March 17, 2015

"BIBI STAYS" — says Drudge...

... pointing to The Times of Israel, which has this headline: "Netanyahu declares victory, but Herzog in no hurry to concede/Likud ahead or level with Zionist Union in all 3 exit polls, better placed to build coalition; 71.8% turnout highest since 1999; delight in Likud, dismay in Zionist Union; Jewish Home slips" — and says "TV exit polls Tuesday night showed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Likud set to retain the Israeli leadership at the end of a bitter election campaign.... Unlike years past, analysts had said the race between Likud and Zionist Union, the two leading factions, was too close to call with confidence, but the exit polls showed Netanyahu clearly better placed to build the next coalition."

The BBC seems more circumspect: "Israel election: No clear winner, exit polls suggest." Ditto the NYT: "In Israel, Race Between Netanyahu and Herzog Appears Too Close to Call." But the NYT has this clarification:
If the major parties remain tied or within a single seat once all the votes are counted, a critical factor will be the so-called blocs — right-wing parties expected to back Mr. Netanyahu, and left-leaning ones that favor Mr. Herzog. But those tallies remained unclear Tuesday evening.
UPDATE: NYT: "Netanyahu Soundly Defeats Chief Rival in Israeli Elections."

58 comments:

damikesc said...

Bibi winning is great...but anybody arguing that THAT system is better than what we have is insane.

Want to give Tea Partiers or Far Left radicals WAY more power? Make them the party that makes a coalition possible.

Curious George said...

Suck it Barry.

Jim said...

Thats very good news for Israel, and bad news for obama and the obamabots. clearly they tried to influence the election. its just as clear obama would rather talk to Iran than Israel.
If its true, and Netanyahu wins, its doubly good- Addressing congress was a slap in the face to obama.Netanyahu's speech gave congress and the country a chance to see what a real leader looks and sounds like.
I don't have to agree with him to know he loves his country, and will do what it takes to show others just what an infant obama really is.....

Fred Drinkwater said...

Yeah, I knew he'd win, or it would at least be very close, just based on the eager panting and straw-grasping among the NPR commentariat yesterday, at the prospect Bibi might lose.
Once again, they did [ a terrible job / their regular job ] at hiding their biases.

Pookie Number 2 said...

Bibi winning is great...but anybody arguing that THAT system is better than what we have is insane.

I dunno. Our system gave us Obama.

Then again, the threats facing Israel generally preclude the luxury of electing a petulant teenager, so maybe they'd still do better under our system.

damikesc said...

Then again, the threats facing Israel generally preclude the luxury of electing a petulant teenager, so maybe they'd still do better under our system.

The really right-wing religious get a lot of perks because their tiny party is required for coalitions to exist.

Parliamentary systems here would take our problems and grow them exponentially.

When the opposition started discussing changes in the rotation of PM, you could tell they were having problems.

jr565 said...

So Obama tried to wreck relations with Israel with his bare hands. Didn't work out so well. I can imagine the next phone call between the two men.
Awkward.

Pookie Number 2 said...

Parliamentary systems here would take our problems and grow them exponentially.

In retrospect, I think you're right - just think of what a disaster we'd be living through if Al Sharpton was actually part of the government.

Revenant said...

Bibi winning is great...but anybody arguing that THAT system is better than what we have is insane. Want to give Tea Partiers or Far Left radicals WAY more power?

Well, yes. Sort of.

Parliamentary systems have the advantage of being able to rapidly change. That is also the key disadvantage.

Our system makes change difficult and radical change nigh-impossible. The problem we face is that we've needed change for decades, and now we need radical change ASAP. We need to shave a trillion dollars a year from the budget or raise an equivalent amount in taxes if our system is going to survive much longer.

In a parliamentary system, that would be possible. In ours? Heh. Don't make any plans for retirement in this country if you're under fifty.

Revenant said...

just think of what a disaster we'd be living through if Al Sharpton was actually part of the government.

The reason Al isn't in government is that he can make a lot more money as a racial extortionist. You think the party that elected Cynthia McKinney would hesitate to elect Sharpton? She was just as crooked and racist as him, and a good bit dumber.

Michael K said...

Obama bet the farm on beating Netanyahu and now has to clean out the stable.

If only.

