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Fruits of a right-wing takeover: Knesset barrage limits Arab parties, conscripts the ultra-Orthodox, and puts the peace process to a vote

Israel/Palestine
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Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman. (Photo: Reuters)

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman. (Photo: Reuters)

This week legislation introduced by right-wing members of Knesset passed in quick succession, nearly unanimously with the exception of lawmakers who boycotted the debates. Within two days the government approved military conscription for ultra-Orthodox, raised the electoral threshold to serve in the Knesset which will keep Arab parties out of office, and amended the Basic Law for the first time in 22 years to require a referendum on ceding any Israeli controlled land during negotiations.

On Tuesday Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman introduced a series of election regulations set to disenfranchise small parties and consolidate medium-sized political blocs, called the Governability Law. The Knesset threshold for winning a seat in government was increased from 2% to 3.25% of the overall vote. Had the threshold been in place during the last election, no Arab parties, the only bi-national party, religious parties and the left-wing group Meretz all would have been kept out of office. The bill passed 67-0.

“The public should know that a high electoral threshold will be a major barrier for entering the Knesset,” decried Dov Khenin of Hadash, the Arab-Israeli communist party who boycotted the vote, “and will turn it into a closed club against new forces that are not supported by the tycoons and the rich.”

While the Governability Law was in discussion, Palestinian and left-wing Israeli members of Knesset left the hall to host an alternate debate. Lieberman responded the walk-out was a, “a show of hypocrisy and crybabyish behavior,” organized by “an Opposition of the terror organization representatives, of the post-Zionists, of the crybabies.”

Yet for the bill’s backers, Lieberman and his predominately Russian, secular-nationalist constituents, the law’s benefit is not only keeping Palestinians out of government (a long-time Lieberman threat), but also creating the incentive to build ruling coalitions with only one or two key partners.

In the 2009 elections Lieberman won 16 seats, earning more than the Labor party. But Lieberman’s abrasiveness and nationalistic platform, along with being identified as a representative of Jews from the former Soviet Union kept him from substantially increasing his base. But under the Governability Law he won’t need to. Without the option of partnering with smaller parties, leading parties like Likud will be even more bound to the agenda of medium sized groups like his Yisrael Beitenu. While in the past forming a government involved triangulating the whims of opposing groups, the new rules allow a smaller number of parties to form a government. And considering this week, where Likud, HaBayit Yehudi and Yisrael Beitenu all joined forces to stomp through right-wing campaign promises, it appears the hard-right has already tested the waters of the rule of the simple majority.

Ultra-Orthodox men protest Haredi draft bill in Jerusalem. (Photo: Allison Deger)

Ultra-Orthodox men protest Haredi draft bill in Jerusalem. (Photo: Allison Deger)

Following the passing of the Governability Law, Knesset immediately began debating the Haredim Military Conscription Law, approving it the next day. The more moderate Yesh Atid, led by former news presenter Yair Lapid, has pushed for this law since the last national election. Ayelet Shaked from HaBayit Yehudi, the religious-Zionist party, introduced the bill, which sparked massive protests in Jerusalem and New York last week. During this debate, it was religious parties that boycotted the vote.

Still, the Haredim Conscription Law allows for the continual exemption of up to 1,800 ultra-Orthodox designated as “gifted scholars.”

The final piece of legislation in the “package deal” that passed yesterday afternoon was the Referendum Law. It requires public approval on relinquishing any Israeli controlled territory in negotiations, including Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, but not the West Bank and Gaza as those territories are occupied and not annexed. The same referendum tenet was already added into Israeli law in 2010, but this bill sought to make the referendum part of Israeli Basic Law, the highest set of laws in the country in lieu of a formal constitution. As a result, it is widely viewed that the Referendum Law was approved as a mechanism to delay any future territorial concession to the Palestinians through negotiations.

The feat of passing three major pieces of legislation in nearly 24 hours was executed after Israel’s hard-liners emerged from a Knesset meeting last Sunday. HaBayit Yehudi’s Orit Struck, a newcomer to Knesset and settler from Hebron, explained, “As long as discussions in the Shaked [military draft] committee haven’t ended, and the vote hasn’t gone according to our complete satisfaction, as was promised to us during coalition negotiations, MK Shuli Moalem and I will not support the Governability Law.” Struck’s comments show how the secular and religious-nationalist parties came together to cut a deal: The Hardeim would finally be included in national army conscription in exchange for Lieberman’s vision of keeping Arab parties out of office and consolidating his influence in Likud and the Prime Minister’s office.

