Sunday, May 2, 2010

A trampled democracy

"Netanyahu is trying to prevent party members from expressing their opinions and choosing their leadership in free, democratic elections. This is a trampling on the basics of democracy. Our basic rights are being denied!" cried out Moshe Feiglin. The Prime Minister had called upon the Likud party members to delay holding elections to the party institutions in order to prevent (as he said with so many words) an increase in the power of Moshe Feiglin who openly states his aim of taking over the party.

"I and my fellows will win in the end, we will take over the Likud and I will be Prime Minister", said Feiglin in an extensive interview to the weekend supplement of Yedioth Ahronoth. "We will win because we represent what most Likud members really want - a government which says loud and clear that this country is ours and ours only. I definitely want to deprive Arabs of civil rights, unless they prove their loyalty to the state, and give them financial encouragement to emigrate from here. Any area from which Israel is attacked should be conquered and its whole population expelled. We are in the Middle East, there is no place here for the Western softness. In this region you should prove that you are strong and that you are the boss, otherwise you will be trampled."

At least for the time being, Netanyahu proved to be the boss and he trampled upon Feiglin. There were commentators - especially in America – who expressed the hope that now, free of pressure inside his party, Netanyahu would find it easier to make the concessions necessary for the success of indirect negotiations. It would be nice, but these commentators probably don't read Makor Rishon.

Avigdor Lieberman, Netanyahu's Foreign Minister, was candid as usual when speaking to the readership of the right-wing Makor Rishon paper: "I do not think there is anything to be expected from negotiations. Even if lasting 16 years they will produce no agreement. But my travels around the globe have shown me that the world is very interested in seeing peace talks start, even if only for the sake of appearance. A willingness to talk and talk is something we can give. Why not?"