Cem Ozdemir’s support for Israel is considered unshakable.
Read his reasons, with reference to the polls and the system.
A late post – on Ha’aretz, how the Israeli electorate voted, by sector and by city. Look at the Israeli Arab support for Hadash, and the Bedouin support for the Arab List, parties which did not engage many other Israelis. This is a manifestation of the deep schism in Israeli society which organisations like The Abraham Fund are working to bridge.
The presence of Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s George Galloway (only more nightmarishly, Lieberman’s no loser) is likely to exascerbate things. I came across this piece in Lebanon’s Daily Star, urging Hamas to be more like Lieberman and represent himself better to a Western audience. Two things occurred: the reason Hamas hasn’t made much of their muttered acknowledgement of Israel’s right to exist with it’s ’67 borders, is because it’s not official, and until it’s official, then you have to treat it as unofficial – i.e. positive, something to build upon, but uncommitted. The other thing is that the Daily Star thought that Lieberman’s charm offensive was smoke and mirrors, whereas Hamas are angels with dirty faces. I’m not convinced.
On the Israel Green Movement-Meimad’s unofficial blog, Daniel discusses the election results.
See too Jonathan Freedland’s video report from The Guardian discussing the significance of the party with the biggest share of the vote being on the losing side of the political divide, and criticising the pure PR political system where the politicians end up answering to each other rather than their voters.
From Jon Pike, on Engage:
Ballot papers for the NEC elections in the UCU will be dropping into members’ in trays in the next few days. Below we reproduce advice from a group of independent NEC members – sometimes known as the ‘unity network.’ This group provides the best hope of redirecting the union towards genuine representation of its members.
We think this is good advice for those who wish to curb the control of the union by the pro-boycott slate put forward by SWP/UCUleft.
(In the election for president, whilst both Terry Hoad and Stephen Desmond are opponents of a boycott of Israeli universities, Stephen has been a very clear and outspoken voice on the NEC, and for this reason we think he deserves your first preference, with second preferences going to Terry. We reprint the recommendations of the unity network unchanged and in full below, and trust you to make up your own minds).
We will publish candidates responses to questions from Engage in a separate post. Please vote, encourage your colleagues to vote, and pass on this message.
Please find below a list of recommendations for the current round of UCU elections. The list is a recommendation, designed to maximise the number of seats these candidates can win: if you have your own preferences please follow them but continue preferences for these candidates. The candidates listed below all strongly support the position that the priorities for UCU must be to put workplace and industrial issues to the forefront of the agenda. Unlike others in the election, all of the candidates below were free to write their own manifestoes and set out their priorities directly to you, the members. All are free to vote on their own platform and will vote in the NEC according to the arguments made on issues, not according to policy decisions determined in external bodies to stifle debate in the NEC.
While voting may seem a laborious process, we would strongly encourage you to vote this year, as the NEC more than any other body sets the direction which the Union takes. Please exercise the preferences to cover all those in the list: the first two years have proven that transfers and fractions of votes are vital in the election. In addition, please resist the urge to only vote in sector-specific elections.
Also please forward this list to as many colleagues and UCU members as possible encouraging them to vote through unofficial e-mail lists, research lists etc (NB: UNLESS IT HAS BEEN SANCTIONED THROUGH COMMITTEES OR GENERAL MEETINGS, PLEASE DO NOT USE BRANCH MEMBER LISTS AS CANDIDATES HAVE BEEN WARNED ABOUT THIS). Voting does make a difference in this election as there are vast differences between candidates as to what the union’s priorities and directions should be.
