Labor joins the rightwing coalition

Israel's Labour Party is history. Yglesias sums it up:

Kadima Leader Tzipi Livni has spent weeks resisting Benjamin Netanyahu's pleas that she enter his cabinet, citing the fact that she has no desire to be moderate window-dressing for a hard-right administration that's overtly opposed to a two-state resolution of the Israel-Palestine conflict. Ehud Barak, though, is eager to provide such window-dressing and now he's got his party's approval to enter into a coalition in which he'll play third fiddle to Netanyahu and Yisrael Beiteinu leader Avigdor Lieberman.

It's hard to imagine this being anything other than the end for the remnants of the Labor Party.

The vote has split Labor into half:
Kadima moved equally quickly to decry Labor's move, saying that Labor's entry into a Likud-led coalition signified ideological bankruptcy. MK Yohanan Plesner said Labor had "signed its own death warrant."

680 of Labor Party central committee members voted in favor of joining the coalition, while 570 voted against. The voter turnout stood at 78 percent of the committee members.

"I'm happy that party delegates have decided to enter the government," Ofer Eini, head of the Histadrut labor union and a senior Labor Party operative, told Israel's Army Radio.

But others chanted slogans like "Disgrace" following the announcement.

Labor's 13 seats in the parliament would give Netanyahu a majority of 66 in the 120-seat house. But there is a possibility that the party could split as a result of the vote, and some members might choose to remain in the opposition.

At least 7 members of Labor were said to have been against this move, so they may even wind up defecting to Kadima.

There's more...

Obama's Jewish problem: Redux UPDATED

Barak Obama's "Jewish problem" is back again.

Cecilie Surasky of Muzzlewatch, a subsidiary of Jewish Voice for Peace, posted this re-assessment of Barak Obama's presidential candidacy by members of right wing Zionist organizations, all strongly supported by AIPAC, in the United States this morning. Jewish Voice for Peace is a grassroots peace organization dedicated to promoting a US foreign policy in the Middle East based on peace, democracy, human rights and respect for international law, while Muzzlewatch seeks to create an open atmosphere for debate about US-Israeli foreign policy by counteracting censorship and intimidation concerning the publication of Israeli-Palestinian news in the US.

In (Some) Jews Against Obama, Cecile Sarasky notes: "the Nation's Eric Alterman has the most in-depth roundup I've seen yet of charges leveled against Obama by various American Likudnik Jewish leaders including Mort Klein of the the Zionist Organization of America, Malcolm Hoenlein of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, and a counsel at the American Jewish Committee."

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