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the blog

Tuesday May 8, 2007

Bipartisan Government Fails Israel

Atrios asks today, "How much attention has Unity08 - the stupidest idea in history - been given already?"

Unity08 is trying to nominate a presidential ticket made up of one Republican and one Democrat. To do what?

Apparently, it doesn't matter. As Emboldened found, "they have no platform."

It's just bipartisanship for bipartisanship's sake, the notion that all of our problem can be solved in the mythical "sensible middle" if it weren't for those awful partisans.

Problem is, we've just seen that philosophy put into practice, in Israel. And it's falling flat on it's face.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert leads the newly formed party Kadima, or Forward, styled as a center-right party rejecting the orthodoxies of right-wing Likud and center-left Labor.

When Kadima didn't get enough votes to solely control the government, it formed a coalition government with Labor as the main partner -- Labor's leader Amir Peretz was given the key position of Defense Minister.

Essentially, the kind of "unity" government for which Unity08 pines.

But what did this glorious unity provide? No brilliant ideas, no fresh approaches, no breakthroughs for peace.

(Of course, the Bush Administration's determination to undermine any peace progress didn't help either.)

And now, in the wake of a failed war, the prime minister's approval is in single digits and the government is about to fall.

The prevailing wisdom in Israel appears to be that Olmert and Peretz should be ousted for incompetence, for mismanaging the war in Lebanon, though there are other voices that believe the war was a failure of ideology that shouldn't have been launched at all.

That's for the Israeli people to sort out, but it's fair to say that to tackle difficult problems you need both: principled vision and competent execution.

And bipartisanship for bipartisanship's sake, compromise for compromise sake, is not the magic shortcut that brings vision and competence.

It did not solve Israel's conflicts with it's neighbors. It will not automatically solve our quagmire in Iraq.

Because bipartisan support for a bad policy, is still bad policy.

Posted by Bill Scher on May 8, 2007 email post email Spotlight / / You are in Israel-Palestine
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