Allison Deger
About Allison Deger

Allison Deger is the Assistant Editor of Mondoweiss.net. Follow her on twitter at @allissoncd.

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37 Responses

  1. eljay
    eljay
    March 13, 2014, 1:56 pm

    >> Fruits of a right-wing takeover …

    Always is fruits, never potatoes. MY1 be sad. :-(

  2. hophmi
    hophmi
    March 13, 2014, 1:57 pm

    ““The public should know that a high electoral threshold will be a major barrier for entering the Knesset,” decried Dov Khenin of Hadash, the Arab-Israeli communist party who boycotted the vote, “and will turn it into a closed club against new forces that are not supported by the tycoons and the rich.”

    I think that’s a little misleading. Israel has one of the lowest thresholds in the world, even with the change. There is no question, at all, that having such a low threshold has led to a lot of political instability. There are a lot of analysts who think that the higher threshold will strengthen Arab political involvement by forcing either the creation of a large enough coalition to meet the threshold (as opposed to three or four Arab parties) or by spurring the Arabs to join one of the larger parties, much as the settlers joined Likud and now enjoy more power there than they did when they were spread out over smaller parties.

    • Woody Tanaka
      Woody Tanaka
      March 13, 2014, 2:24 pm

      “There are a lot of analysts who think that the higher threshold will strengthen Arab political involvement”

      LMAO. Yeah, I’m sure that’s why the Moldovan Mussolini (no, that’s too unkind. To Mussolini.) proposed this law.

    • Scott
      Scott
      March 13, 2014, 3:06 pm

      I really hate to say this, but I think hophmi has a reasonable point here. . .

      • ritzl
        ritzl
        March 13, 2014, 6:09 pm

        Agree on the need for a coalition and increased bloc/voting participation, but the joining larger parties part [as a means to gain influence] is worse than where they are now. It’s a recipe for permanent dilution.

        Palestinian-Israelis could well come to some productive accommodation with Shas given their respective (and collective) targeting by the majority. Emphasis on could, but it’s not outside the realm of possibility. Even the Jewish poor would have some commonality and could benefit from such an alliance.

        The opportunity is only going to become more acute in the longer term as EJ/WB Palestinians start pressing for, and getting, their rights/the vote.

        Just another reason why purely Zionist Israel is teetering on massive political upheaval. These right wing types don’t see it coming. Or they do and think “yell louder” is a viable strategy to fend it off.

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        March 14, 2014, 5:37 am

        Not if it comes from Lieberman. It’s like Europe in the 30s/40s. Take away rights slowly and consistently.
        Every step is calculated. Appeals to law and order types.
        Nothing to worry about. Everything is legal. Trust us.
        Their end game is deportation.

        http://www.holocaust-lestweforget.com/holocaust-segregation.html
        1 Jul ’40
        Jewish volunteers are discharged from all Dutch air defense units.

        6 Sep ’40
        Dutch government managers pledge not to appoint Jews as of this date.

        5 Oct ’40
        Non-Jewish government employees must sign a declaration of Aryan purity
        22 Oct ’40
        Jewish businesses must be reported to the Nazi authorities and registered.

        21 Nov ’40
        Jews are fired and dismissed from all government positions.
        10 Jan ’41
        It is mandatory for Jews to register as of this date with the Town Registrar.

        5 Feb ’41
        Members of the medical profession must sign a declaration of Aryan purity.

        13 Feb ’41
        The Nazis form a Judenrat-Jewish council for the city of Amsterdam.

        22-23 Feb ’41
        Razzia’s – Raids carried out among the Jews in of Amsterdam.

        12 Mar ’41
        Jewish businesses receive order to bring a German representative on staff.

        31 Mar ’41
        A Nazi operated German central office for Jewish emigration is established.

        11 Apr ’41
        ‘The Jewish Weekly’ appears under the auspices of the Nazis.

        1 May ’41
        Limitations are set for employment and Jews must surrender all radios.

        4 Jun ’41
        Restrictions are placed on the Jews regarding their freedom to move about.

        11 Jun ’41
        More razzia’s – raids were carried out among the Jews in of Amsterdam.

        8 Aug ’41
        Restrictions imposed on the Jews regarding financial and property matters.

        1 Sep ’41
        Jewish children barred from public schools must attend Jewish schools.

        15 Sep ’41
        Signs reading “Forbidden for Jews” appear in all public places.

        7-8 Oct ’41
        Razzia’s – Raids to round up Jews of Arnhem, Apeldoorn, and Zwolle.

