Kadima Victory a Big Loss for Israel -as secular leftists continue surrendering country terrorists
March 28, 2006
March 28, 2006 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - Amidst the lowest voter turnout in Israeli history, the MSM is presenting today's election in Israel as a vindication of "moderation" via the clueless secularism of Kadima.
As Militant Islam Monitor's Beila Rabinowitz observes, "If the nihilists at Kadima take over to finish what Sharon started, consider today's election as a fast forwarding to the end - forget Iran, forget Hamas - Kadima will fulfill the Islamist dream of a "world without Israel."
In a March 27 speech Kadima´s Education Minister, Meir Sheetrit declared, "We no longer have any ideologies, and that is our uniqueness. We look only towards the future," and further alienated Sharon's whole cloth creation - Kadima - from Israel's intellectual past, "We are no longer carrying the baggage of the legacy of Ze'ev Jabotinsky or Berl Katznelson on our backs," - as if Israel's founding myth was a terrible burden instead of its great strength.
Kadima not only negates Israel's right to existence - they do not even acknowledge the existence of their enemies.
"We are not worried about Hamas, and they do not pose a threat to us," Sheetrit said.
Perhaps Mr. Sheetrit should save such feeble entreaties for the Jewish settlers in the West Bank who will soon be uprooted and deprived of their homes and property - their life's work - as the Olmert government surrenders to Hamas without a fight, trading land upon the ridiculous assumption that the Palestinian Islamists will renounce their desire to destroy the Jewish state.William A. Mayer
According to a Ynet exit poll the results are as follows:
Kadima: 30 seats
This is a much poorer showing for Kadima than expected and means that it will have to share power in order to govern. Most surprising was the extremely poor showing of Netanyahu's Likud, which was crushed and the strong showing for the right-wing Yisrael Beiteinu - "Israel Our Home" - party, which has a very significant following among immigrants from the former Soviet Union.
--------------------Mahmoud Abbas, who was in Ramallah, Mr. Olmert said: "We are prepared to compromise, give up parts of our beloved land of Israel, remove, painfully, Jews who live there, to allow you the conditions to achieve your hopes and to live in a state in peace and quiet..." "Mr. Haniya,(the Hamas leader and head of the PA) , whose group has carried out dozens of suicide bombings in Israel over the past decade, said in a speech that the Palestinians were entitled to continue their armed fight for independence. ...We were born from the womb of resistance, we will protect resistance and the arm of resistance will not be touched," he said...."
Voters in Israel Support Parties Vowing Pullout
JERUSALEM, Wednesday, March 29 — Israelis voted Tuesday to bring to power a new centrist party, Kadima, which is committed to a further pullout from the occupied West Bank.
Kadima's leader, Ehud Olmert, will become prime minister, but his support proved tepid and he will find it harder than expected to impose his agenda on a larger coalition.
Kadima, founded in November by Ariel Sharon when he broke with the Likud Party, won the most seats in the 120-member Knesset, or Parliament. But with 99.7 percent of the vote counted Wednesday morning, Kadima is expected to win only 28 seats, fewer than voter polls had suggested.
At the same time, Israelis turned away from the right, and Mr. Olmert should be able to carry out his plan for another withdrawal, unilaterally if necessary, from the West Bank to reduce the costs of the continuing occupation.
The Labor Party, which supports a West Bank withdrawal, was second, with 20 seats, giving it a strong position to bargain with Kadima for a powerful role in a coalition government. The Labor leader, the Moroccan-born Amir Peretz, is expected to insist on key ministries like finance, social welfare and possibly defense.
A big surprise of the election was the far-right Russian-oriented Israel Beiteinu Party led by Avigdor Lieberman, which benefited from Likud's implosion and which took Russian votes that would have gone to Mr. Sharon. The party won 12 seats, one less than the religious Shas Party.
The voters repudiated Likud and its leader, former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who warned against any new withdrawal as a victory for Palestinian terrorism. The party won only 11 seats and found itself once again on the fringes of Israeli politics after decades of being at the heart of things.
Before speaking to his supporters early Wednesday morning, Mr. Olmert, 60, went to the Western Wall to pray. He praised Mr. Sharon, who has been comatose since an extensive stroke in January, as "the man who had the courage, the strength, the will and the determination to see things differently and to create change."
Mr. Olmert then declared: "In the coming period, we will move to set the final borders of the State of Israel, a Jewish state with a Jewish majority." He said he would "work to do this through negotiations, in an agreement with the Palestinians."
Then, addressing the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, who was in Ramallah, Mr. Olmert said: "We are prepared to compromise, give up parts of our beloved land of Israel, remove, painfully, Jews who live there, to allow you the conditions to achieve your hopes and to live in a state in peace and quiet."
