth said...

Yeah, the stock thing is really no surprise.

As for Yoni getting into politics, I bet he would have managed to become prime minister, based on his heroic stature, thus sidelining Bibi until after he retired (at which point I think Bibi would have had an even easier time than he did in becoming prime minister).

But you're assuming (like most people) that all Israeli politicians are sleaze. Maybe he would have been; maybe he wouldn't. One thing we can be sure of, though, is that Bibi's move is one based more in sleaze, with a hint of his old idealism that he has long since dropped, and is largely insincere.

The economy might be improving, but that doesn't mean it's OK to quit. His position has no bearing on Gaza. He is giving up on his job, which is more crucial now than ever before, for political gain. Israel's economy is VERY fragile, as it has always been, and the fact that it's improving means that the poverty level might actually decrease finally for the first time in years. Or it could have if the man in charge of the economy had not just resigned over a completely unrelated political issue, which his position in no way affects.

9:26 PM

Blogger menachem said...

but still, of his two choices, leaving the gov't to protest or holding onto his post despite disagreeing with sharon, leaving was the less sleazy choice.

7:21 PM

Blogger Seth said...

I still very strongly disagree. Resigning sent a message that he disagreed with Sharon's policy. But we knew that he disagreed with the disengagement. But what would have sent a stronger message would have been to remain in his post and see to it that the economy didn't collapse in the wake of emotional and political strain on the country.

I did not realize at the time that I made my initial comments that Ehud Olmert was taking over. I really really like him. I don't really know why I like him so much, because I don't know much about him. But I do like him. I have to do more research into his political stances on issues up until now (and I should really do so before making a statement like that), but I do get a good feeling with his being the acting minister.

I always felt Bibi was too political for that post, primarily because I felt he would abdicate it for an opportunity to regain a majority (which, hey, he did!), and I think Olmert would be more stable there.

10:51 PM


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