        1 Nov ’41
        Jews are barred from holding membership in non-Jewish organizations.

        3 Nov ’41
        The Nazis establish a Jewish market place in Amsterdam strictly for Jews.

        7 Nov ’41
        Jews must obtain a permit to travel or move.

        1 Jan ’42
        Jews may no longer employ non-Jewish domestic personnel in their homes.

        9 Jan ’42
        Attending Public Schools and High Schools is forbidden for Jewish children.

      • March 14, 2014, 7:31 am

        It seems Israel is moving out of its Apartheid stage and into its best Nazi Germany phase

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        March 14, 2014, 9:59 am

        Oh please, seafoid. You’re insane. It’s highly insulting and ridiculous to respond to the raising of an electoral threshold from 2% to 3.25% by posting a list of Nazi laws from the Holocaust. Talk about misusing the Holocaust.

        Unbelievable. Do you have any understanding of how democracy works?

      • annie
        annie
        March 14, 2014, 10:27 am

        Had the threshold been in place during the last election, no Arab parties, the only bi-national party, religious parties and the left-wing group Meretz all would have been kept out of office.

        so, you think the percentage of the new threshold was coincidental and not intended to disenfranchise these very people? don’t you see a pattern here?: http://mondoweiss.net/2014/03/robinson-explains-israel.html

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        March 14, 2014, 11:51 am

        “so, you think the percentage of the new threshold was coincidental and not intended to disenfranchise these very people?”

        No, I don’t think so. Arguing that had it been in place, such and such would not have gotten in is beside the point. Had it been in place, the parties would have been motivated to combine their resources and to run as one list, rather than as separate lists, as the bigger Israeli parties have done for many years. You simply create a larger party with room for different factions within it.

        It’s just simply not a very persuasive case that raising a 2% threshold, which was one of the lowest in the world and caused a great deal of instability in the system, to 3.25%, still among the lowest in the world, was about disenfranchising people.

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        March 14, 2014, 12:54 pm

        @Hoppy
        “It’s just simply not a very persuasive case that raising a 2% threshold, which was one of the lowest in the world and caused a great deal of instability in the system, to 3.25%, still among the lowest in the world, was about disenfranchising people.”

        The fact that that under the new law, the body would be made Arabrein is prima facie evidence of a discriminatory intent. The fact that there are alternatives through which Arab people, but not their chosen parites might achieve representation under the new system does not change that fact. The onus is on the zios to demonstrate no discriminatory intent, and given the fact that a fascist like Lieberman in the one pushing for it, that is one tall order, as that person deserves the benefit of no doubt on the matter.

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        March 14, 2014, 12:56 pm

        “Do you have any understanding of how democracy works?”

        One person, one vote, one state. Not “Jews and some token Arabs get a vote, and half the people who are under the control of that government get no say in it.” In other words, the zionist entity is no democracy.

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        March 14, 2014, 3:02 pm

        Hoph

        Just look at what Lieberman has said on the record about “Arab Israelis”
        The Nazis started off very inoffensively too.

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        March 15, 2014, 3:58 pm

        The body would not be made “Arabrein” under the new law. That’s ridiculous. I assure you, there will continue to be Arabs in the Knesset.

    • a blah chick
      a blah chick
      March 13, 2014, 7:40 pm

      Perhaps, but don’t you think it rather arrogant that Jews can dictate to Arabs about how they should configure their political parties?

    • Sibiriak
      Sibiriak
      March 14, 2014, 4:09 am

      hophmi:

      I think that’s a little misleading. Israel has one of the lowest thresholds in the world, even with the change.

