The Sunken Synagogue
pa vezer o vageal e kreiz e klever a-wechoù un trouz iskis:
kleier ur sinagogenn a zo o seniñ dindan ar mor...

Monday, April 03, 2006
קדימה, אחורה / Kadima, Achora /
Forwards, Backwards / A Lua e a Mulata*

שקדין–דין, קדימה
שקדין–דין, אחורה
זה קצת דומה להורה
אבל קצת יותר מסובך

Shkedin-din, forwards
Shkedin-din, backwards
It's a little like a hora,
But a little more complicated

Not only is this a great song (number 13), but it may soon be reality.

I first read about this possibility on JoeSettler (here and here). And now we're seeing news reports on it (A7, J Post). Could the Kadima party (meaning forward in Hebrew) actually be heading backwards? Backwards, off a steep cliff?

As the articles and posts explain, if no party in the Knesset emerges from elections with a 61-seat majority, the president chooses a party to form a coalition with other parties. Kadima may have more seats than anyone else, but it's still only got 29. Labor is next with 19 (down from 20).

So how does the president decide which party to pick? After meeting with each, he picks the one that looks like it can form the most stable coalition. Historically, this has always been the largest party—but it doesn't have to be. Why should things be any different now? Because what Labor lacks in seats, it may be able to make for in tolerability as compared to Kadima. Let's look at what's going on in some of the collective party minds right now:

Labor (19 seats): Steal from the rich and give to the poor!
Pensioners (7): אל תשליכני לעת זקנה / Don't cast me off in old age!
Shas (12): Fund the yeshivas!
UTJ (6): Fund our yeshivas too!
Likud (12): Will anyone even remember us by the next elections?
Yisrael Beitenu (11): Coa-what? We've still got the celebratory vodka to finish, and then there's the post-celebratory vodka....
NU-NRP (9): Save the settlements, save the settlements, save the settlements....
Meretz (5): Peretz is cool, but why do those stinking settlers and haredim have to get in the way?
Kadima (29): Hmm, maybe this isn't as easy as we thought it would be.

Clearly, the first four parties have a certain commonality of purpose. Likud will not join with Kadima out of principle, but might go with Labor to prevent another unilateral explusion, to salvage some measure of power, and to spite Kadima, even if Peretz will undo Netanyahu's economic reforms. YB has already said it will go with either Kadima or Labor. NU-NRP may disagree with Labor on which way the earth turns and who's buried in Hertzl's tomb, but they're still better than Kadima. Meretz has a conflict of interests and will probably recommend Kadima, just to avoid sitting in a coalition with the right-wing.

I don't know if it will happen, and I'm not a big fan of Labor, but it would be a beautiful thing to see Kadima tumble from the sparkling throne it built for itself. Who woulda thunk it—invite all the most overconfident, opportunistic, corrupt, morally- and ideologically-bankrupt scum to a big bloated pool party, and then pull the plug. Voters may have supported Kadima more than they did the other parties, but the other parties can't possibly have any affection for Kadima. At best they're jealous of its success, at worst they feel betrayed by their own members who ditched them for it.

Read the Arutz Sheva article if you haven't already. It points out a lot of good things about Labor—at least relatively good things. Well ... we're at the point now where we have to take what we can get. Like how people say that even if Peretz is a reincarnation of Stalin naive socialist who can't speak English, at least he's honest. That counts for something, right? And I have to say, not that it matters, but if this goes through, it will not only be the first time the second-largest party was asked to form a coalition, but also the first time Israel had a Sefardi prime minister.

Interesting days ahead!

*This is the original Portuguese title of the song. I felt I had to be complete.
It would be nice to see a Sephardi running things there. Maybe he can do a better job. But in the world today it seems hard to mix a good political agenda: Taking care of the social needs of everyone but with a high demand for a majority of people in the middle class.
I would just be happy to see such proof of integration in Israeli society, whether Peretz would do a better job or worse. The Sefardim have come a long way from the ma'abarot days!

But in the world today it seems hard to mix a good political agenda

I guess that's why we have to keep lurching back and forth between different policies with each government, because no one can get it right.
And have such strange coalitions
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מי הוא זה ואי זה הוא

Name: Sabzi Aash
Location: Jerusalem, Israel

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