Vice-president from the higher education sector
- Terry Hoad (University of Oxford) # 1
- Stephen Desmond (Thames Valley University)# 2
- Alan Carr (Open University) #1
- Fawzi Ibrahim (College of North West London) # 2
North West, higher education sector (2 seats)
Recommend that those in University of Manchester, Salford and Manchester Metropolitan University vote Dobson(1), Brooks (2), Other NW members vote Brooks (1) Dobson (2)
- Roger Brooks (University of Liverpool)
- John Dobson (University of Salford)
South, higher education sector (3 seats)
Recommend that those in the University of Kent post-92 institutions (except Portsmouth) and vote Hayes (1); Sussex, Southampton, Exeter, Bath, Bristol and Portsmouth vote Guild (1); Open, Oxford, Surrey and Reading vote Kane (1). After that vote the remaining two candidates #2 and #3
- Jim Guild (University of Sussex)
- Dennis Hayes (Canterbury Christ Church University)
- Lesley Kane (Open University)
Scotland (HE): Honorary Secretary
- Angela Roger (University of Dundee)
Scotland (HE): President
- Lesley McIntosh (Robert Gordon University)
UK-elected members, further education (5 seats, at least one in land-based education, at least two women)
PLEASE GIVE PREFERENCES TO ALL THESE CANDIDATES
- Monica Goligher (Belfast Metropolitan College) woman
- Tricia Gott (Bradford College) woman
- Kathy Taylor (Northumberland College) woman
UK-elected members, higher education (7 seats, at least one post-92, at least two women)
PLEASE GIVE PREFERENCES TO ALL THESE CANDIDATES
- Dave Anderson (University of Glasgow)
- Philip Burgess (University of Dundee)
- John Dobson (University of Salford)
- Jimmy Donaghey (Queen’s University Belfast)
- Joe Gluza (University of Cambridge)
- Anne-marie Greene (University of Warwick) woman
- Bob Langridge (Oxford Brookes University) post-92
- Bethan Norfor (Open University) woman
Representative of disabled members
- Roger Walters (Open University) HE
Representative of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender members
- Stephen Desmond (Thames Valley University) HE
“Therein lies some explanation for the growing strength of the right. Despite the Gaza attack, the missiles are still landing. They are fewer in number but hundreds of thousands of people in the south of the country continue to live under threat of attack. A truce with Hamas is said to be in the offing but is not certain. In addition, a few missiles landing in the north, fired from Lebanon, have served as a reminder that Hizbullah is believed to have thousands of rockets ready to fire into Israel’s populated areas.
The vast majority of Israelis believe the government was correct to attack Hamas. Some feel stricken and ashamed about the death and damage inflicted on Palestinians; but it’s clear that national sentiment accepts this could not be avoided given the army’s set goal to suffer minimum casualties among its soldiers – and Hamas’ commitment to destroy the Jewish state.
Nor do most Israelis care much about the widespread international condemnation of the Gazan horrors.”Where were the world’s protests when the missiles were raining down on us for eight years?” is an often-heard question. The criticisms of Israel are dismissed as hypocrisy at best and antisemitism at worst.
Add the pervading suspicion and rejection of Palestinians because of suicide bombings during the intifada; weariness about peace negotiations without end; anger at indications that Israeli Arabs, who form 20% of the population, are siding increasingly with their Palestinian brethen; worry that Iran will soon have nuclear weapons and the unceasing poisonous rhetoric of its President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and there is ample scope for those whose policies are based on fear.
Most Israelis want a strong leader who will protect them.”
Boycotting British Greens, insofar as they have any discernible effect, only confirm this. The kind of hostility to Israel we see among boycotters will never bring about a change of heart – it’s very simple: ordinary Israelis feel they have no choice.
The main business of those who make the Palestinian national liberation their priority is to do what they can to help build a consensus for peace among Israeli and Palestinian society for a negotiated settlement and a renouncement of violence.
An Israeli voter considers the choices, spending a lot of time criticising the main players before ending:
“Of course, my most natural bedfellows are Meretz-Yachad, but they remain too elitist, and I can’t stand Amos Oz playing Ovadia Yosef to the café-dwellers. Which leaves Meimad-Yeruka [we’ve been referring to them as Israel Green Movement-Meimad] an intriguing hybrid of environmentalism and liberal orthodoxy. They first caught my eye in Umm-el-Fahm, when a long time Arab Hadash voter told me he was considering switching his allegiances to the new boys. Their central contention is that the environment is the only issue which can actually unite the whole country, and it’s with this banner that they’re trying to win over voters from across the ethnic and political divide. They’re not bound to the old ideological assumptions, and their presence in an increasingly stagnant political arena is refreshing. The question is will they pass their threshold, or will supporting them be a wasted vote?”
In The Guardian, a piece on Israeli political blogging in advance of the elections.
“Assuming the polls are accurate – and they have been quite consistent – Israeli voters are poised to elect a rightwing government in next week’s elections. But if bloggers were representative of the mainstream, Israel’s next government would probably be a Jewish-Arab coalition of socialists, social democrats and environmentalists.
The disparity between the polls and the blogosphere is quite remarkable – especially in Tel Aviv, Israel’s liberal heartland, where the two parties vying for the votes of hipsters and leftist intellectuals are the Green Movement-Meimad, an environmentalist–religious partnership headed by a liberal rabbi; and Hadash, a Jewish-Arab socialist party.
The Hebrew-language blogger Ori Katzir made a survey of 92 prominent political bloggers. According to the final breakdown, the Green Movement-Meimad leads with 30 supporters, while Hadash comes in second with 27. It is the polar opposite of the opinion polls, which show Likud leading and Avigdor Lieberman’s hardline Yisrael Beiteinu poised to tie with Labour.”
By the very thoughtful and interesting Lisa Goldman.