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Yes, We Do Hate Democracy of White Phosphorus and DIME Bombs

By Nasser Lahham

Chief Editor  of Ma'an News Agency

Date: 11 / 02 / 2009  Time:  11:31
Bethlehem – Ma’an –

Yes, Palestinians hate the Israeli democracy of white phosphorus and DIME bombs, which killed hundreds of children and women in Gaza last month.


After the Israelis emptied their ammunition in Gaza, they headed to election polls to empty their “electoral ammunition.”

The Palestinians are watching these elections even before their wounds healed, before they had a chance to rebuild their homes which Israeli politicians have destroyed. The Palestinians are adamant that ‘there is no difference between Barak, Lieberman, Livni and Bibi.’

Unfortunately, it seems more elections mean less democracy and likely more wars in this region. I am afraid that after these Israeli elections, the peoples of the region will go to their leaders and say, “Please, we don’t want any more elections. Please stick to dictatorship and avoid elections. We hate this democracy which results only in shedding our blood and destroying our homes.”

Prior to the formation of a new Israeli government, there are a number of contradictions and ironies that should be pointed out, each of which could be a title for a separate article:

* The relationship between ammunition boxes and ballot boxes is being furthered.

* The major competitors are the Likud’s Netanyahu, Kadima’s Livini, Israel our Home’s Lieberman, and we have to keep in mind that all of them were, historically, leaders in the Likud party.

* The crucial factor is not elections, but formation of a government and what this government’s political program will be. Three months ago, after the current prime minister, Ehud Olmert, decided to resign under pressure, Livni failed to form a government, and Netanyahu refused to seek a coalition, preferring to shoot for victory in an election.

* While she was building a coalition Livni rejected the conditions demanded by the ultra-orthodox Shas party. Shas demanded a budget of 2 billion Shekels for religious institutions. Elections cost 3 billion shekels, and after that the winner will still be forced to go to Shas and its spiritual leader Rabbi Ovaida Yosef in order to muster the seats for a coalition.

* Neither Livni nor Netanyahu will manage to form a government without the Labor party. So in a sense, even though Labor lost seats, the party can consider itself a winner.

* Among the surprises of the election campaign, which was based largely on anti-Arab incitement, Arab voters may have played a key role in the outcome. One hour before polls were closed, Israeli right wing leaders accused the Arabs of voting for Kadima, providing the crucial margin in Livni’s victory.

* The real surprise came before the announcement of the results, when, two months, ago Netanyahu called early elections thinking he could win at least 40 seats, but it turned out that he is likely to get little more than half this number.

* The Arabs are angry because the right prevailed in the elections, as if the moderate Zionist left would offer them better services. Would an overwhelming victory of the left make any difference to Hamas? Would a victory of the extreme right make any difference to the liberal leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)?

* Tzipi Livni is a former agent of Israel’s Mossad intelligence service. Netanyahu’s wife Sareh was also a Mossad agent, so whoever wins, the Mossad women will have influence in the future government.

* Ehud Barak was a friend of Netanyahu’s brother, Yoni, and they worked together in the Israeli commandos. Yoni was killed action in July 1976 when Israeli forces rescued hostages from an airliner hijacked by the PFLP at Entebbe airport in Uganda. So, Israeli commandos too, will have influence in the government.

Israeli election: Livni wins 28 seats, Netanyahu 27, Parliamentary chaos as both declare victory

Date: 11 / 02 / 2009  Time:  09:48
Bethlehem – Ma’an/Agencies –

Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni’s Kadima party appears to have pulled off a narrow victory in Tuesday’s election, winning 28 seats in the Knesset with Benjamin Netanyahu's right-wing Likud Party close behind with 27.

Both Livni and Netanyahu, however, have claimed victory and say that they are seeking to form governing coalitions.

With 99% of the vote counted, Defense Minister Ehud Barak’s Labor party won 13 seats, while the extreme rightist Avigdor Lieberman's Yisrael Beitenu party won 15.

Exit polls by Israel's three main television networks on Tuesday night also pointed to a slim Kadima victory.

Despite Kadima’s apparent victory, the right wing will hold the balance of power in the coming Knesset, with rightist parties, led by Likud, projected to control 63 to 64 seats in the 120-member parliament. A center-left bloc headed by Livni will only hold 56 or 57.

The secular left-wing Meretz won only three seats. Right-wing religious parties also won few seats. United Torah Judaism won five seats, followed by the National Union with 4 and the Bayit Hayehudi with three. The Israeli Arab party Ra'am Ta'al scored four seats and Balad won three.

The Pensioners Party and the Green Movement-Meimad each won just 1 percent of the total vote, just missing the threshold to gain a seat in the Knesset.

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