      3.25% is not particularly high, for sure. Wikipedia lists the thresholds here:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Election_threshold

    • belewlaw
      belewlaw
      March 14, 2014, 3:51 pm

      The Israeli (and Italian, for that matter) electoral systems are based on the Triffin Plan, devised by Robert Triffin, the econmist who also was the prime architect of the European Common Market. The idea behind the plan was to let a thousand flowers bloom: giving rise to as many disparate voices as possible. He believed that if all voices were heard a consensus would be reached that would have strong support. Now I knew Bob Triffin well. He was a marvelous human being and a very inclusive person, but he had a very naive views of human nature and no understanding of politics.

      I have no doubt that the INTENT of the changed provision was to keep out the Arab and leftist parties. But as others have said this effort may backfire.

  3. belewlaw
    belewlaw
    March 13, 2014, 1:58 pm

    The change in the election law could backfire. With the barrier to Knesset membership raised and the smaller Arab and leftist parties out, Arabs and leftists would have to decide what to do. As a newly-available voting bloc they could cast their votes for one or more of the larger parties and influence that group’s policies in a positive way.

    I have never been a fan of the Israeli electoral system, which promotes extremist views and makes consensus more difficult.

  4. Hostage
    Hostage
    March 13, 2014, 2:10 pm

    The coalition agreement between Likud Beytenu and Bayit Yehudi (with the knowledge and consent of Yesh Atid) mandates the passage of the “Basic Law: Israel as the Nation State of the Jewish People”. http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Op-Ed-Contributors/The-new-basic-law-Its-about-time-314771

    It’s sort of odd that everyone is expecting the Palestinians to recognize Israel that way, when the Knesset itself is still undecided.

  5. dbroncos
    dbroncos
    March 13, 2014, 4:29 pm

    “…in lieu of a formal constitution.”

    66 years on and Israel still has no constitution by which its western backers can understand explicitly what democracy is supposed to mean in a Jewish state – an ingenious Zionist ploy.

  6. David Doppler
    David Doppler
    March 13, 2014, 6:01 pm

    I agree with Hophmi and Scott on why size matters.

    I agree with dbroncos that the lack of a written constitution 66 years on is more likely an ingenious subterfuge than anything else. My working assumption is that the Talmud and other ancient Hebrew doctrine provide for a means of government of a Jewish State that give great authority to Chief Rabbis, who are elected, and that they have, pursuant to those religious laws, ceded authority over most governmental functions to the elected government, but retaining jurisdiction over marriage and family law, and certain issues such as who is a Jew for various purposes. Under the US system, the constitution recognizes that political power comes from the people, and its ratification by different levels of representative government, and execution by officials elected under it, make for a consistent system – far from ideal, but proven to be able to survive and re-correct itself despite historical levels of incompetence and corruption among those in power at different times. And, of course, it separates church and state. To enact or otherwise formally ratify its constitution, Israel would have to express clearly where it believes authority comes from, and perhaps failure to finalize it is just a way to split the baby, placate the rabbis and religious while holding out to the world and its secular population that it is a constitutional democracy.

    Perhaps someone who knows Israeli political and religious history better than I do can correct or improve upon this working assumption.

    I think the ending of the exemption of the Haredim from military service, with 1800 exceptions, is a good thing, and, in any event, appears to resolve a dispute between right-wing and religious zealots.

    The referendum on I think shows that Kerry is making progress, and provides a way for elected officials to divert the wrath of those who see ceding claims to Israeli lands from them, to avoid Yitzak Rabin’s fate. Or perhaps it is just another subterfuge to prolong forever the prospect for peace. It’ll all get passed, then voted down by the Israeli public.

    • bilal a
      bilal a
      March 14, 2014, 2:13 am

      1.I’m not sure the Western democracy of ‘One Dollar, One Vote’, regulated somewhat by a fluid constitution as defined by elected for life representatives of a money elite, is optimal for all Israelis or all Westerners, though it seems to work for apparatchiks in the parasitic administrative sectors of media-propaganda , government, and financialization., ie Citizens United.

      Funding Fathers
      http://www.bookforum.com/inprint/020_04/12463

      2. Its worth investigating the coalitions here: it seems to be a unity of liberal early immigrants with russian-ish recent immigrants, against religious traditional minorities in the Hareedim and the native Arabs. Contrary to minority will, they want to impose loyalty oaths and forced conscription, and evangelize their moral values. This is the worst kind of majority tyranny and contrary to self determination for these minority groups. It is the liberal equivalent of Islamic Anti-Federalism in Sudan:

      http://www.harvardilj.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/HILJ_45-2_Elgaili.pdf

      There must be some better solution for Israel and the West than One dollar, One Vote, majoritarian tyranny.