Samuel Johnson said it best, "When a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully."

Israeli voters, except the Arabs who are flirting with ISIS, know they must get it right every time.

Johnson also said, "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."

No politician ever thought that.

Big Mike said...

You'd think this administration would have learned from Eisenhower's mistake propping up the corrupt South Vietnam government and his overthrow of the Mossaddegh administration in favor of the Shah of Iran, and from Nixon's overthrow of Allende. Do. Not. Mess. Around. In. Other. Countries'. Elections.

But this administration doesn't have the capacity to learn from their own mistakes, much less anyone else's.

Kirk Parker said...

Big Mike,

Oh, please, in regard to Chile! Just look at how the country is doing now, and then estimate where it would be if it had been Round 2 of Cuba or the prequel to today's Venezuela.

Browndog said...

I never thought a victory in an Israeli election was a victory for America...

Change you can believe in...

Big Mike said...

@Kirk, while I agree with you to some extent, the concealed-behind-a-thin-layer-of-gauze US participation had negative repercussions that went way beyond Chile and continue to this day.

Original Mike said...

He won.

Browndog said...

Thinking Obama will walk it off on the golf course this weekend-

Any bets?

traditionalguy said...

The Iranian-American cabal running the White House had better get a better class of drunks to guard them. Mossad should have no trouble with the current Secret Service team.

Simon said...

Sorry, 'bama. Better luck next time.

Browndog said...

John Podhoretz @jpodhoretz · 1h 1 hour ago

Right now, across the globe, politicians are hoping Obama says nasty things about them so they will win elections


That, and major manufacturers hoping Obama touts the success of their competition.

I Callahan said...

but anybody arguing that THAT system is better than what we have is insane.

Thank you, 100 times. I've never understood why there are people who think the parliamentary system was better, for the same reasons you point out.

sojerofgod said...

NBC News is hysterical at the thought that Bibi has won. "It's the end of peace!"

Nope, no bias to see here....

President-Mom-Jeans said...

Bitchtits, Hamas, and Barry Three Putt hardest hit. But I repeat myself.

Marc Puckett said...

57% of the ballots counted, Likud is at 24.4%, the ZU at19%.

richard mcenroe said...

damikesc...thanks for the suggestion!

richard mcenroe said...

TZVI LIPI IS OUT?!
TZVI LIPI IS OUT?!

richard mcenroe said...

traditional guy give the Secret Service a break. Those guys have been given a shit detail for eight years. We do less to armed robbers.

Bobby said...

Yeah, I would caution everyone against declaring victory. Even if he wins a plurality (and that's far from certain), it's a long road to 61, and it doesn't appear- based on the returns that I'm seeing- that either Likud or Zionist Union's coalitions have much of a chance of getting that outright...

Which means that there's going to be a whole lot of wheeling and dealing in the next few days, and Moshe Kahlon's Kulanu might very well be the kingmakers. Another very real possibility is a Unity government, in which Likud and ZU agree to rotate portfolios. But in both these scenarios, it seems quite likely that Bibi would have to resign.

Again, I'd advise caution. I'd hate for everyone here to wake up tomorrow, see an Israeli government without Bibi and realize that in crowing victory, well, it didn't turn out that way and we all just looked foolish.

cubanbob said...

@Micheal K spot on. As for Obama, what a putz. Any Isreali government will always have pretty much the same defense policy. So why did he waste his time and diminishing influence trying to stack and election? Even if Netanyahu lost the defense policy would still remain the same. A leftist Israeli government would mouth the pieties Obama and the U.S. and European Left want to hear but in practice there would be no actual difference. The real difference between the Israeli left and right is secularism and relative levels of socialism. The communist fraction of the left have no real clout and the Arab coalition have no influence in king making.

Hagar said...

What Bobby said, but with or without Netanyahu it is going to be a different coalition.

gadfly said...

Barry and the girls have American operatives paying, then busing Arabs to the polls to make the election close - but the Jarrett regime doesn't understand the parliamentary system of government.

Skeptical Voter said...

How do you say "Screw you very much Obama" in Hebrew?

Bobby said...

