Behind the Lines: Israeli Libertarian

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Daniel Doron Speaks

fPro-market reforms weren't defeated on March 28
Originally published in Wed 26 Apr 2006 in The Jerusalem Post

Commentators and pundits claim that the Likud’s election defeat signifies a rejection of Binyamin Netanyahu’s pro-market reforms and the embrace of the socialist policies of Amir Peretz’s Labor Party.

Nothing of the sort. While the formation of a Kadima-Labor coalition will most probably result in the adoption of some of Labor’s disastrous economic policies, the predominant reason for the election results has been, as usual, a concern with the Arab-Israeli conflict and much less with economic issues.

You can read the rest here.

I doubt this greatly though. If pro-market candidates could win elections in Israel, the pro-market opinion would be so much more noticeable in this country. I mean... does Israel even look like it has a pro-market majority?

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Is there no limit?

What now? What? Is there no depth of idiocy to which people will not descend? Is the human mind, the basic decency, not supposed to rebel at some point and scream: God, I'm not supposed to be doing this, this is stupid? Do not people have some form of shame?!

Now, as some of you may now, there's such a thing in the world as a PISA exam. It's an international exam taken by school children to compare the quality of the schools in different industrialised nations.One of these nations is Israel.

As you understand, the whole point of the exam is that it's taken in classes all over one's nation, with the young and innocent taking it with no preparation above what they normally study in school. Why? To test their normal school study levels.

So, the teachers in Israel, apparently having failed reading comprehension, claim that the students in Israel are not ready for this exam, and must receive additional instruction (yes, I am aware that this defeats the whole point). Of course, the teachers would receive overtime pay for this. They have started demanding this, and now they are on strike because all their attempts to get the Ministry of Education to go along have failed.

So they are now on strike – depriving the pupils of whatever instruction they get. And now they are even further outraged, and why?

Because the PISA exams will be taken in the various schools on different dates starting on April 23rd. Of course, they will be on strike – unless the eeeeevil Ministry of Education succeeds with it's lawsuit that would rule striking just on the day of the exam illegal and make the teachers actually work for a day, on pain of losing pay.

The teachers are now claiming that by doing this, the government had 'declared war on the teachers' union'.

Oh god! The outrageous concept that people actually work for their wages! For one whole day!

The union people have also added: “If these people win the lawsuit – God forbid – then we will find other ways to hurt them, if you know that I mean.”,7340,L-3241146,00.html

Monday, April 17, 2006

Blast In South Tel Aviv Injures At Least 30 people

This just in.

To tell the truth, I can't really comment on this in any way - no information.

So just linking you all.

In the meanwhile, in Golani camp...

A total of 17 veteran Golani Brigade infantry soldiers, angered by a series of disciplinary an procedural moves within their unit, abandoned a northern border stronghold which faces Hezbollah troops, Army Radio said on Monday.

In what was described by Army Radio as a "mutiny," the 17 soldiers left the fortress after six of them underwent a disciplinary hearing for an incident in which one allegedly dumped shampoo on sleeping bags belonging to soldiers from a yeshivat hesder unit [which combines religious studies with army service].

The soldiers fled to the nearby town of Kiryat Shmona, where they hid in an abandoned structure, eluding senior brigade officers and other commanders for hours.

From Ha'aretz .

Yet again, Golani troops demonstrate their proclivity to obey discipline. Now, observe what those procedural moves where.

The radio said the protest was staged after the brigade commander, Colonel Tamir Yadai, had implemented regulations canceling many privileges previously accorded veteran soldiers within Golani...

Note here: These privilege are illegal in the first place. They involve veteran soldiers (that is, people nearing the end of their mandator service) abusing the younger troops and making them work for them. And they mutiny when this is is cancelled. well as forbidding them from singing certain songs traditionally sung by the unit's soldiers.

Just a little WTF moment for you.


This is not new to Golani.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Citizens Against Liberman.

There has been now a host of people who collected, and submitted to Ollmert, 300 signatures, urging him to abstain from including Liberman in the coalition. Among these people is leftist intellectual and writer Joshua Sobol. They claim, for no basis in fact that I know of, that Liberman wants to deny the right to vote to Arab-Israelis. Liberman, true, advocates an oath of fealty to Israel as obligatory to vote and to be elected, but this is (while it is wrong and I oppose it) – not the same as full-on racial discrimination. He has also repeatedly said he will give up that position in order to implement his other, comparatively sane reforms.