      The solution is perhaps a federalism which is not geographic, but voluntary
      communitarian-ism, where religious Jews and other value set minorities, can possess self-rule, that is self determination, while allowing the majority to do the same. This resulting set of voluntary associations would would be competitive and fluid, allowing people to choose their own sets of state obligations and associative benefits, without subsidizing dysfunctional failed models, a kind of Chomsky anarchism without the totalitarian mandates. So far the One State Solution discussed is a repeat of these anti-democratic impulses, injurious to the working class and cultural minorities.

      Its too tempting to criticize the Israelis when we are co-complicit as Americans, and not offering a solution which will not result in some sort of IMF-EU -Citizens United , degradation of the positives inside Israeli life.

    • JeffB
      JeffB
      March 14, 2014, 9:42 am

      @David

      Rabbis have never had extensive secular power. By the time rabbinic Judaism existed the Jews were militarily crushed. The predecessors to the Rabbis (Pharisees) had some level of political influence in a monarchical state but most of their later development was at a time where the secular authorities were semi-indifferent to religious concerns. During their early development, the Hasmonean dynasty they had secular power but little in the way of foreign policy. Other sects, particularly the Sadducees had closer ties with secular authorities and a broader scope but no popular legitimacy.

      So no. Today’s Judaism does not have a practical, effective religious doctrine for running a state church. Zionism will need to create one. and arguably is doing this via. messianic Zionism.

      As far as a constitution, Israel is not a secular democracy. Openly religious parties play a huge rule in the government. A good deal of social policy is determined on the basis of religion. Tremendous amounts of state funding are directed based on religious preferences. Israel is mainly where European states were in the later 19th century with an official state church and some level of tolerance along with official sanction for minority religions. European states still have vestiges of this sort of stuff, for example the French / German state sponsored and supported persecution of Scientology and Scientologists. America is really unique in how consistently and in so many areas it has maintained separation between church and state, not perfect but a very good track record. Israel would be near the bottom for the West (for this time period) and more importantly is moving in the direction of more direct ties.

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        March 14, 2014, 10:29 am

        “Today’s Judaism does not have a practical, effective religious doctrine for running a state church. Zionism will need to create one. and arguably is doing this via. messianic Zionism.”

        If anything, there’s more movement today to eliminate the chief rabbinate than ever before. Lieberman’s greatest accomplishment may be to obtain civil marriages.

        “Openly religious parties play a huge rule in the government.”

        But not as big as before, which is why this Haredi draft legislation passed. They’ve never been very big parties.

        “Israel would be near the bottom for the West (for this time period) and more importantly is moving in the direction of more direct ties.”

        It’s the opposite; you’re wrong. Israel is moving in the opposite direction, and is trying to break the ties between synagogue and state.

      • JeffB
        JeffB
        March 15, 2014, 7:27 am

        @Hophmi

        If anything, there’s more movement today to eliminate the chief rabbinate than ever before. Lieberman’s greatest accomplishment may be to obtain civil marriages.

        Which is a good thing in some senses. It depends then how the pressure plays out. It ends the propagandistic issues where Israel having a structure that was common in the 19th and early 20th century being some so beyond the pale. On the other hand given the number of religious parties what I suspect is that what will happen in practice is that Judaism gets written right into secular law. That is a pre-Protestant legal structure with regard to religious law.

        It’s the opposite; you’re wrong. Israel is moving in the opposite direction, and is trying to break the ties between synagogue and state.

        Hopefully you are right. If Israel were trying to break the ties between synagogue and state that would be easy. They just create black letter law guaranteeing freedom of religion and prohibiting establishment. Which means they would stop having explicitly religious parties.

        I’d love to be wrong in my belief that they are moving in the opposite direction. But the only strongly non-religious group I see pushing for secularism is the Ashkenazi from more than 1 generation.

  7. a blah chick
    a blah chick
    March 13, 2014, 7:48 pm

    This stood out for me: “…the secular and religious-nationalist parties came together to cut a deal: The Hardeim would finally be included in national army conscription in exchange for Lieberman’s vision of keeping Arab parties out of office and consolidating his influence in Likud and the Prime Minister’s office.”