Mr. Olmert urged Palestinians, too, to recognize Israel, "to accept only part of their dream, to stop terror, to accept democracy and accept compromise and peace with us. We are prepared for this. We want this." If not, he said, Israel would act in its own interests, whether the world agreed or not. "The time has come to act," he said.
But a Palestinian Authority run by the radical Islamic group Hamas, which does not recognize Israel's right to exist, is not expected to become a peace partner any time soon.
The other big surprise in the election was a protest vote, much of it from first-time voters, who gave the Pensioners Party, devoted to better rights for the elderly, seven seats and a likely role in government. The Pensioners seem likely to support Mr. Olmert's withdrawal plan.
Mr. Olmert will have to form a broader coalition than he had hoped, to achieve a working majority of 61 seats. The final shape of the coalition may not be clear for weeks, with most analysts suggesting that Mr. Olmert would join with Labor, the Pensioners and one or two religious parties, United Torah Judaism, with 6 seats, and Shas, with 13, to try to form a compact but stable government with the needed 61 seats.
Mr. Olmert might also try to take in Mr. Lieberman's Israel Beiteinu Party if it promises to support a West Bank withdrawal. If Mr. Netanyahu is pushed from Likud's leadership by the former foreign minister, Silvan Shalom, Likud could also be a partner if it too agreed to the pullback.
Mr. Olmert is not nearly as strong as he would like. But the new Parliament is diffuse, and the right wing opposed to withdrawal does not have enough votes to block it.
Mr. Olmert says his aim in the next four years will be to set Israel's borders with the Palestinians, unilaterally if necessary, and called the election a referendum on his intentions. But with Kadima's smaller total, he may find it necessary to have a national referendum on the issue — something Mr. Sharon always rejected — in order to carry it out with less protest, or even violence.
Palestinians fired its first Katyusha rocket from the Gaza Strip into Israel on Tuesday, according to the army. A spokesman said that the 122-millimeter shell struck near a kibbutz but caused no damage.
But the Katyusha has a range of up to 12 miles, about twice that of the makeshift Qassam rockets frequently aimed at Israel.
The voter turnout, though high by American standards, was a low for Israel: about 63.2 percent, compared with 67.8 percent in 2003. The lower figure hurt the larger parties, because it reduces the number of votes required for small parties to pass the threshold of 2 percent of the vote required to get seats.
Kadima was established by Prime Minister Sharon last November when he broke with the Likud Party, and he brought some of Likud's best politicians with him, along with the former Labor Party leader, Shimon Peres.
But Mr. Sharon's severe stroke on Jan. 4 put a pall on the campaign, and Mr. Olmert and his team, including his new deputy, Tzipi Livni, the foreign minister, faced the prospect of the party's collapse.
Mr. Netanyahu, leading the remnants of Likud, called Mr. Olmert's new pullout plan dangerous, especially after the victory of the radical Islamic group Hamas in the Palestinian legislative elections on Jan. 25. But Mr. Netanyahu appeared to get little traction with the public.
Kadima was also aided by the success of the army in preventing a spate of suicide bombings during the long campaign. Such attacks helped Mr. Netanyahu defeat Mr. Peres in 1996.
Mr. Sharon argued that Israel, in the absence of serious peace talks with the Palestinians, could move unilaterally to establish its own borders, largely defined by the separation barrier the army built to protect the country from suicide bombers.
But the route of the unfinished barrier also incorporates about 8 percent of the occupied West Bank and most of East Jerusalem, including a large majority of Israeli settlers, leading Palestinians to call it a land grab.
One major test of the new government will come from Hamas, considered a terrorist organization by the Israel, the United States and the European Union.
On Tuesday, election day in Israel, the Palestinian parliament voted to confirm the new Hamas government, led by Ismail Haniya, in a vote of 71 to 36. There were two abstentions.
Hamas has refused to meet American and European demands that it recognize Israel, forswear violence and accept previous Israeli-Palestinian agreements based on the idea of two states living side-by-side. President Abbas has also demanded that Hamas meet at least the last two demands, but he has agreed not to try to block the party from taking office.
Still, once the Hamas cabinet is sworn in, which could take place on Wednesday, the Palestinian Authority faces a cutoff of needed financial and development aid, though emergency aid will continue.
Mr. Haniya, whose group has carried out dozens of suicide bombings in Israel over the past decade, said in a speech that the Palestinians were entitled to continue their armed fight for independence. "We were born from the womb of resistance, we will protect resistance and the arm of resistance will not be touched," he said.