Jerusalem Post is reporting that with 90% of the ballots counted, the seat distribution would go:

Likud- 30
Zionist Union- 24
Joint Arab List- 13
Yesh Atid- 11 [^ZU]
Kulanu- 10
Bayit Yehudi- 8 [^Likud]
Shas- 7
United Torah Judaism- 7
Yisrael Beytenu- 6 [^Likud]
Meretz- 4 [^ZU]

Bibi has 44 in the bank; Herzog has 39 locked in. Bibi will have no chance of getting the Joint Arab List, but they may not necessarily back Herzog, either. Bibi will have a much better chance of getting the ultra-Orthodox lists (Shas and UTJ), and that would get him to 58. He'd need Kulanu to form a government (and right about now, I'm guessing Bibi is regretting that he screwed Kahlon over a couple years ago). This is why for Likud to govern, Bibi just might have to go- or he's going to have to make Kahlon a really attractive offer (and convince him that he won't fire him- again- the next time they clash).

But Herzog's path to the prime ministership is probably more tenuous. He's got 39, but it would be pretty difficult to reach a compromise wherein the ultraorthodox would be willing to align with the secular Yesh Atid, so that seems like a real longshot (could happen, but highly unlikely). Now theoretically, he could also get to 62 with the Joint Arab List and Kulanu, but that's also a mental stretch to see that happening- Herzog might have to give Kahlon a PM rotation.

The Unity Government seems quite possible now.

But there's still 10% of the vote to be counted, so let's see if the numbers change.

Hagar said...

Now is when the real bargaining begins.
Israel is not on the American system.

Rhythm and Balls said...

This is wonderful! If Bibi stays then the Iranians will give up their nuclear ambitions… tomorrow!

Actually, they won't. But at least Bibi will be able to make a lot of noise and whining about it.

How to wonderful it is to believe that history is made by whining and complaining.

Red State America are the new Jews.

Rhythm and Balls said...

Their system is superior in that incompetents don't get to stay in power for entire terms of office. It also forces more honest negotiating between very disparate blocs and less intransigence.

But I guess Americans are just too pure for that.

Rhythm and Balls said...

Want to give Tea Partiers or Far Left radicals WAY more power? Make them the party that makes a coalition possible.

Am I missing something? Tea Partiers already control the Republican Party. Yep, what an improvement it is to simply swallow them into the mainstream parties.

hombre said...

Bibi wins. Obama and the Obamamedia with their phony polls lose, proving Israel is not Chicago and Israelis are not as dumb as Democrats.

deepelemblues said...

Kahlon will be finance minister, zero chance Bibi is going anywhere. It's delusional to think that he's not going to remain prime minister because Kahlon could stamp his feet and say I still don't like you Bibi no deal. Not going to happen.

Pookie Number 2 said...

How to wonderful it is to believe that history is made by whining and complaining.

I agree that whining and complaining won't make history. But that describes the mental midgets prattling endlessly about income inequality far more than people wise enough not to rely on Obama's charmingly hopeless overestimation of his own powers of perception and persuasion.

Red State America are the new Jews.

Again, that's absolutely true, in that they face uninformed hatred from the ignorant.

Quaestor said...

Michael K. cited this quote by Dr. Johnson: "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."

Devastating. We should all remember that one.

Clyde said...

Netanyahu lives in a dangerous, crime-ridden neighborhood, where the main problem is survival. It's no surprise that the voters went for the law-and-order candidate rather than the economic-issues candidate. I find it interesting that the AP write-up described Netanyahu's positions as "hardline." If standing up for the survival of your people and your country is "hardline," then that's not a bad thing, is it?

Brando said...

I didn't think this would make much difference--his opponent isn't any more likely to disband settlements or change their defense or foreign policy in any significant way. The only real difference is Bibi thinks little of Obama and Herzog might have had a fresh start.

Pookie Number 2 said...

The only real difference is Bibi thinks little of Obama and Herzog might have had a fresh start.

Herzog's a bright guy. His interactions with Obama would lead him to the same conclusion as Bibi's, assuming he's not already there.

Hagar said...

25% of the vote is hardly a "landslide," so the headlines are somewhat overdone, methinks.

So, Netanyahu remains prime minister, and in these perilous times, that may be a good thing. Reform is desirable, but survival comes first.

tim in vermont said...

Tea Partiers already control the Republican Party.

