In Jerusalem, heading for Tel Aviv

There are so many discussions swirling around this Israeli election. I’ve tried to distill them into several posts. Direct links below. We’re on air at 1800GMT.

Photostream updated all day from Israel.

What else matters to Israelis? / An oath of loyalty for all? / Proportional representation at its best? / Israel’s role in the world / Latest on the election campaign

34 Responses to “In Jerusalem, heading for Tel Aviv”

  1. 1 steve
    February 9, 2009 at 12:53

    go to Molly Blooms! It’s by the US Embassy on Hayakon near the beach!

  2. 2 Meir Avrahami
    February 9, 2009 at 14:17

    You have nothing on the economic situation

    A low poll will help religious parties wanting welfare handouts for large families something Likud leader Bibi Netenyahu was very much against until these elections!

  3. 3 bendana
    February 9, 2009 at 14:59

    I am bendana in Kampala,

    Who ever wins the Israel P/ministership should stop the madness of killing innocent palestines in the name of fighting terrorists.The US must also not keep quiet about the injustices against the palestines. I personaly still believe that the US is the custodian of the values of human rights, and freedom.It must show no double standards in reference to Israeli.

  4. 4 vincent de
    February 9, 2009 at 15:32

    Question ?

    Iran says it has launched its first domestically made satellite into orbit.

    President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the launch had been successful and that with it Iran had “officially achieved a presence in space”.

    The satellite, carried on a Safir-2 rocket, was meant for telecommunication and research purposes, state TV said.

    A US state department official said the launch was of “great concern” and could lead to ballistic missile development. Iran insists its intent is peaceful.

    France has also expressed concern, saying the technology used was “very similar” to that used in ballistic missiles.

    Iran is subject to United Nations sanctions because some Western powers think it is trying to build a nuclear bomb.

    What does Isreal think, and how will they deal with Iran?

  5. 5 Steve
    February 9, 2009 at 15:59

    @ Bendana

    Innocent people get killed every day in Darfur, innocent people are getting killed in Sri Lanka right now, yet, nobody every seems to care unless Israel does it. Very interesting. look forward to the show.

  6. February 9, 2009 at 16:00

    Salaam to Al Quds Al Sharif…
    I do have one innocent question : If the Israeli voters willingly bring to power an extremist, anti-peace government, will the outside world condemn, or even show its concern over that choice ?! I am not demanding at all that the Israeli people should be totally isolated from the outside world or suffer starvation and despairation as a result of their democratic choice which I fully respect and appreciate, no, God forbid ! I am just wondering, can the fully democratic choice of a nation ever be used as a justification inorder to harm the people of that nation in one way or another ?! I mean I can say that if those ultra-nationalist and extremist parties win the elections, then that means that the Israeli people aren’t interested in peace in the 1st place, correct me if I am wrong, but does the agenda of any of these ultra-nationalist and extremist parties (which are supposed to win the majority of votes according to the opinion polls) contain finding a fair and perminant peaceful solution to the Arab Israeli struggle ?! Of course not (and I stand corrected for that too)… So if the citizens of Israel aren’t interested in peace in the 1st place, then what does that indicate ?! With my love… Yours forever, Lubna in Baghdad…

  7. 7 faysal
    February 9, 2009 at 16:07

    @ Vincent De
    Is Israel charged and appointed to deal with every event that could take place in the area,if not in the whole world?By whom Mr. Vincent?And for how long? Isn’t time for Israel to seek for Peace?

  8. 8 Mel UK
    February 9, 2009 at 16:20

    Question ?

    Reference: The live broadcast on Israeli radio by the distraught physician Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish, minutes after his house in Gaza was deliberately tank shelled killing his 3 daughters and niece 2 days before the Israeli ‘end of hostilities’. Dr. Abuelaish workes in both Israel and Gaza and speaks fluent hebrew.

    An Israeli IDF inquiry suggested the house was a legitimate target suggesting snipers were on the roof. All evidence points to the contrary.

    To what extent does Israel attempt to suppress any accusations of war crimes, and resist any independent investigations into alleged war crimes in Gaza and other areas?

