Rassegna Stampa Elezioni Israeliane 2009

Monitoraggio attraverso i media internazionali delle elezioni in Israele del Febbraio 2009

By indictment or by upheaval?

Posted by claudiacampli su 25 febbraio, 2009

Haaretz

Amit Segal

Look at them, the 120 people who will stand at the Knesset assembly this afternoon. Their finest suits will be adorned with decorative flowers. Their ranks will include 21 women, eight journalists, two converts. Statistics hint to us that somewhere there are also three future indictments, 10 investigations and an undisclosed number of regretful ethical embarrassments.

And still, the 18th Knesset congregating today will try to be a different one. With all due reservations, we can note it has a chance or two. Even before it’s birth, it already staved off the prophesied catastrophic fall of voting rates. It has a minority of professors and generals, two groups who promised much but delivered little. It doesn’t have any trendy parties, but does has some serious, articulated men of principle. It will have some speakers worth listening to. Let’s hope it won’t mess it all up.

The 18th Knesset, if one can try and delineate such a variety of individuals, culminates several processes on the move of Israeli politics over the past few decades. It has none of the 1920s generation, but has a solid representation of those born in the 1970s. None of its members voted on the Camp David Accords with Egypt; in fact, the youngest new MK wasn’t even born at the time.

Over 100 of the 120 MKs were born after 1948; almost none of them will remember seeing British policemen walk our streets. The eldest member of the departing parliament was in the ninth decade of his life. Now, the father of the congregating house will not even be entirely gray-haired. The jeans generation is entering the place where jeans are banned (and even that strange regulation will expire in a few days’ time).

But the breaking news of the new parliament is the new bunch ambling in to challenge politics itself. In the next few months we will observe with interest Nitzan Horowitz’s attempts to channel bubbling green energy to rigid parliamentary frameworks; the original bills of Uri Orbach, perhaps the next leader of religious Zionism; Tzipi Hotovely from the Likud and Hanin Zoabi from Balad, two firebrand, ideological MKs still living with their parents.

We will also curiously examine the attempts of Kach members Michael Ben-Ari and Itamar Ben-Gvir to fit in with the system that showed their original movement the door 20 years ago.

Yesterday they rejected repeating Kahane’s demonstrative refusal to take the oath, perhaps a sign of growing up. Will the Knesset manage to contain all those differences and stay wholesome, respectable, or even relevant? This is the very gist of democracy, and this is the parliament’s true test.

The Knesset canteen serves a secret ingredient, one that makes the stars that enter it leave gray, faded, jaded and exhausting politicians. Which of the new members escape this fate? Who will survive for 20 years, and who will leave mid-term, broken and worn out? This thick mist is exactly what makes the Knesset the most interesting place around.

But opportunities to be disappointed with the Knesset will surely come. Now we can perhaps still admire what we’ve already got. The Givat Ram compound is perhaps the last place where members of each and every population in the country can still meet.

Considering the constitution of the new Knesset, one may treat it with some leniency. The new cohort of MKs is considerably more sober and mature than many of its predecessors. None of them pronounced himself a future prime minister, a savior of democracy, or a Messiah. The guarded pessimism of Daniel Ben-Simon, Nahman Shay and company is good enough reason for guarded optimism.

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