More Protocols of the Elders of Albion from R&B

But I am sure the Axelrod would give you a nice pat on the head for so faithfully repeating his talking points.

damikesc said...

Am I missing something? Tea Partiers already control the Republican Party.

Explains why Obama's immigration rule is still in effect and Boehner negotiated with Pelosi about SCHIP and the "doc fix".

...because Tea Partiers are in control. Sure.

damikesc said...

At the risk of a Godwin infraction, Weimar Germany being a Parliamentary system helped doom it.

Brando said...

"Herzog's a bright guy. His interactions with Obama would lead him to the same conclusion as Bibi's, assuming he's not already there."

Ideally (for Israel) they get into a position where it doesn't much matter what a particular U.S. president thinks of them. If I were PM of Israel, my main priority would be building up enough of an economic base to get the country completely independent of foreign aid.

gerry said...

Exit poll scamming, eh? From "appears too close to call" to "Soundly Defeats" in just a few hours.

Obama weeps, his influence revealed to be an effluent.

Josh Benda said...

Two points from an American living in Israel:

1. Israeli foreign policy most definitely WOULD have shifted radically if Herzog/Livni were forming the government. Their union is built on the remains of the Labor party - the Israeli parallel of the left-leaning, PC Democratic party - and the political/intellectual heirs of the Oslo peace process. They would have rushed to revive negotiations with Hamas - sending a signal of weakness to Iran and other sponsors of fundamentalist terror in the region. They may not have had the political clout to remove settlers from their homes, but they would certainly have tried the nasty route of abandoning these people and withdrawing the army.

2. You can debate the merits of a parliamentary system versus the separation of powers in the US. But there is one crucial difference in "representative" democracies: whether elections are by party list or by district.

Israel - together with Italy and some other countries - has elections by party list. This is awful, and the source of many small "leverage" parties that manage to skim enough votes from the margins of the voting public. Israel has tried to counter this by raising the minimum votes needed for a party to enter the Knesset - right now it's the equivalent of 3 or 4 seats.

But that doesn't relieve the main problem - which is that this system is not truly "representative" and is rife with corruption. One can have an entire political career by working one's way through the party machine. In by-district elections, each MP knows that their political future depends on pleasing a specific group of voters.

The Oslo accords - and Sharon's unilateral pullout from Gaza - completely reversed promises made to voters. Oslo itself passed the Knesset with a single vote - basically a Likud hack who was bought off with a limousine. Frustrated voters could do little to punish the hacks. If PMs were elected by district none of this would have happened due to push-back by individual MPs afraid of losing their seats.

friscoda said...

Professor,
Would you please post on legality/propriety of the approx US$500K given by the US State Dep't to a political group in Israel aligned with the Zionist Union party?

Brando said...

"25% of the vote is hardly a "landslide," so the headlines are somewhat overdone, methinks."

In their type of parliamentary system, it's hard to get a majority (the closest any party ever did to that was in 1969) and coalition governments are the norm. The bigger point is Bibi came back from a four seat deficit and now leads by about that amount.

The hard part will be putting together a governing coalition.

Mountain Maven said...

Appalling that Obama tried to influence the Israeli elections. And the $300,000 State Dept contribution to an anti-Likud group. Someone should be at least fired for that brazen act.

I agree with Darth Cheney.
Worst President in My Lifetime.

damikesc said...

Appalling that Obama tried to influence the Israeli elections. And the $300,000 State Dept contribution to an anti-Likud group. Someone should be at least fired for that brazen act.

...i thought we didn't interfere in other countries' elections.

Obama lied to me? Great...now I'm a cynic.

zefal said...

right-wing parties expected to back Mr. Netanyahu, and left-leaning

So the Zionist Union is left-leaning and the other parties to their left are left-wing, er, left-leaning too.

How does the left expect everyone to get along when they won't even belong to the same party when they aren't different from?

I'm confused.

When Davad Brinkley died ABC news described George Will as a conservative and cokey roberts and sam donaldson as out-spoken. Jonah Goldberg called them out on it and they removed the conservative description from George Will.

zefal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
zefal said...

belong to the same party with people they share the same beliefs with.

Not only thing grammatically lacking in my post above but the one most in need of fixing.

Hopefully, after I post this correction it still makes sense unlike the previous correction I posted and deleted.