  9. February 9, 2009 at 16:56

    Whoever win tomorrow must takes Isreali security seriously and peace building initiative between Isrealis and Plastinians and say no! to any of the Iranians govt foriegn policies.

  10. February 9, 2009 at 16:58

    Ah, the reason we’re not talking about innocent people getting killed in Darfur, DCR, or Iraq is that this page is dedicated to talk about the Israeli elections if I weren’t mistaken, and I do have another question that relates to this issue : If war crimes are being committed in Darfur, DCR, or elsewhere, will that make the horrific war crimes committed by the Israeli military forces any less wrong or evil ?! Wow, now that’s a nice principle, if Tom steals, then I should steal too, and if I ever get caught, then I’ll just say : I shouldn’t be punished for stealing, simply b/c Tom steals… With my love… Yours forever, Lubna in Baghdad…

  11. 11 Justin from Iowa
    February 9, 2009 at 18:11


    The answer to your question, is nothing. Its a sad comment on the hypocrisy of our times, that when the Palestinians elected, democratically, a hostile government, they were pre-emptively judged and assaulted. Yet a similar action by the Israelis will generate no effect.

  12. 12 viola
    February 9, 2009 at 18:15

    I wonder if Israelis and Palestinians and Darfurians and Sudanese and Congolese and Croatians and Serbs and the United Nations, United Kingdom, United States, and so forth have really looked at the issue of how populations composed of warring elements should be dealt with. So often, as does Mr. Lieberman, the solution appears to them to be to divide the populations from each other territorially.

    I would ask him and every other person who has pondered this issue if that particular solution has ever really worked? Hasn’t it at the most brought a short period of relative calm to warring areas and populations and as soon as recovery happens the actual, unresolved conflicts resurface and it has to be done all over again? When does it stop? Has it ever led to peace?

    Wouldn’t it actually be more sensible and long-lasting to tackle the issues of why populations hate each other so much, why that hatred is allowed to take precedence over any actual solutions in what are after all human relationship issues, and how that dynamic can be overcome?

    Jesus Christ, M. Gandhi, Martin Luther King and others have shown the world better ways to bring needed change in human relationships. Isn’t it time for the people of the world to take those teachings seriously and put them into practice?

    Can Israel be the nation to find the way through this? Does Israel want to? Is this one of those “Let this Cup Pass from Me” moments? If so, remember the rest: “Even so, not my will, thine be done.” It’s a tough one and isn’t fair, but what else is new?

  13. 13 Michelle from Jamaica
    February 9, 2009 at 18:26

    Has Israel’s tollerance of Christians improved? I hope so. I hope their new government will encourage tollerance for all religious belief. I hope too that the new government will engage in dialog with the Palestinian people and will arrive at sustainable peace, and create two states. The security of all the civilians both Palestinians and Isrealis should be their first priority.

  14. February 9, 2009 at 18:27

    Good show today Ros.

    The two state solution is not workable.

    I advocate the United Territories of Israel-Palestine, a SECULAR, constitutional state in which all Israelis, Jews and Muslims alike, would be equal citizens.

    It may eventually be necessary for the world community to impose this solution on the region against their wishes, in the name of long-term world security.

  15. 15 C.Washington
    February 9, 2009 at 18:32

    Are there any candidates that advocate for America to stay out of the affairs of the middle east and if so do you support them?

    Sending this from Washington DC

  16. 16 JP
    February 9, 2009 at 18:37

    What is wrong with this show… Every time I listen, which is daily, not only do the hosts constantly interrupt their guests, but the guests keep doing the same. How about a little control that doesn’t cause the show to sound like a gaggle of geese all squawking at once.

  17. 17 ~Dennis Junior~
    February 9, 2009 at 18:37

    What else matters to Israelis?
    Security, economic problems and the other problems that every country deals with…

    An oath of loyalty for all? Sounds like a good idea in theory but, in reality it probably will not work….

    Proportional representation at its best? in a country like israel, it works pretty decent…

    ~Dennis Junior~

  18. February 9, 2009 at 18:42

    Israel and Palestine probably have more in common with each other than they do with any other country in the world. A lasting peace can only be achieved through dialogue. The new Israeli government must be willing to speak and negotiate with Hamas if there’s any chance of a cecation of violence in the future. Neither side can have victory over the other through military means. 30 years of conflict in Northern Ireland is a prime example of this.