Now, to be clear: I oppose Liberman, and he's a crazy racist fuck.

But to say he's not a legitimate part of the political process – while the Shas party, which claims gays are sick people, the Kadima party, headed by the most corrupt idiots in Israeli society, the Labor party – with it's almost equal corruption and hatred of 'the rich' – are is unbelievable in it's hypocrisy.. How is Liberman worse then Shas?

Again: I did not vote for Liberman. Not will I vote for him in 2010, unless of course he ditches his racism.

Further I ask: Why should Ollmert consider the signatures of 300 people and not the votes of the dozens of thousands who voted for Liberman?

PS: The Yediot Ahronot article is here.,7340,L-3239748,00.html

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Look at this fellow.

This man to the right is Valese. Israel Vales. He is the son of a "famous Haredi family", and he's under arrest for killing his three-month old child. I do not say he is a suspect, because he confessed this crime. According to Tuesdays 'Israeli' newspaper, he was upset because the child didn't let him sleep. He 'elineated before the investigators the different ways in which he 'calmed down' the child - beatings, kickings, biting, and finally smashing the child's head against the wall.' Numerous bite marks and other signs of injury were found on the baby's body.

You would think it'd be over once he confessed. But oh no. He's now claimed he's been 'intimidated into confession'. There are now eminent rabbis coming out to his defense, claiming the 'allegations are as false as the ones the evil Europeans mounted on our ancestors'.

At last news report, people are rioting in Jerusalem, burning trash cans and demanding his release.

Only one quote is needed from Israel's media: Members of the ultra-Orthodox community have been disseminating flyers containing threats of rioting unless Vales is released by Passover eve. The community is convinced of Vales' innocence, despite his confession to having beaten his son. The flyers call for the community to "unite and protest against this blood libel" and declares the arrest to be an "evil conspiracy" devised by the "evil regime" against the "dear gentle young man."

This is the Ha'aretz report.

Observe now:

You create a welfare system designed to encourage people not to work, but instead to have 5, 6, 10 children.

You encourage people monetarily not to work, but to 'study the Torah'.

You create a community where people do not work, but have children and 'study the Torah'.

Then, in that community, people are encouraged to have children as early as possible - no matter whether they are mature enough to handle it.

This is your creation.

Israeli legislators, meet Israel Vales.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Why I am not posting about the coalition forming.

First, a lot of the coalition comments are lies. A lot of party members, on all sides, are deliberately issuing false reports, or making moves deliberately planned to confuse their opponents, such as Labour's attempt to form a government led by Peretz. Since all parties have cadres of trained spinmeisters to produce false information, while the coalition talks themselves are secret – with little sources of true information, I see it pointless to comment on the situation.

Second, what really determines the situation in the country is the public mood. As of now, according to polls, the majority of the citizens of Israel want a bigger government. Only twenty-seven percent want less taxes and less government intervention.

Read it again: Twenty-seven percent.

And then tell me, how for the love of allmighty God can you expect this country to improve?

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Peretz and Ollmert join forces.

It is now decided. If there were any doubts at all, it has now been decided:

Ollmert will let Peretz into the coalition.

This will mean, regardless of what official assurance they offer, that the economic reforms of Netanyahu are dead. They will now allow Labor, by their very presence in the coalition, to lend credence to the ideas of socialism, while discrediting the very idea of a free market.

Nevermind whatever free-market reforms Netanyahu performed were minimal at best and thoroughly half-assed. Nevermind the corruption of Netanyahu's entourage. What the electorate remembers – and will be reminded day after day by Peretz and his men – is that this is the free market.

Let us ignore the fact that the course of privatisation and deregulation will now be slowed down if not stopped altogether. Let us ignore the fact that Labor lacks any fiscal responsiblity whatsoever – their representatives shout down Stanley Fisher because he, they say, "has no authority to speak about economics. The mere fact that they will act, consciously and deliberately, to discredit free-market ideas, should be enough.

Yes, I know Braverman, Peretz's second-in-command, claims to support the Irish or Swedish economic model (nevermidn the two are not the same), which would involve deregualtion of the market and taxing the resulting prosperity to help the poor. Does anybody really trust this guy?
Not that I would be disappointed if my expectations proved false...