This Week in the NY Jewish Week, Stewart Ain reports that there is a movement to make Shimon Peres the next PM of Israel. (see:Olmert Trying To Hang On). I actually had to check the date on my paper to make sure that it wasn’t an April fools day edition, sadly it was a real report.
Shimon Peres as Prime Minister of Israel is a VERY scary thought. The Israeli people agree which is why he was NEVER elected to the position even though he served twice. I don’t know what would be worse Ehud Olmert who will make one-sided concessions because he is weak or Peres who will make one-sided concessions because he desperately wants to have peace at ALL costs so he can have a legacy of being something other “a bridesmaid never a bride” I continue to suggest that the best thing that Peres could do for Israel is come to the Coney Island Pier in Brooklyn and spend his days playing cards with some of the other old Jewish men.
Prelude to a Peres Government? 18 Iyar 5767, 06 May 07 07:36
by Sergio (HaDaR) Tezza (IsraelNN.com)
It was certainly exciting to see so many Jews of many different types all in Malkhei Israel (Kings of Israel) Square (which some people pretended to have “re-baptised” – I use the term in full awareness – as “Rabin Square”) Thursday night. Even if, it must be said, there were not many black-clad Chareidi Jews and, in general, observant Jews were very under-represented.
The general mood in Israel is certainly one of being fed-up with corrupted or incapable leaders. Such a feeling is so widespread among our people that Ehud Olmert has a personal favourable index of about 3% in the latest opinion polls.
The Israeli media has, as usual, downplayed the actual numbers of people who took part in the colourful and peaceful demonstration. In spite of the experts saying that the central Tel Aviv square can contain between 200 and 250,000, most media spoke of 150,000 people or more than 100,000. Given that the square was full to the brim, it becomes more and more difficult not to connect such low estimates with the fact that Israel’s extreme leftist and pro-Arab movement Peace Now, which is certainly over-represented in Israel’s media, was against such a demonstration. The demonstration was downplayed also by comparing it to a 400,000-person Peace Now demonstration in the same square 25 years ago – a number which is a physical impossibility and is contradicted by police estimates of 40,000.
Yet, that might not be all.
Another person who was certainly not among the happiest last night was Olmert’s number two: Shimon Peres. The leftist fox, albeit with the reputation of loser, is certainly another person over-represented in Israel’s media, which has always been overly friendly, in a very suspicious way, towards him, sparing him most of the criticism that has been reserved for other members of Olmert’s government. It is as if Peres himself was not party to the failures of this government, but rather some kind of super partes harmless old man.
Peace Now criticized the demonstration heavily for not being leftist enough, with the specific fault of not proposing a political alternative.
Here is where Peres comes into play: Peace Now suggests him as a Prime Minister. This is not news; however, what is worrisome for anyone who loves Israel as Israel (and not the European Union version of Israel that Peace Now and Peres propose) is that Peres seems to be a possible candidate for Prime Minister, with enough Knesset votes, even if without popular support.
There are clear indications that both Shas and United Torah Judaism, the two Chareidi parties in the Knesset, might actually view favourably Peres at the head of a new government, in exchange, as usual, for some money for their institutions and interest groups, plus some more socially conscious measures to justify their support. Peres is rather popular among many of the big shots of the Chareidi rabbinical world. His visits to Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef are not the only visits to Chareidi political leaders; on many occasions, he is treated like a “homeboy” in many other Chareidi courts in B’nei Brak and in Jerusalem. The pioneers have certainly not been helped by the Chareidi parties, since those parties voted for, or allowed to pass with their abstention, all the pieces of legislation and agreements (from the Oslo Accords onwards) that have hit that public. Peres as a “new” Prime Minister would be the perfect way for the ruling Kadima party to change governments without changing anything else, and to hold on to their current number of Knesset seats (according to the polls, elections would mean about one-third of the seats they occupy now). The extreme Left would then see one of their most faithful representatives in power, thus eliminating a dangerous cohesion among the different sides of the political spectrum. Such bipartisan cohesion does not serve the extreme Left’s “Auschwitz borders” goals or their pathological hatred for the Jewish pioneers living in the heartland of the Land of Israel (whom they call settlers).
Peres at the helm would return the situation to what it was; that is, as it has been for about twenty years, especially as far as foreign policy is concerned. This would gain the full support of the pro-Arab European Union, which is one of the main financial forces behind the Palestin-ist forces both within and outside Israel.
Peres at the helm would also mean going back to “business as usual” – public silence about government policies. Above all, it would preempt the very “dangerous” phenomenon of open popular dissatisfaction with government policies and active participation in determining the future of Israel, which last week’s demonstration was signaling.
The left is terrorised by new elections. Peres might be the only way for them to hold on to the reins of power and to avoid changing the current Knesset. Thursday night’s demonstration might have opened the way for a Peres government, which would certainly enjoy a parliamentary majority, including Arab and Chareidi abstentions or votes in support of the Left.