Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Does Seinfeld Rule Israel?

During its long run on television, Seinfeld was famously "the show about nothing." Kadima, the winning party in Israel's election today, campaigned that is the political party about nothing. In a campaign speech this past Sunday evening, Kadima Education Minister Meir Sheetrit proudly extolled Kadima's "uniqueness" as the one Israeli party which "has disengaged from all ideology."
Sheetrit proudly proclaimed: "We don't have the baggage of the heritage of Ze'ev Jabotinsky or Berl Katzenelson [the ideological founding fathers of Likud and Labor] on our back. We are looking only to the future."

Writing in the Jerusalem Post, Caroline Glick asks, "How is it that Israelis are expected to embrace a party that stands for nothing? " Her perceptive answer does not bode well in the short term for Israel. However, she predicts that Kadima will eventually collapse, owing to the inherent contradictions of a political party that stands for little more than the aspirations for power of its leaders; and to the proven incompetence of those leaders. Regarding that incompetence, she writes that Kadima's fall will come about:

because Kadima's leaders have rallied around a policy that will endanger Israel, and because they are incapable of shielding the country from the consequences of their policy. As was the case with the leftist peace ideologues, eventually the public will be unable to deny their incompetence.
Today it is hard for the public to connect the holes in the ground left by Kassam rockets raining down on Ashkelon to the looming threats to the state as a whole. The same will not be the case when rockets rain down on Kfar Saba, Jerusalem and Netanya.


In short, according to Glick, there is hope that the conservative realists of Israel, such as Benjamin Netanyahu, will make an eventual political comeback, but only after Israel weathers the hard times immediately ahead.

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