Sunday, August 17, 2008

Kadima, the "Seinfeld" Party About Nothing

While looking through recent posts at Jewish Current Events, run by Rick Richman, I came across this article from August 5, noting Hillel Halkin's call for immediate elections in Israel. Halkin was attacking the fact that the upcoming primary election of the ruling Kadima Party will determine who will be the next Prime Minister of Israel, even though Kadima's 70,000 registered voter members, not all of whom will go to the polls in the September 17 primary, represent only about 1% of the Israeli population.

Rick also linked to a recent (July 31) column in the Jerusalem Post by Caroline Glick, a favorite on these pages, entitled "Kadima's Legacy of Nothingness." Glick wrote:
From 1977 when Likud first rose to power until 2006 when Kadima formed the government, all of Israel's elections revolved around contrasting ideologies. For 29 years, voters were required to choose which side of the ideological divide they preferred. And making choices isn't easy. Both sides seem to have something to offer.

Then Kadima entered the political stage dead on center and offered voters a way to avoid making a decision. It professed to be all things to all people.

But of course, no one and no political party can be all things to all people. And since Kadima's leaders won't choose whose side they are on for longer than opinion polls stay constant, their party has been nothing to all people.

That observation reminded me of an association: Kadima, the party that stands for nothing; and Seinfeld, the sitcom that professed to be "a show about nothing." The mental association of the Seinfeld show with the Kadima party brought to mind the above photograph of Ehud Olmert with Jerry Seinfeld, used once previously on this blog. Once I began burrowing through the Hedgehog archives for past references to "Seinfeld," I discovered that as far back as Israeli election day in March 2006, Caroline Glick had wondered aloud how the Israeli voters could choose a party that stands for nothing. Back then, the Hedgehog Blog, linking to Caroline's column, made the analogy of Kadima to Seinfeld, even without the benefit of the photograph.

Even if it is a re-run on The Hedgehog Blog, it makes for a lovely association: The show about nothing meets the party about nothing. Let's just hope that this season Kadima is finally cancelled.


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