    I’m sure George Michel will agree that dialogue is crucial.

    Sheridan Flynn,

  19. 19 IK from KALW
    February 9, 2009 at 18:51

    I’d like to know more about the background of these Israelis. A few of these people sound American. When did they move to israel? How do they feel about the fact that they have more rights to the land than Palestinians?

    Also, please stop interrupting and come armed with some facts.

  20. 20 Caroline
    February 9, 2009 at 18:53

    Out of curiosity – what would happen to Israel without American funding? How about making Israel economically independent? Where would the money come from for the massive army and other police infrastructure?

  21. 21 Jim
    February 9, 2009 at 19:21

    This might sound simplistic, but if settlers want to remain on the West Bank.. let them. Once a new Independent Palestinian State is established, the settlers will live in Palestine and have to abide by their law and fall under the Palestinian protection. I would expect the new Palestinian State will respect and accept them as legal residents in their country.

    If after a time the settlers want to relocate back to Israel, they would then be received with open arms and repatriated.

    I would not expect Israel to run to their defense if they are no longer living within Israel

  22. 22 Bert
    February 9, 2009 at 22:54

    I don’t see how any solution other than a two-state solution can possibly work for Israel and Palestine. But at the same time, the sequence of events is so predictable.

    First, you get what appear to be fruitful talks between Israeli and Gazan or other Palestinian leaders.

    Next, as a solution seems on the horizon, Islamist militants shoot rocket salvos, blow themselves up in an Israeli market, or a bus, or other venue crowded with innocent civilians, and we’re back to square minus-one.

    My hope is that Israel elect a moderate government, of course. And that Islamists would let the peace process move forward. But I’ve been around long enough to know this ain’t likely to happen. If the stated goal of Hamas is to eliminate the state of Israel, then we first have to hear that Hamas has changed that primary mission of theirs. Still, Israel MUST take the first step, time and time again.

  23. 23 Ali Arar
    February 10, 2009 at 03:14

    Good luck to voting Israelis and may the winner succeed with his work.

    Ah, if only all countries could have free and open elections. They aren’t perfect, but they’re the best available to us humans at the moment. Unfortunately only a few societies are lucky enough, while most of us are ruled by dictators, generals, kings, emirs, mullahs, etc.

    The problems of Israelis and Palestinian Arabs are for them to solve — they live there. Those who do not live there should look after their own problems first before criticizing others.

    Remember, being a professional Israel-hater does not make you cool or make people like you! It certainly won’t put bread on the table. Go do something useful for the Arab world — start a business.

  24. 24 victoria
    February 10, 2009 at 04:49

    I think hearing people act real and interrupt each other and let it all hang out, and hearing moderators interrupt the interrupting guests is great – I was enlivened by it, made me want to be there ~
    As for the growing segregationist and militant trends in Israel, it’s a sure fire way to ramp up the violence, to push the whole world over that cliff; Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians is forging new hatred all across the Middle East and the rest of the world. Yes, the embers are ripe, as always, but we need to try something else!
    Everyone is melting down everywhere; we need to find ways to let each other live, and to help each other live…naive, I’m sure, but history is on my side: walls and bombs haven’t made anyone safe anywhere. Why aren’t we using our resources to create new visions?

  25. 25 John Goeckermann
    February 10, 2009 at 06:32

    ~ ~Since it is strange that the US gives billions of dollars to a rich country, we keep giving Israel the same money they have been receiving —> in the ODD years.
    ~ ~To demonstrate our sincerity and fairness, in EVEN years we give that money to the Palestinians. To even things up.
    —> BUT <—
    ~ ~Henceforth NEITHER party gets cash – – only “aid in kind” ~ ~ ~ products made in the United States, teachers and health workers paid for by the U.S. – – NO MORE WEAPONS PROVIDED FOR EITHER COUNTRY!
    ~ ~ESPECIALLY clusterbombs and white phosphorus munitions, weapons only the most disgusting and barbarous of nations would even Consider using on Anyone, much less civilian populations.
    ~ ~ ~Until the world sees that the United States is determined to behave fairly, and to insist the Israelis stop their ghettoization of the Palestinians, nobody is going to believe the US is anything but a puppet dancing to Israel’s tune.

