Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Joker Card of Israeli Politics

The Labor Party's convention is debating whether or not to join Benjamin Netanyahu's government. This is a major part of why I didn't vote for Labor in the election, even though I am a member of the party. I knew that a vote for Labor is a wildcard vote, a vote for the Joker, who can become anything. Ehud Barak wants to join a radical right wing government, spearheaded by Likud and the fascist Israel Beitenu. He didn't even demand that Avigdor Lieberman not be appointed foreign minister.

Seven of Labor's thirteen Knesset members oppose joing the coalition, but the decision isn't up to them. If the convention votes with Barak, the seven MKs should split from Labor. As a majority of the Knesset caucus they even have the right to take the name Labor with them and force Barak's faction to call itself by another name. I have a few suggestions: The Coalition Party, CMNMW Party (Cabinet Members No Matter What), Anti-Opposition Party, Fig Leaf Party, etc. I have a million of these. I can go on forever.

If this split does take place, I'd leave the current Labor Party and may join the new one that will stay in the opposition. If the party will join the coalition and won't split, I'll leave the party. If it stays in the opposition it will be on probation - if it doesn't get its act together soon and be a distinctively pro-peace party that's less naive than Meretz but more serious about the two-state solution than Kadima, it won't be able to count me among its members.

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