    In the end the majority of the Jews of Israel simply will not stand up for the rights of their fellow citizens. I’m beginning to think nothing less than a civil war can change anything there.

    • seafoid
      seafoid
      March 14, 2014, 3:45 am

      Sanctions would be more peaceful.
      Israel is just not sustainable.

      • a blah chick
        a blah chick
        March 14, 2014, 8:32 pm

        Agreed, but how do we get sanctions applied? Jewish leaders like Foxman and Harris have shown that they do not care about the human rights of Arabs. Nothing except Jewish suffering resonates with these bozos.

    • hophmi
      hophmi
      March 14, 2014, 10:07 am

      You talk and talk about what Lieberman’s vision is. So what? Have you looked at how redistricting works in the United States? It’s not exactly a hallmark of our democratic system.

      Raising the threshold is not going to keep Arab parties out of government, whether that’s his vision or not. It will just cause them to coalesce more than they have. When they do, they will have more political power than they have now.

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        March 14, 2014, 11:06 am

        “Raising the threshold is not going to keep Arab parties out of government, whether that’s his vision or not. It will just cause them to coalesce more than they have.”

        So you predict, but others have predicted otherwise. Given the baked-in bigotry against Arabs in the zionist state, why should your prediction of a glorious Arab future in the Jewish state (TM) be given even a moment’s thought?

        “When they do, they will have more political power than they have now.”

        Unless fascists like Lieberman, Netanyahoo and the rest of the zionist office holders put up some other barrier to keep their state an ethnoreligious Apartheid state.

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        March 14, 2014, 1:04 pm

        “So you predict, but others have predicted otherwise. Given the baked-in bigotry against Arabs in the zionist state, why should your prediction of a glorious Arab future in the Jewish state (TM) be given even a moment’s thought?”

        My “baked in bigotry against Arabs in the zionist state”? What, like Matzah-baked, or bread-baked? Maybe we stick to the facts, instead of the name-calling nonsense.

        You should give it a moment’s thought because it happens to be the truth.

        As I said above, arguing that a 3.25% threshold disenfranchises anybody, let alone an ethnic group that is 20% of the country, is silly. The proof in the pudding is that the Arab parties are not the only ones who are upset. Some of the Haredi parties are also upset, and the Labor Party boycotted the vote. The common denominator is that small parties, and those who rely on small parties to form governing coalitions, are the ones upset at a slightly higher threshold.

        Nobody mentioned that Kadima too would not have gotten a seat with the new threshold or that the United Arab List would have gotten seats either way.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        March 14, 2014, 4:21 pm

        There is nothing inherently wrong or evil with the idea of a threshold of 3.25% rather than 2%. The rushing of the idea through the legislative process without sufficient debate was deplorable and a sign of the political thought patterns behind the move. But one should not confuse motives with the law itself which is inherently neutral rather than evil.

        Could you imagine the chaos and possibilities if America voted on a country wide basis with parties needing only 3.25% of the vote to gain representation in the congress? Tough to imagine and a futile exercise when it will not happen in this country in the foreseeable future (a dictatorship of the proletariat seems more likely than any revamping of the representation of populations in legislative branch of the federal government of the USA, particularly depriving states of their distinctive representations). Still such a thought experiment might reveal that a 2% threshold might not be the wisest thing that ever was invented. (used to be 1%, too lazy to wikipedia to find out the history right now). Still the motivations of large parties and in-power parties limiting out of power, small parties is always suspect.

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        March 14, 2014, 4:48 pm

        “My ‘baked in bigotry against Arabs in the zionist state’? What, like Matzah-baked, or bread-baked? Maybe we stick to the facts, instead of the name-calling nonsense.”

        Learn to read, hoppy. I said, “Given THE baked in bigotry against Arabs in the zionist state” In other words, “Given the fact that the zio state has a built in bigotry against the Arabs…” (and if you disagree with that fact, then you’re only half-baked.)

        “As I said above, arguing that a 3.25% threshold disenfranchises anybody, let alone an ethnic group that is 20% of the country, is silly.”

        And yet if the percentage that Lieberman wanted were applied to the most recent election, there would have been no Arab representation. Further, even with this reduced amount, the Arab and multi ethnic parties would have been shut out of most recent elections. Such silliness is fact in the twisted fantasy land of the zionists.

