Wednesday, January 4, 2006

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Kadima is doomed -- the sequel

It appears that Ariel Sharon has suffered from a massive, debilitating stroke -- Omri Ceren has the tick-tock on the latest medical news.

The AP reports that a full recovery is highly unlikely.

Looking a few steps ahead, this will leave Shimon Peres as the leader of Kadima -- which compels me to repeat what I blogged a few weeks ago:

I have only one thing to say about Shimon Peres' decision to leave the Labor party and join Ariel Sharon's brand-spanking new Kadima Party -- it can only mean Kadima is doomed to implode.

Why do I say this? Because the one constant in Israeli politics is that Shimon Peres might be the single-worst politician in the brief history of the Israeli state. By this I don't mean Peres is a bad policymaker or leader -- I mean the man couldn't win an election to save his life....

[U]nless the focus is completely on Ariel Sharon, Kadima will have a very short half-life.

posted by Dan on 01.04.06 at 07:23 PM


Good riddance! I only hope he is suffering; he surely will as he burns in hell for all the suffering he has caused.

posted by: joe m. on 01.04.06 at 07:23 PM [permalink]

Joe, that is an extremely short-sighted view of Sharon and one that hardly does justice to him. Whatever you might think of his performance in the Lebanese affair or his grandstanding political gestures, Sharon - as exemplified by ventures like Kadima - has moved Israeli politics and positioned the country to move towards peace with far more effectiveness and credibility of late than many of his competitors on either the left or the right.

If you can forgive Yasir Arafat for his history of murder and violence (admittedly, I have trouble doing that too), you should give Sharon the benefit of the doubt.

posted by: Geoff B. on 01.04.06 at 07:23 PM [permalink]

No good deed(withdrawal) goes unpunished! Fate is bitter.
Hear comes Bibbi! No wonder gold has been on a discount the future.

posted by: centrist on 01.04.06 at 07:23 PM [permalink]

Why Peres and not, say, Ehud Olmert? Peres has not even formally become member of Kadima yet.

posted by: Adrian on 01.04.06 at 07:23 PM [permalink]

There's no particular reason to suppose that Sharon was finally turning toward peace. But it's possible that without him, Kadim might. There's a chance his brass will turn to gold in his memory. Though not likely.

posted by: J Thomas on 01.04.06 at 07:23 PM [permalink]

"Why Peres and not, say, Ehud Olmert? Peres has not even formally become member of Kadima yet. "

cause, like Peres has been foreign minister and so Americans have HEARD of him. Olmert was only Mayor of Jerusalem for years, and most Americans, even brilliant political scientists, have barely heard of him.

Dan here is better than most (on most things), but id stick to Israeli sources on Israeli politics.

posted by: liberalhawk on 01.04.06 at 07:23 PM [permalink]

"There's no particular reason to suppose that Sharon was finally turning toward peace. "

The fact that he withdrew from Gaza and also from 4 settlements in the West Bank. And that he formed a new party. If he was really planning a Gaza first, Gaza last strategy, why break from Likud? The only reason to do so was cause he expected Likud to get in the way his next steps.

Now his next steps were probably unilateral (and might have involved unilateral annexations as well as withdrawls) but until theres a real Pal partner (and the odds arent looking good) what alternatives are there?

posted by: liberalhawk on 01.04.06 at 07:23 PM [permalink]

Sharon is not and never was a peaceful man. He is a war criminal. Aside from his history of war, aggression and massacres, he has never accepted the (so called) "peace process" that everyone keeps saying he was a part of. He built a giant Apartheid wall to cage the Palestinians in, he never negotiated anything with any Palestinian, and he never even accepted the "road map" that Bush tried to put on him, he continued to steal Palestinian land, and most importantly of all, he did not respect the fundamental Palestinian right to freedom and self-determination. He did pull settlers out of Gaza, but to give him positive credit for that is like congratulating a thief for being arrested and being forced to return stolen goods. Let's not forget that how he increased the size of the other settlements by huge amounts, and has tried to finalize the illegal capture of Jerusalem. His death is a good thing for the Palestinians. He should be remembered as the criminal he is, i just feel sorry that he was never tried internationally for his crimes. It is amazingly shortsighted to see him as otherwise, not to recognize the truth of his history.

Shimon Peres is a scum bag too. Only, he has managed to lie to the (American) public and claim his innocence for too long. I would much prefer to see Ehud Olmert or Amir Peretz in power. At least Olmert is honestly mean to and hateful of the Palestinians, and Peretz might actually try to make peace. Netanyahu is another story, but we will come to that road if we have to. Peres has had 40 years of patrimony and incompetence to his credit, and he has not come any closer to peace then when he started. It is time to give other people a chance.

posted by: joe m. on 01.04.06 at 07:23 PM [permalink]

"He built a giant Apartheid wall to cage the Palestinians in"

A. for most of its length its a fence, not a wall. Its a wall in some places to stop sniper fire at Israeli civilians.
B. Do Palestinians have a basic human right to enter Israel, a sovereign state, and commit acts of terrorism?
C. No one challenges Israels right to build a fence. Its the location of the fence thats at issue. Until the PA carries through its obligations to end terrorism, it has no standing to argue the route of the fence

posted by: liberalhawk on 01.04.06 at 07:23 PM [permalink]

All the polls say that Kadima will still win without Sharon. Strangely enought, Kadima led by Peres will get more voted than Kadima led by Olmert. Of course, that may change because Israelis are still adjusting to life without Sharon and Olmert is going to #1.

posted by: Susan on 01.04.06 at 07:23 PM [permalink]

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