Thursday, May 26, 2022

Why I will never vote Likud again

I used to be a Likud voter. I wanted to support a mainstream party that had a sensible position on matters of national security. After growing frustrated with Bibi's unbelievable egoism, and the submarine affair, and his putting his own interests ahead of the country's interests, and paralyzing the country with endless elections, I voted for Bennett instead. But even if Bibi leaves the Likud, I don't think I will ever going to vote for them again - and nor for the other right-wing and religious parties that have supported them over the last year.

The Bibi Bloc, consisting of Likud, Smotrich's party and the charedim, proclaimed from the outset that the Bennett-Lapid government is a "dangerous Leftist government which will harm Israel." They declared that their single overriding goal to bring down the government. And because they defined "bringing down the government" rather than "protecting Israel's interests" as the goal, this became a way to rationalize causing all kinds of harm: "the ends justify the means."

First, they voted against the Citizenship Law - the very law that Likud itself originally instituted for reasons of national security. They gleefully joined forces with the Arab Joint List to actively enable countless thousands of Palestinians to obtain Israeli citizenship (some of whom likely do so in order to make it easier to carry out terrorist attacks). For the sake of the goal of weakening a government that is harmful to national security, they sought to harm national security.

Then there was the rape law. When, God forbid, a woman is assaulted, any DNA from the attacker is held as evidence for three months, after which it is disposed of. The government proposed a bill to ensure that all samples would be stored permanently. This is particularly important because sometimes it can take a while for victims to summon the courage to come forwards. Such a bill is of obvious importance, and has absolutely no downside whatsoever. And yet it was voted against by all 51 members of the Bibi bloc.

There wasn't even any attempt to claim that there was any innate reason to vote against the bill. It was simply done because of a policy of opposing whatever the government proposes. In an interview, Likud MK Miki Zohar said “It is a pity that I had to oppose, it is a very important thing. But there is something more important than anything – that the State of Israel be led by people fit to do so.”

Then, this past month, there was the bill proposed by the government to help those who sacrifice the best years of their lives to serve the country by giving them stipends to cover two-thirds of the cost of higher education. Of course, the Arab Joint List opposed this, but they were joined by the Likud! Once again, the Likud rated opposing the government as being more important than helping those that need and deserve it. (After enormous backlash from the public, and Gantz offering them a ladder down from their tree, Likud and their partners eventually agreed not to oppose the bill, merely walking out when it was submitted.)

In a leaked recording from a closed-door Likud meeting, Miri Regev was heard saying as follows:

“We decided as a party that we’re going to be a fighting opposition and that we want to bring down this government. So there is no queasiness [when voting against] the disabled, and there is no queasiness with cases of rape, and no queasiness with battered women, and no queasiness with soldiers, because we all understand that this is the rationale.”

When the recording was leaked and uproar ensured, Regev didn't even apologize or try to walk back her comments. She felt no shame whatsoever.

It is a tragic, insane situation. This government has been in power for a year, and they haven't done anything anywhere near as harmful to right-wing interests as Bibi and the Likud have done over the years. It was the Likud (including Bibi) who voted for the disengagement from Gaza! Meanwhile, 51 MKs representing right-wing and religious communities seek to act against national security, against protecting women from rapists, against helping IDF veterans, all because it's allegedly more important to save Israel from a "dangerous" leftist leadership! Is there no point at which it becomes apparent that the opposition are themselves the ones inflicting the actual harm, in their lust for reclaiming power?

It's clear that the Likud's top priority is not Israel. Rather, it's the Likud. That is why I can't see myself ever voting for them again. And nor for Smotrich or any of their enablers. I agree with Likud MK Miki Zohar: "there is something more important than anything – that the State of Israel be led by people fit to do so."


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66 comments:

  1. I totally agree with you.
    I voted for Bennet. I think he's doing a better job than that crook Netanyahu, who only think of himself and he will fall.
    It's a pity that Naftali's hands are tied by other parties.
    Hope he will succeed to become a prime minister again without being restricted.

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    1. Do you think if it was the other way around, that the left wing wouldn't fight against a sensible bill if it would help them get back in power? Who are you kidding?

      What morals do left wing politicians have that right wing ones don't? Like usual, you are deluding yourself willfully.

      You flip your allegiance like the wind. The only way it works is if you are consistent with your beliefs. Then you vote for your party. If they do something wrong, you call them out. But that doesn't mean you go running like a baby to find something else. Then you will run and run your whole life, which seems to be what you do.

