Monday, December 1, 2008

The Problem With Kadima: A Lesson in Pseudo Political Centrism

Israel National News reported last week Deputy Prime Minister, Retired Colonel and Kadima Party member Otniel Schneller's call for the fortification of the schools in Ashkelon to protect them from Gazan rockets. That call is symbolic of the mire that the Kadima Party has become stuck in. To act one needs conviction. To possess conviction, one needs a moral or ethical base. To achieve their targeted goals, Kadima party members had to leave their philosophies behind them and go full throttle towards "peace". They used "peace" as their objective standard. Yet as their current usage of the term "peace" is linked to the failed philosophy of Land-For-Peace, Kadima's objective standard is inherently flawed. This well meaning declaration by Schneller reveals the troubled core of Kadima's pseudo political centrist nature.

Without the popular, if not always wise, instincts of Ariel Sharon leading them, Kadima has become a party that speaks tough, but does little. The antithesis of effective leadership, Kadima's leaders like to walk loudly and carry a sponge stick. They lift their sponge sticks at the enemies of Israel and say, "Don't make me use this." Then two days later they say to Israel's enemies, "Sorry, I didn't mean to scare you. Let's discuss more one sided concessions to prove that we truly want peace."

Two weeks ago it was reported that Kadima's latest leader Tzipi Livni said that Israel will do something if the shelling continued. Livni said, "There is no such thing as a partial ceasefire... If the ceasefire violations continue, Israel will see no impediment to action." It was assumed that she meant to actually do something against that group of naughty and elusive 'partners in peace', Hamas, and not towards all those 'offensive' school buildings in Ashkelon. So far that assumption is looking like overly wishful thinking.

Last week PM Olmert made some noises about peace in our time (in an apparent attempt to justify Kadima inaction to the threat against Israeli citizens) immediately before he lost his last shred of political legitimacy as voices from parties on the left as well demanded his resignation following the Attorney General Mazuz declaration of intent to indict him. As there seems to be no real difference in his policies and Livni's stated intentions, I find no reason to rush to eject him and replace him with Livni. I support the concept of innocent until proven guilty, and a Livni Premiership would not offer Israel's National Security a significant enough enhancement to warrant an exception to this rule. The real guilt lies with the Kadima Party itself and unless elections are hastened, which I believe they should be, then I do not join in the chorus that Olmert leave office immediately over crimes that he has yet to be found guilty of in a court of law. Rather, Olmert should leave office immediately in conjunction with hastening the upcoming elections. Why wait for February? The Israeli elections should be held immediately so that a real peace process can begin. A party cannot lead if it has lost its way.

Kadima's position on national security just does not make any sense. But again, I am looking at this from a perspective of one who assumes that a government wishes to protect its own citizenry. Perhaps the suggestion to fortify schools is so that Ashkelon residents can at least have a few vicarious hours of respite from terror knowing that each day their kids are safe for a few hours, at least until it's time for the bus ride home each evening; God protect. Again this is only today's apparent meaning to the weak Kadima perception of National Security. Tomorrow perhaps some more radically imbecilic statement will issue forth from Kadima leadership like plastic pearls of wisdom on a hot stove top.

God knows, even if Kadima clearly does not.

One never really knows what to expect from Kadima; not because they are so perfectly moderate in their political beliefs so that no one to the right or left can fathom their brilliant wisdom, but the very opposite, because they are so weakly attached to any guiding philosophy whether right or left. This is a complete breakdown of the entire centrist mandate that their constituency originally voted for.

Kadima's weak leadership has allowed the practiced national security policies of Israel to become extremely left wing in character. The only way to even the balance scale of Israeli leadership is for politically moderate voters in Israel to shift their political support to the politically right parties in order to tip the scale back towards the middle and restore the proper political equilibrium to the Knesset. How far to the right this shift requires the Israeli voter to go depends on how far Kadima's inaction, and the potential actions of the enemies of Israel reacting to weak Kadima leadership, serve to pull Israeli security out of kilter between now and the elections. Therefore to enhance National Security and the hope of real peace, I recommend that Israel should hold elections immediately.

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