Tuesday, March 27, 2007

I imagine he can do to economy what he did to the defense portfolio

I have a confession to make. I adore Israeli politics. Nothing entertains me as much as the ins and outs of Israeli politicos. It’s like the Three Stooges come to life and run for political office. The really bizarre part is mostly they get to hold office, and in spite of their best efforts – the country is still thriving. It’s like watching a miracle happen. People still get grow up, go to school, get a job, fall in love, get married, have babies, invent useful things, write books, plays and create wonderful music - the whole time their politic leaders run amuck. I tell you it’s a bona fide miracle and it happens every day of the week in Israel.

Ynet News is reporting Amir Peretz, the current Minister of Defense, is in the fight of his political life to retain the leadership of the Israeli Labour party. He claims, if he retains the leadership, he will resign from the Defense portfolio and demand to take over the Finance portfolio.
Labor leader Amir Peretz said Tuesday that he would step down as defense minister in return for the finance portfolio should he be reelected as Labor head in the May primaries. “On May 28, the night I am reelected as party chairman, I want to tell Prime Minister Ehud Olmert that I intend on revising the coalition agreement and demand the finance portfolio,” he told his supporters at a special Passover gathering in Tel Aviv.

Peretz denied media reports that he had insisted on having the defense portfolio during coalition negotiations with Kadima after last year's general elections, saying he had wanted the finance ministry. "You don't know how much I wanted to be the finance minister. You don't know which effort we put in negotiations. When things didn't fall through I agreed to fill the most important post, that of defense minister," Peretz said, drawing applauds from his supporters. Turning his attention to the race for the party's leadership, Peretz said that his challengers were equally responsible for the army's "spiritual decline."

Although Peretz fell short of making a clear allusion to either of his main challengers – former prime minister Ehud Barak and MK Ami Ayalon – it was clear that he was referring to Barak under whose term of office Israel withdrew its army from south Lebanon.
This cracks me right up and you know what? If Peretz (who is running a lone third in polling for chairman spot) wins; Olmert will probably have to give it to him. The Labour party holds the key for Kadima staying in power. Olmert has only a 3% approval rating and Kadima is looking to be thumped in the electoral mud if an election were to be held in the near future.


Canadi-anna said...

Weird stuff. Most of their politicians seem a little eccentric.

How did Israeli politics become such a passion?

Kateland, aka TZH said...

Well, I studied a great deal about war, and Israel has quite a number, but it really became personal to me after a Star of David was craved in my door with the immortal phrase "Kill the Jew". It was after that that I decided to take a much closer look at what was going on inside the country and I was hooked. In an odd way, their political leadership has all the zaniness of my family so I felt quite at home.

Michael said...

Labor leader Amir Peretz said Tuesday that he would step down as defense minister in return for the finance portfolio should he be reelected as Labor head in the May primaries.

That alone makes me want to join the Labor party (ack!) and vote against him. This man needs to be taken out of government, and fast. Olmert, too, but we'll have to wait for Winograd on that one.

There's a joke here in Israel, that sums up the politics:
No matter who you vote for, you get Shimon Peres.

(Peres has been in upper level of gov't for 40+ years, is currently Vice-Premier, and has yet to ever win an election...)

Canadi-anna said...

That's funny, Michael.

Kate - what an appalling thing to have happen to you and your family. It must have been frightening. Did that happen here in TO?

I'm not glad that happened, but I'm glad that you take such an interest because I come here and learn so much.

Kateland, aka TZH said...

Canadi-anna, yes it happened in downtown Toronto in 2002. I wrote about it here.


It wasn't afraid but I was outrageously angry. It was at that point my daughter developed an intense interest in Israel. I use to lobby the landlord to have the door filled in with woodfill and repainted, but as soon as it was repaired, another would show up on the door or the outside hallway walls. I got my revenge by buying a t-shirt with the Israeli flag on it with the words under it reading "Six Days, Bitch". My neighors had a hissy fit whenever they saw the "Jew Lady" wearing it around the complex. Too bad, it finally fell apart. I think my next one should be a "Guns & Moses" shirt.

Eventually, I just stopped complaining, and now I only have a modest one on the outside common entrance door. In a way, I draw strength from seeing it there. It never lets me forget a lesson I obviously needed to remember.

Canadi-anna said...

Thanks for giving me that link -- that was a while before I even knew what a blog was.

Your post made me cry. You're a strong person. It's good you engaged, rather than backing down.

I seriously can't believe the police told you not to tell people you're Jewish -- what a way to deal with a problem -- as though your being Jewish is the problem.

Thanks for sharing this.

Michael said...

I like the way you got back at them. That's class.

Kateland, aka TZH said...

Actually, Michael I really wanted to hang the Israeli flag from my livingroom front bay window but apparently I am not allowed to do that according to my lease. The T-shirt was the best I could do.

Michael said...

Flags can be stolen at night, or burned.
But a t-shirt; that challenges them face to fact, and most bigots just don't have the cojones for that.

Like I said, class.