      Find a political party that best fits your religious outlook on life, and whatever politics you espouse. Obviously, you will never find anyone perfect because it has to be exactly how you think. Its all about you. But pick the best, and stick with it. You keep on shocking yourself needlessly. Its so silly.

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    2. Ezra, you're clearly a willfully-blind bigot. There are NO examples of a Leftist bloc ever voting against a bill merely to stymie the current coalition.

      The right in Israel is the same as the right in America. Each will harm their country to hold on (or regain) power. The Left in neither country behaves this way, even if there are individuals who might.

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  2. ....this is what you've been reduced to? Blogging your political opinions? Smh.

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    1. And what is wrong with blogging one's political opinions? With the internet now acting as the new - and vastly expanded - town forum, it is the perfect place to put out all your thoughts and feelings on current affairs.
      Especially the affairs of the body politic of the country in which you live and hold citizenship.
      My question is, why are you compelled to post this asinine comment questioning the decision to post when you could go right on past with the simple click of a mouse button?
      Indeed, I could do the same, but I feel that there is a need to point out that the more political opinions of all sides that are put up, the more of a basis there is for people to base their political decisions on - this is why I try to read from ALL sides, even sides which I find frankly crazy.
      By doing so, I have found that there are indeed some places and times that I have been in agreement with people whom I have frankly despised, and been horrified by the opinions espoused of people I look up to.

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    2. Blogging political opinions is always a waste of time. I almost commented how pathetic it was for to NS to be writing about why he's not voting for Likud, when he doesn't vote for them in the first place. (I'm talking about recent history, not ancient history; in past elections he promoted Lapid and Bennet, and would almost certainly have voted for Rabin if he could have.) It's sooooo tired already, this "I used to vote Republican, but now I'm voting dem...." ZZZZZZ. Who do these people think they're fooling? And why is it always from leftists? Vote for whoever you want and finished, who cares. Just don't try to pretend you're somehow more "balanced" than the next guy. It's nauseating.

      Anyway - to answer your question - that's why its stupid to blog one's opinion's, at least when one does it in the silly format at NS did here. Look how much time I've already wasted just responding to you, how much more time he wasted in writing the post itself!

      GP

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  3. It’s a shame. Israel needs 2 healthy parties to function. Begin must be turning in his grave….
    David Ilan

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  4. I also agree. I never voted Likud. I'm on the left. But next time I will vote for Bennett because of what he is doing on the State/Religion issues of kashrut , conversion etc.
    Plus, he is trying to lead the whole country, rather than divide it.

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    Replies
    1. No more changes to the religious laws. Matan Kahana, who was supposed to be the new Messiah of religious change, left his post for apolitical maneuver .

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  5. I'm not happy with the government, but they can't do better until the Bibiot steps aside.

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  6. 1) Hoping this Sur Meira' post is followed up by an Aseh Tov post that explains who currently appears to be the lesser of two evils and why.
    2) It'd be good for all these claims (which I trust you on) to be hyperlinked to the relevant news articles, English or Hebrew, so your word can be easily verified as well as to bring the unaware to greater understanding.

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  7. I Don't Understand you people!
    Don't you realize that Iran is on the verge of becoming a nuclear power and that Israel will be their #1 target where they aim Nuclear Weapons? Do you care about your life, Rabbi Slifkin? Is this a game Naftali Bennet? Bibi is voting against all these right wing bills bec. we all know this center government will never do what Bibi did in Iraq and dismantle Iran's nuclear weapons! Bibi couldn't do it a few years ago bec. gantz did not approve it as defense minister. If you don't value your life or the continued existence and growth of israel, go ahead, vote for Bennet, or saar and another moron. But if you do value your life or at least other people's lives in Israel then vote Bibi to stop Iran! Polls show that even without saar and liberman, Bibi will have a majority especially if Bennet comes back to the right wing block. I live in America and you ive in Israel, you have kids for crying out loud, why the F do you not want Netanyahu to dismantle Iran's Nuks once and for all? Please don't give excuses that "netanyahu hasn't done it and never will"-you know he would if he could and please don't say the current government will take care of Iran- we all know they won't. I agree with likud's decision to be against every government law even right wing laws in order to bring down this government. YES, THE ENDS JUSTIFY THE MEANS because the ends are to protect israel from an Iranian Nuclear Attack that will have a hell of a lot more of a consequence that not providing tuition to IDF soldiers!