        “The common denominator is that small parties, and those who rely on small parties to form governing coalitions, are the ones upset at a slightly higher threshold.”

        Which does not refute the notion that anti-Arab animus is behind it, merely that Lieberman and his co-conspirators have other agenda as well. And, frankly, the manner in which the zios argue among themselves how to oppress their victims is of no real importance. What is of importance is the interest of the victims.

        “Nobody mentioned that Kadima too would not have gotten a seat with the new threshold or that the United Arab List would have gotten seats either way.”

        The United Arab List would not have gotten a seat under Lieberman’s proposal. (And would likely have faced more disgusting attempts to disqualilfy them for being Arabs. Yet in this beacon of freedom, parties which specifically discriminate against women are free to run unmolested…)

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        March 14, 2014, 4:53 pm

        “There is nothing inherently wrong or evil with the idea of a threshold of 3.25% rather than 2%.”

        Unless you are doing it to eliminate or reduce the representation of the minorities who are systematically oppressed. In that case it is absolutely evil.

        “But one should not confuse motives with the law itself which is inherently neutral rather than evil.”

        Permitting voting only between sundown on a Friday to a sundown on Saturday is inherently neutral, too, but would be pretty evil.

        “Could you imagine the chaos and possibilities if America voted on a country wide basis with parties needing only 3.25% of the vote to gain representation in the congress?”

        It would certainly would be better than what we have now: Two rich-people’s parties, both bought and paid for by the zios.

      • a blah chick
        a blah chick
        March 14, 2014, 8:23 pm

        “Raising the threshold is not going to keep Arab parties out of government, whether that’s his vision or not. It will just cause them to coalesce more than they have. When they do, they will have more political power than they have now.”

        If the Arabs manage to overcome the threshold and still retain some seats then the Ashkenazi elite will just think of something else to keep them out. And when that happens Labor will just sit on its hands and do nothing. The precedent is Kahane and his Kach party. When he finally won a seat in ’84 the ruling class went bat guano crazy. Kahane showed that you could win running on an openly racist platform. And since he refused to be controlled by the ruling class he had to go. The Likudniks didn’t like him because he was stealing their voters and the Laborites didn’t like him because he was making Israel look bad. So the left and right united to ban his party from participating in future elections.

        Like most other countries on this planet you mess with the ruling class at your peril.

  8. 12larry21
    12larry21
    March 14, 2014, 9:40 am

    The united states needs to let isreal sink or swim on their own, dont let the zionist commies drag the USA into a war,which is what they want,Sad thing is half of the USA leaders are zionist and their loyal ties are with isreal,their mouth,our money ,blood.

  9. just
    just
    March 15, 2014, 1:46 am

    Just when you think the elected representatives of the American people cannot possibly fall to new depths, this happens:

    “”The United States Senate unanimously passed a bill Friday to award Israeli President Shimon Peres with the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian award in the U.S..

    The bill was introduced by Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) and enjoyed bipartisan support. It now awaits passage by the House of Representatives. If the bill is approved Peres will be the first sitting Israeli president to be awarded the award.

    “I have had the good fortune to travel the world meeting kings, presidents, prime ministers, and many people, but I have never met anyone more impressive than [Shimon Peres],” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said on the Senate floor before the vote took place. “He is a visionary. What he has done for the small country of Israel, which is so important to us, is something the history books will report for generations to come.””

    and

    “”I’m pleased to honor President Peres’ extraordinary record of service that has strengthened the unbreakable bond between the U.S. and Israel, our closest and most reliable ally in the Middle East,” said bill sponsor Senator Ayotte. “This legislation demonstrates that the United States stands shoulder to shoulder with the people of Israel in these uncertain times.”

    “In a world that is more complicated than ever, President Peres’ leadership has helped strengthen a U.S.-Israel relationship forged by our shared commitment to democracy, human rights, and rule of law. His career will serve as a beacon for the next generation of leaders,” said Senator Bennet, who cosponsored the bill. “We are pleased to celebrate and honor President Peres as one of Israel’s most dedicated public servants.””

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.579949

    Yes, Harry………history will report your collective & incredible stupidity, lies and complicity in rewarding the President of the Apartheid State of Israel. WHAT are they thinking? Do the American people even care? These bums need to be booted!!

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