Presidential Fail

Jan 12 2009 Published by under Accidental, Humor

At his "farewell" press conference earlier today, President Bush commented that, "most Israelis understand there needs to be a democracy on their border in order for there to be long-lasting peace." A short time later, Israel announced that they were barring Arab political parties from running in next month's parliamentary elections.

9 responses so far

  • BaldApe says:

    Did I miss something, or isn't Hamas the elected government of the Palestinian territories?
    "They've got to be protected,
    all their rights respected
    until somebody we like can be elected!"
    Tom Lehrer

  • Paul Murray says:

    If southerners have a right to fly the Confederate flag, then palestinians have the right to elect Hamas.

  • Yeah, I was disturbedwhen I saw that in the news. I strongly suspect that the Israeli Supreme Court is going to step in and say no. I suspect that if they had tried to get certain specific parties or candidates that are actively seeking to undermine the state they'd have have some chance of this not getting overturned (and for that matter, it would be far more acceptable behavior).

  • Scott Conger says:

    In the end, you have to change people's minds instead of just their political affiliation.
    Let's say the vast majority of the population belongs to a party and you ban it. The former members will either make a new political party, or join other ones and bring their ideology with them.

  • Erp says:

    These are the two Israeli non-Jewish Arab political parties that were banned (Balad and United Arab List). They currently have 7 members in the Knesset (out of 120). Five other members of the Knesset are also non-Jewish Arabs; 2 in Hadash (out of the 3 members it has), 2 in Labour (out of 19) and 1 (a Druze) in Likud (out of 12). Non-Jewish Arabs make up about 20% of the Israeli population (I'm not sure whether this percentage includes the Jerusalem non-Jewish Arab population who though they were born and live in Israel mostly can't vote in Knesset elections).
    Balad was also banned in the previous election but the ban was overturn by the Israeli Supreme Court.

  • Scott Conger wrote:

    In the end, you have to change people's minds instead of just their political affiliation.
    Let's say the vast majority of the population belongs to a party and you ban it. The former members will either make a new political party, or join other ones and bring their ideology with them.

    I agree. And I don't think Bush is trying so hard to convince us otherwise so much as he is trying to convince himself he hasn't been as bad a president as people are telling him. I think in the end a lot of Bush's statements can be seen as whistling past a graveyard in the dark:
    http://normdoering.blogspot.com/2009/01/introducing-derren-brown.html

  • Metro says:

    "Presidential Fail"
    A fitting title for the Bush chapter in American History texts to come.

  • Soz says:

    "A short time later, Israel announced that they were barring Arab political parties from running in next month's parliamentary elections."
    Correction:
    1. Two Arab parties were banned for inciting violence and not recognizing Israel's right to exist
    2. There are other Arab parties, so they didn't ban all of them
    3. Arabs are not banned from voting
    4. Arabs are not banned from running or forming political parties
    And lastly:
    5. The previous political party to be banned was a Jewish extremist party which argued that all Arabs should be thrown out of Israel.
    Just to bring some perspective to this.

  • Sigmund says:

    It's just a political gesture to attract the extreme right wing vote in the upcoming elections. That is why most commentators in Israel expect it to be thrown out by the courts (as it was the last time they tried it before the previous election).
    Organizing protests about the Gaza war is called incitement to violence and refusal to accept Israel as a 'Jewish state' (rather than simply a secular state) is seen as traitorous by those who have pushed for the ban.
    The above reasoning by Soz is hilariously stupid.
    Its like banning the Democratic party from the US elections and saying - "well there is still another party available and you can still vote. This means there's no problem!"