Monday, January 17, 2011

A Silly Headline But Bradley Burston Makes Some Good Points ...

Having met Bradley Burston I can say that he is a genuinely nice guy even though I don't agree with a lot of his politics.

His most recent column features the rather sensationalist headline "Think Israel's a lost cause? Ten reasons to think again."

While that headline seems a bit over the top to me Burston goes on to point out some interesting developments taking place in Israel's political scene right now. I'll point out two things that appeal to me since they happen to criticize my favorite Israeli political target, Avigdor Lieberman.
1. Avigdor Lieberman may be a lost cause.
At the weekend, veteran journalists Dan Margalit and Mordechai Gilat reported that prosecution officials concur with police recommendations that be indicted on charges of taking bribes, fraud, and money laundering, and that a decision would be made by the beginning of February.
WHY THIS MATTERS: Lieberman, whose party received only 12.5 percent of the vote in the 2009 election, has effectively blocked the entry of Kadima into the government, and thus quashed any chance of peace progress with the Palestinians.
2. Lieberman's dark laws may be a lost cause.
There is every reason to believe that none of Lieberman's party's long list of anti-democratic bills will actually become law. Media reports have made it seem as though bills which have been approved by the cabinet and passed a preliminary Knesset vote have become law, but Yisrael Beiteinu's entire legislative agenda is gummed up in committee, and the ruling coalition is in turmoil over vocal Likud opposition to Lieberman's flagship vendetta against human rights organizations.
WHY THIS MATTERS: Only 12.5 percent of Israelis voted for Lieberman's ostentatiously racist agenda. Russian immigrants voted for Lieberman because he promised to make them, for the first time, real Israelis. In the end, he has only made the rest of Israel see them more strikingly as Russian.
On the second point, I've tried explaining this before when people wail and moan about Lieberman. So far the man hasn't achieved anything, thank G-d, and hopefully enough of his supporters have seen how ineffective and misguided he is that they won't vote for him in the next election.

One can only hope.

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