Monday, October 30, 2006

Central Committee Musings - The Carnival's in Town

Last night, the Labor Party Central Committee met to decide if Labor should stay in Olmert's government despite the arrival of Avigdor Lieberman and his Yisrael Beiteinu party. Listening to the speeches on my way home from work, it brought back flashbacks from so many Likud Central Committee meetings I've attended.

Usually, Labor is pareve, dull, and lacking any excitement...a group of sullen party hacks who ran the country till 1977, and think they still have a real agenda. Contrasting that is (was) the Likud party -- vibrancy, excitement, table-throwing, screaming, microphone grabbing, electrical system tampering -- all the mayhem, color and smell of the Shuk in Machane Yehuda. Likudnim come from all segments of the Israeli society (good and bad), and more than once I heard that the Likud resembles Bnei Yisrael when they left Egypt and traveled the desert. Jews, yes. Some with a slave mentality, some with a galut mentality, some are princes and nobles, some are fighters, some rich, some poor -- but even with their whole mix and mess, they were still taken out of Egypt by G-d (and destined for greatness).**

Last night's Labor convention finally had some pizzaz, and for the first time,. I empathized with Labor MK Ofir Pines (for pronunciation aficionados, it's pronounced pee-niss). MK Pines may be my political antithesis and political adversary, but when he got up to speak last night, I felt for him.

He lambasted the Labor party hacks for wanting to stay in the government at the expense of their ideology, and I was reminded of the inverted situation a few years ago, when I was present at Likud Central Committee conventions, and we ostracized the Likud party hacks for supporting the Disengagement.

MK Pines lamented:
"I am product of the Labor Party, of the Labor Movement. This is my home since I joined the party when I was part of the Labor Youth, but this house is being buried before my eyes because of unreliability, because of deals, because of zigzags, because of lack of leadership."
He energetically denounced the party for having sold out its ideology for "staying in power" and that the Labor electorate would punish them.

Jameel's Flashback: Arik Sharon, Omri Sharon, Ehud Olmert, Limor Livnat, Tzachi HaNegbi, and other Likud party MKs sitting at the dais, smugly smiling at their bought off Likud Central Committee members who blindly chanted, "Arik, Melech Yisrael, Chai, Chai viKayam", and the rest of us blowing whistles and waving signs that the Likud party membership voted AGAINST the disengagement...and they were being ignored and stabbed in the back by the party hacks and leaders (in Israeli politics you can be a hack AND a leader).

Last night, the hacks were Fuad Ben-Elizer, Buzi Herzog, Yulia Tamir and Amir Peretz, whose mindless supporters sold out on ideology, despite the impassioned plea by MK Pines. He spoke very well (even if I disagree with 95% of everything he said), and I feel bad for him, as he watches his party get swallowed up by corrupt fat cats and small-minded politicians.

I may not like MK Pines, but he's a political adversary I would like to challenge and debate. Better him, than Jabba the Hutt-type Labor hacks like Fuad Ben Eliezer, Beiga Shochat and Amir Peretz. (I know Beiga Shochat's no longer a Labor MK, but he fits the image of Jabba the Hutt sooooo nicely)

A word of advice though to MK Pines; don't make the mistake of leaving Labor. Staying with the large parties is the only way to really influence anything. It's painful, but it's your only hope for the long run.

**And to those who question why I had anything to do with the Likud party, the current Israeli governmental system is led by the leader of the largest party. To lead the country or to have the most political clout, the most logical place to be is the largest party closest to your own ideology. Small parties may give you the feeling that you're a political big-shot, but how much protectiza and real life political power does a local Bnei Akiva chapter have anyway? None.

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael


Olah Chadasha said...

This is because the Labor Party, led of Stali.. I mean, Amir Peretz, conforms to communist ideology. "I'm only looking out for you... when I'm not looking out for me..." What "social" promises has the Labor party fulfilled since in office? Why isn't a Labor MK standing up and shouting to get the Welfare Minister position??? Could it be b/c it's a lackluster position with no room for sexy maneuvering? Hmmmm.... I wonder. I thought these guys were all about the welfare and taking care of the "downtrodden". I haven't heard a peep from any Labor MK about the abysmal state of affairs up North as a result of no welfare minister. Yup, it really is true. All pigs are created equal, but some Peretzes are more equal than others.

Anonymous said...

** Sounds like what Peretz did when he walked in and took over the labor party. I guess in Israel it works. Jameel for Primeminister!

Omri Ceren said...

I'd love to say that I'm pained by watching Labor disintegrate, but I'm not. The only group of people less strategic and more blindly ideological than Labor primary voters might be the Likud Central Cmte - and I'm not sure which is worse.

JoeSettler said...

but how much protectiza and real life political power does a local Bnei Akiva chapter have anyway? None.

I am sure you must have been taking a swipe at someone specific with that line...

Lion of Zion said...

how much support does likud have in the settlements these days?

who is Beiga Shochat? how about a picutre? i love the anology even though i don't knew him (her?)

do you have a gripe with bnei akiva?

when i was in yeshiva i met a girl who told me she was from kfar pines. i'd never heard of it and i thought she was trying to make some type of a joke (though i was not sure what type).

Lurker said...

Ari Kinsberg:

Beiga Shochat is a former Labor party Finance Minister.

Here's a picture.

westbankmama said...

Jameel - not to be personal or anything, but who did you vote for in the last election? I voted Likud - and I don't regret it. Next time around I will still vote Likud. I agree with you %100 about how the small religious parties have no clout - complete waste of a vote.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

WBM: I voted Likud as well....nor do I regret it either :)

Olah Chadasha said...

YB all the way baby!!

kasamba said...

Vote Jameel for PM!!!

Anonymous said...

But Pines is all about Pines-it is actually pronounced Penis.And rightly so.He DID IT TO DIFFERENTIATE HIMSELF FROM THE OTHERS FOR LABOR'S primary election.

Anonymous said...

Give me 10 years and i'll be PM.

A double law and business admin. degree from bar ilan. A nice doctorate from a good school in the US, maybe stanford or columbia...

Next I gotta piss the crap out of the leftists and booya.

Funding is no problem, I know enough people that will give me 5grand that I can raise 5 million without cheating.

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