Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Do the Math

A quick post on the Israeli elections, in which a Sharon-less Kadima dropped from an originally projected 40+ seats to 28...

Kadima has 28 seats; Labor has 20. The Arab parties have 10, and Meretz has 4. 28 + 20 + 10 + 4 = 62 seats. You need 61 for a majority in the Knesset. Does this somehow not scare you, and if not, why not?!

Meanwhile, had it been the same numbers, but Sharon leading the charge, I'd be saying precisely the reverse. Ariel Sharon, for all people (including myself) may have disagreed with his policies, had a certain trustworthiness in at least one aspect: Were something needed to be done to protect the State of Israel and its Jewish identity, he would have done it - no matter the political consequences. Ehud Olmert, on the other hand, may be as equally dedicated to the State and its people, but he is first and foremost a politician - one who I do not trust to carry out operations such as "Defensive Shield" or similar if the need arises.

The only issue that will hold back this new government from doing whatever it feels like will be the split between Kadima and the others over fiscal policy; if Olmert caves to Peretz's demands, the country will head to financial ruin, and Olmert knows it. His only other option is to go with Shas, Likud, UTJ, and the Pensioner's Party, and strike deals all over - but then his desired disengagement will be difficult to accomplish. Instead, he'll probably go with the left, and cave somewhat to Peretz, leading to disaster in every major aspect of the State.