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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A little perspective is all I'm saying

To those of you following Israeli politics, it isn't exactly breaking news that Ehud Barak and a few of other (now former) Labor MKs have split off from their party and formed their own faction called 'Independence'.

I'll leave the analysis of why they split off, and whether this is, objectively, a good thing or a bad thing, to more knowledgeable commentators. For the time being let's just take it at face value that it has happened.

Along comes Tzipi Livni, who seems to see her primary role as head of the opposition as foaming at the mouth in Saeb Erikat-esque offense at anything that doesn't directly damage Netanyahu's government. This time she doesn't disappoint when offering her feelings on the split:

"Defense Minister Ehud Barak's split from the Labor Party is the dirtiest act in history"

I'm assuming she momentarily forgot about the Holocaust... Stalin's murderous excesses... the Armenian genocide... and I'm not even going back 100 years!

The laughable part is that Livni considers the idea of someone breaking from their party and forming a new faction to be tantamount to high treason. Has she forgotten that she and her fellow Kadima party cohorts did the exact same thing a few years ago? I guess what's good for the goose isn't good for the gander.

Another gem from Tzipi:

"For Barak to call whoever wants peace post-Zionist is unheard of"

Actually, what Barak said in his explanation of why he and his cohorts split from Labor was, "We noticed a shift [in Labor's political outlook] towards the Left and post-Zionism". Livni jumped to the conclusion that this statement needed a response because she honestly believes that 'left' and' pro-peace' are synonymous.

This actually speaks volumes about where on the political spectrum Livni sees herself (and her Kadima party)... and belies the 'centrist' mantle she consistently claims.

But she wasn't done foaming:

"I don't know how you can leave behind your ministers to serve in a right-wing, haredi government!"

Let's set aside the fact that they aren't 'Barak's ministers'... they are the Government's ministers, and they serve at the PM's pleasure. Livni's rhetorical question is a transparent bit of pandering to the left who consider the right wing and relgious communities to be equally distasteful... and the Haredim, to be the scariest boogeymen of the lot.

Personally, I think that Ehud Barak would join a coalition with Hezbollah and Hamas if they offered him a sufficiently influential portfolio and a Volvo. Barak looks out for Barak. Not his party... not the government... and certainly not the country. He may have once been a patriot... but IMHO, those days ended the moment he took off his uniform and went into politics.

But that's him.

Livni, on the other hand, sounds more and more like she's gone off her meds.

Posted by David Bogner on January 19, 2011 | Permalink

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In Israeli politics, the people vote for a party not people. how is it legal for people to decide to form their own party that was never voted on. maybe they should be ousted until the next election.

Posted by: dave | Jan 19, 2011 6:05:03 PM

I can't believe I'm defending the man, but Livni's line about how he "left his ministers" is nonsense on other levels too: In fact, *they* left him! They're the ones who wanted out. Well, now they're out, and opportunist Barak and his crew still have their jobs.

Posted by: Nachum | Jan 20, 2011 9:42:09 AM

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