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    1. Have you ever heard of "mutual assured destruction"? It worked for the USA and the USSR. It will work for Israel and Iran. The Ayatollahs may be crazy but they aren't stupid. Israel's real existential enemies are the Haredim, who are sabotaging the economy by not learning what it takes to function in a hi tech world.

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    2. Please. Bibi was a failure on all counts, including Iran. Did he stop Iran or the Iran agreement? No. Did he TWICE lead the economy into 20-40 billion shekel deficits? Yes. Did he polarise the people and spew hatred of those on the left, doing massive damage to achdut am yisrael? Yes. Did he tackle house prices, haredi poverty, the situation of the bedouin in the negev? Not at all. Did he just take care of his own fat backside? Definitely.

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    3. Bennett is doing more to fight Iran than Bibi managed to do.

      Bibi tried to get a better deal with Iran. He failed. Bennett managed to convince the US to not take the IRG off the terror watch list.
      Israel recently bombed Iran and destroyed their drone air force.
      There was a recent assassination.

      Any claim that this government can't or won't do something has been met with evidence that not only will they do it, but they will do it better than Bibi could.

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    4. Avi, that's another dumb excuse that you know is just not true- we both know Iran does NOT care about their people! Their people are in poverty and the Ayatollahs only care about developing a nuke in order to bomb Israel. You think theyll stop from bombing Israel lest Israel retaliate and kill their people? That doesn't stop Hamas, it doesn't stop Lebanon and you're a fool if you think it will stop Iran. I am sorry for being harsh here but I care about you and all ppl in Israel but you guys just don't seem to understand what you guys are up against.

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    5. I also live in the US, and share your concerns about Iran acquiring nuclear weapons. I'm just not sure that Bibi cared that much. Because he campaigned against the JCPOA, which kept Iran from developing nuclear material; and when it passed, campaigned for the US to abandon it. If Bibi really was concerned about Iran obtaining nuclear weapons, why would he have worked against a treaty that kept them from developing material? Maybe he thought he could keep assassinating Iranian scientists?

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    6. May the Hareidim continue to grow and prosper.

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    7. @JackStraw if it's both grow AND prosper, I am sure we all agree with you.

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    8. Anonymous: Maybe Bibi opposed the plan (and Bennett and Lapid continue to) because he knew it was a fig leaf for allowing Iran to get the weapons?

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    9. Will the opposition also vote against a Bennet proposal to neutralize Iran in order to get Bibi to do so?

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    10. I lost all respect for Bibi when he gave a speech to the US Congress that was full of falsehoods about the JCPOA.

      The JCPOA actually did set back Iran's nuclear program, which went into overdrive when Trump essentially killed it. I don't see any way to put the genie back into the bottle. US Congressman Ritchie Torres (who will probably be my Congressman effective next January) recently made an insightful statement in which he pointed out a host of problems with trying to restart the JCPOA, but also pointing out that the JCPOA opponents don't have any suggestions for any other ways to stop Iran's nuclear program.

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    11. "Bennett managed to convince the US to not take the IRG off the terror watch list."

      That is a really big deal. While it isn't completely clear what the process was, as the Biden White House is nowhere near as leaky as the Trump White House, it appears that Biden overruled his advisors on this one.

      And the nutty Left is not happy. Here is an example:

      https://www.nytimes.com/2022/05/09/opinion/iran-deal-irgc-biden.html

      Bennett also kept quiet for weeks about this, until the decision was leaked from somewhere else. That is also a big deal.

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    12. Almost too shocked for wordsMay 27, 2022 at 6:38 PM

      If I wanted to paraphrase Avi Lowenthal's surprisingly candid views about chareidim posted at the begining of this thread, I would use this: "die chareidim sind unser ungluck". It is quite sick for anyone to believe Chareidim are a bigger existential threat to Israel than Iran.

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    13. Huh? Bibi didn't do anything in Iraq. That was Begin.
      Bibi had YEARS to take care of the Iran problem, and he was too weak to do what was necessary. When leftist generals told him they were uncomfortable with hostility to Iran, he accepted their refusals. Bibi did nothing about Iran. Sadly, neither will Bennett. But stop deluding yourself, please.

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  8. From the Army McCarthy hearings: Mr. Welch: You've done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?
    KT

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  9. I agree. I wouldn't want to vote for them also after that.

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  10. Bibi has no ideological goal, that’s the biggest problem. He’s a globalist.

