In the May 1 visit to Meretz USA of Meretz MK Avshalom (Abu) Vilan, he told us of imploring Gen. Uzi Dayan (the organizer of this past weekend’s oust-Olmert rally) to press the goal of Olmert’s resignation but not of a new election, for two reasons:
- Frequent elections are making Israel’s government unstable; the last election was little more than a year ago.
- More importantly, Netanyahu would be returned to power at the head of about 35 Likud MKs.
Abu feels that it would be far better that Peres or Livni replace Olmert with a new Kadima-led coalition and that with Meretz’s support, embark upon new avenues toward peace, via the Saudis, the US, Abbas and the European Union. He personally trusts Peres more than Livni, feeling that Livni’s not experienced enough and that her right-wing Likud roots make her suspect. But I find Peres ultimately untrustworthy because of his habit as a political intriguer. Hence, I think that Livni might be better, but either one as PM would be a source of new hope.
Below is an abbreviated description of last week’s oust-Olmert rally from the MideastWeb for Coexistence site, by one Joseph M. Hochstein of Tel Aviv:
What made this demonstration different from others was the crowd’s diversity. Members of opposing political factions shared the square. Young men wearing National Religious knitted skullcaps prayed in groups alongside secular Tel Aviv residents. …
The closest the audience came to a display of vocal unanimity was when Eliad Shraga, a reserve paratroop officer who heads the Movement for Quality Government, exhorted them to act as judge and jury and answer whether Olmert was guilty. They found the Prime Minister guilty, of course, but the performance lacked spontaneity. …
Cheerleading aside, the only words that seemed to evoke a genuinely spontaneous reaction were uttered by Meir Shalev, the novelist. He mentioned 40 years of occupation in a disparaging way, and some people in the northwest part of the square started booing. Later, the Council of Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria (Yesha) commented that Shalev’s remark showed his hate of settlers.
Someone I know refused to attend the demonstration. He said he did not want to help Benjamin Netanyahu become Prime Minister. His meaning became clear from the scene at Rabin Square.
Dark-blue signs calling for Elections now were everywhere. They competed against the red-and-black logo that displayed the demonstration organizers’ motto, Bunglers, go home. Many members of the crowd wore dark-blue Elections now stickers on hats and shirts. Young demonstrators displaying Elections now signs took over the top of a Holocaust monument that dominates the southern part of the square. Elections now was clearly a message from the organized political Right.
Despite the Elections now infiltration, people did seem to be making a real effort to keep the non-partisan spirit of the demonstration. Political parties refrained from displaying party signs, and few people in the crowd wore t-shirts with party slogans or symbols. No partisan politicians were invited to speak (unless you include Uzi Dayan, the demonstration organizer, whose Tafnit movement failed to win a Knesset seat in the last election). …
– Joseph M. Hochstein, Tel Aviv
[Cross-posted from Israel Like This, As If]
Original text copyright by the author and MidEastWeb for Coexistence, RA. Posted at MidEastWeb Middle East Web Log