Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Israel, like America, Turns from Right Toward the Center

Israeli voters just did what American voters did last November and turned away from the far right parties. They picked a new Centrist party by a large margin.

Many Israeli's felt things had gotten out of hand. They were angry that ultra-orthodox religious members were able to avoid National Service that everyone else does in Israel --they live on government payments and spend their entire time in religious activities. The Centrists demanded the ultra-orthodox be subject to the same rules. No more being paid to pray all day while avoiding service.

Netanyahu came out of this election much weaker. He has to form a coalition with either the Centrists - or fringe far far right parties that are so far out that they disagree among themselves. Such a coalition would collapse quickly and he'd be forced to form yet another one. 

The Centrist leader, Lapid, wants a two state solution with the Palestinians - he says they should not think that it would be a "happy marriage" with the Palestinians, but more like "a divorce we can live with" which is very practical. Already Netanyahu is changing his tune to a more moderate one.

Bottom line: Two major elections -- and each time the voters have decided to pull away from far right leaders - bringing both America and Israel back towards the center.

 It is in the center where people can work with each other to solve issues.

This could be a very good sign for our future.

That's the problem in our Congress. The center has been destroyed by gerrymandering into districts that favor the most extreme candidate instead of the most balanced one. Until we fix that, Congress will remain dysfunctional.

That dysfunction also explains the American choice of a President who is much more centered then the legislature he has to deal with. Americans did NOT choose the Presidential candidate who spent $1 billion as he verbally wrote off "47%" and favored the wealthy over the middle class. This is the only "balance" we have!

Pass it on!

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