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    1. Globalist is the slander directed against anyone who understands (correctly) that countries are interdependent today in everything from economics to security to public health. The idea that a country can safely go it alone has been proven wrong, repeatedly.

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    2. I'm no political guru, especially about Israel, where I do not live, but in order to label someone a "globalist," shouldn't there be some evidence of this? If either of you (Jack or Charlie) believe that he is, then please tell us what Bibi did that benefits the world yet does not benefit Israel.

      A separate issue on being a "globalist" is that unlike, say, a Senator in the US, being leader of a of a single country needs to remember the world is not actually a unified whole. Texas and Massachusetts might be very different from each other, but not to the point where one will invade the other or raise economic sanctions. A leader of a country still needs to act in his country's best interests - sure, take the world into account, if you like, but someone who sells his country out for only "globalist" goals is a poor leader.

      In addition, it sounds like - even to those opposed to the idea - that a globalist indeed has an ideology.

      Anyway, I am not actually talking about Bibi because, as mentioned, I do not know the specifics that you might want to bring to support either of your statements. But don't hide behind "globalism" as a defense for what most might consider a bad decision, and don't use it as a criticism unless it's relevant.

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  11. I'm afraid I can only partly agree with your assessment, Rabbi Slifkin. While I agree with your statements about Likud, I'm totally disappointed with the current Bennett government. Here in the north of Israel we are being thrown under the rug. The Arabs are allowed to expand their towns and villages while the Jews are not (thank you MK Shaked for this horrible situation).
    We need a Menachem Begin that first, last, and only thinks of what is best for Israel without care for what the rest of the world thinks. And unfortunately there is no one in our government (or opposition) who is qualified to step into his shoes.

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    1. Menachem Begin threw all the Jews out of the Sinai.

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    2. In retrospect, Begin was not a successful PM. Two bouts of near hyperinflation. A disastrous excusion into Lebanon. A failed settlement enterprise that set most of the world against Israel. And he didn't dissolve the statist economy that stifled economic growth.

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    3. Near the end of Begin's life he told Jeane Kirkpatrick that he believed the Sinai deal had been a major mistake of his.

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    4. Well, that's...troubling.

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    5. Joe. Where did you see that about Begin from Kirkpatrick? Googled and didn't find it.

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    6. Nachum - he did indeed throw the Jews out of Yamit. However, he had a long lifetime of heroism on behalf of Jews, and proved his bona fides countless, countless times. And, it must be said, he was right in this case too. This was a peace agreement with Egypt, with which Israel had had a relationship with for millennia. It was not with some amorphous "palestinian authority", like the empty promises the naive reshaim of the 90s entered into. Same with the horrendous move Sharon did with Aza. But the peace with Egypt has held up. It was a hard price to pay, but we have to say honestly it was worth it. Begin was right. יהי זכרו ברוך

      ג. חמוצים

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    7. There's nothing wrong with letting Arabs have a turn with expansion. Israel has a looooooong way to go before Arabs have what they need in terms of housing.

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  12. R' Slifkin, as an environmentally-minded guy, I thought you might appreciate the latest development in this area: Sometimes there's party discipline, and sometimes members are "allowed" to "vote their consciences." Well, for whatever reason, maybe to deflect from what Regev said, or maybe because he doesn't think it's major, or maybe because he favors it, I don't know, Bibi decided that in the bill to add to the plastic bag law (that makolot will have to start charging for them too, and the price will go up, I think), Likud members can "vote their conscience," i.e., vote in favor of it even though it's a government bill.
    Well, the charedi parties, who never met a disposable piece of plastic they didn't like, had a *fit*. Over this, of all things. They told Bibi that if Likud members were allowed to vote for this, they would start "voting their conscience" for other government (or against opposition) bills. And so Bibi caved.
    Don't get me wrong, I think the whole plastic bag law- and all such specialized laws, like the book law- is stupid. (And I use very few plastic bags or disposables and recycle and think a clean environment is a great thing.) I'm a libertarian, nu. But I found the whole thing very telling, very funny, and very sad.

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  13. Rav Kahane Tzaddak

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    1. 'Rav' Kahana was a racist thug. All decent right wingers abhorred him. Only Bibi in his desperation to keep out of jail opened the Pandora's Box which should have been tightly sealed. What a blunder. #shamir_would_be_ashamed
      #keep_racism_out_of_Israel

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    2. What a meaningless word salad. Oh but you are decent, you tell us.

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  14. This gov't transfers dozens of billions to the terrorists, and you blame the opposition for inaccurate wording of "bringing down the government" instead of "protecting Israel's interests"????

    There is no rape more "rape-ish" than the way the current gov't takes advantage on us all, females and males together.

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    1. It is obvious that neither you nor a close relative has been raped. What an idiotic thing to say.

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    2. Or he's a charedi who thinks rape of relatives isn't real rape.

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  15. They sound disgustingly like American Republicans

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    1. They sound nothing like them.

      The US has the advantage of regularly scheduled elections every, and only every, two years.

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    2. Irrelevant. The methods, pathology, and glorification of tyranny, bogotry, and idiocy are almost identical. In the US the GOP has gerrymandered and voter suppressed its way into permanent power. And with the new laws that allow them to literally ignore votes and declare the winners of elections a ceremonial ballot every couple of years means nothing

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    3. The Right in Israel and the US are very similar, as Tiel Aisha Ansari wrote. They are both led by people interested only in themselves. The right in the US openly admits that slaughtered schoolchildren are unimportant compared to their own reelection campaigns (shoutout to Cruz and Abbot at the NRA convention).

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  16. In other words you prefer a govt that relies on the joint Arab list for its existence.

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    Replies
    1. Huh? The current coalition has Ra'am, which is not a part of the JL. It left in order to join the coalition. Having an Arab party in the coalition has been the best change to happen to Israel in decades.

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  17. Not a word about the fraudulent deciet of Yamina voters, who were dooped to vote for Bennet as he promised not to rely on Raam and never to support Lapid to become PM? Not a word about the absurd anti-democratic precedent of somebody with 6 mandates alone becoming prime minister, over Netanyahu, who despite all of his faults, still has the support of 30 mandates, along with all of the other parties that support him. I remember learning in elementary school that that is the point of democracy, whoever enjoys the support of the people should be in charge, regardless of his or her moral character.
    The fact that you failed to mention those two ponits is slightly puzzling for somebody who champions rational thought and often claims the moral high ground of intelectual honesty against his ideological opponents.

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    1. As I've explained previously, there was no deceit. He made several promises that could not all be fulfilled in light of how few seats he won. But he always made it clear which priorities were highest.
      And there's nothing anti-democratic about it. That's how the system of government works. You have to be able to form a majority coalition. Bibi couldn't.

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    2. Ridiculous. Bennett himself said under ten seats is undemocratic, there was no poll under the sun under which he could keep his promises, and the one he signed on live national tv is no govt with lapid. He had deservedly lost at least two thirds of his initial voter base. A party called Yamina in a govt propped up by terror supporters!,

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    3. Let's agree that Bennet did lie. If liars in politics bother you, why on earth would you consider voting for Bibi? Or is it only wrong if your opponent lie?

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  18. I would not vote for bibi either. But bibi never did anything that made two thirds of his voter base feel betrayed…

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    1. That's actually a terrible condemnation of Likud voters, and made worse by being true. If Likud voters weren't largely Jewish Supremacist bigots who worship corrupt leaders, they would barely have 5 seats.

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  19. I think Bibi has incredible benevolence. He never took a penny while Bennet in one year built a fortress in his house at our expense. That's just the beginning.

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  20. Today's paper reports that in light of Regev's statement, the Likud is now trying to cut down on leaks.

    Isn't that nice? Maybe they should try to cut down on thinking and doing stupid things, so there won't be anything *to* leak.

    The same paper has an article about a law (criminal justice in the West Bank) that the right should be most happy for. It's the sort of thing they've been promising but, oddly, never deliver. The government expects the opposition to support it. That there's even a possibility they wouldn't shows how self-destructive they've become.

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  21. And, PS, the paper also reports that the coalition plans on allowing "freedom of vote" for a Likud bill about Palestinian flags. It's pretty obvious who are the adults here.

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  22. You are naive. This is solely about who gets be interim pm once govt falls. If ram bolts over this, Bennett is interim. Every move now, every word spoken, is posturing and maneuvering between Bennett and lapid. That is why lapid gave the hundreds of millions to zuabi.
    The other game is Liberman positioning himself for elections.

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  23. Good for you! Like our Republicans, Likud has gone from being a party I can disagree with but still respect, to a party less interested in principle and the national welfare than the retention of power.

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  24. This is how democracy works. It's a disaster. Only an authoritarian rule can save this poor country from itself.

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