  26. 26 Bryan
    February 10, 2009 at 08:10

    Mel UK February 9, 2009 at 16:20,

    You phrase your question in a peculiar way. It’s like asking, “Have you stopped beating your wife?” And since you have already decided that the Israeli version of events is false and the Palestinian version accurate, why would you be interested in “independent investigations?”

    faysal February 9, 2009 at 16:07,

    Your comment makes it seem as if Israel is just looking around for a country to pick on and has decided on ‘innocent” Iran. On the contrary, Iran is the power behind Hezbollah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad. It arms, trains and finances these terror groups, which all aim for the destruction of Israel and try to achieve their goal by mostly attacking and killing Israeli civilians. The Iranian president has also called frequently for Israel’s destruction. Any Israeli government will therefore have no choice but to deal with Iran. This is obviously one of the major issues confronting voters in today’s elections.

  27. 27 Dickens
    February 10, 2009 at 08:27

    Isrealis,the constant wars you indulge in Gaza and Palestian with thier momories should not cripple your hands and mind,vote wisely puting in consideration your figure on world map.Dickens in Kampala.

  28. 28 Meir Avrahami
    February 10, 2009 at 09:52

    Just realised can you guys come for dinner – no it’s too near your broadcast time – are you still here tomorrow & can you come for lunch – I live very near J’m

  29. 29 Sulaiman
    February 10, 2009 at 11:01

    After the 1967 war Isreal occupied Arab lands. Since then the Arabs have been drumming for Isreal’s withdrawal from these lands. Isreal’s refusal to quit the lands and their decision to build settlements for its people is the major source of conflict in the area.
    My simple and straight question is: Why is Isreal hesitant to withdraw to the 1967 boarders, so that peace will rein in the land?

  30. 30 Peter Singleton
    February 10, 2009 at 11:16

    Hi Ross,

    First I am a fan of the prog. and took part once before. Israel is a place I have lived and worked for 8 years of my life so I kinow something of the reality there. Very good of you last night that you took the time to give some context to the discussion. So often this is missing, and because of the complexity its an omission that often renders the arguements irrelevant. However the point I wanted to make is this: what a lot of people fail to realise that “context” is also critically relevant in the wider sense of understanding the mentality of the Israelis, a real melting pot of a population if wever there was one! Where disd Israel come from? Why does it exist? For the answers you need look no further than the age old problem of persucution that culminated in the Holocaust. Add to that the reality of Israel surrounded by Arab nations with hostile intentions and you get the framework or context for the modern Isareli psyche. Israel’s raison détre (as someone said last night) means that the home for all Jews has its doors open; it encourages successive waves of immigration, from Europe, Africa, Russia, and so on. The Arab Israelis who also form part of the population further complicate the picture and a democracy with a proportional representation system garanteeing disproportional rpresentation for minority parties complets the picture. My take is this: for too long the extremists on both sides have been setting the agenda, and its time for the heavyweights interested in peace and prosperity for the whole region to stand up and be counted. To those who say this is an unsolvable conflict I say: look at Northern Ireland, and look at the peace agreements with Egypt, and Jordan, and even the Oslo Accords. In addition to the heavyweigts getting involved we need to see two things happen before real progress could be made: responsible, stable, secure leadership in the Palestinian camp (talk with Hamas if that can lead to progress) and a return to the moral high ground on the part of Israel.And that means halting settlements, admission/correction through compensation of whatever land was taken in the War of Independance in 1948. Moves need to taken that signal genuine desire for peace instead of simply posturing. The terms of a final settlement or at least the outlines are not so hard to imagine, they have been discussed so many times before. If the political will cannot be brought about to engineer these conditions for a peace momentum the victims will continue to be the Palestinians who pay with their lives and their poverty, and the Israelis who live under such a heavy weight of pscychlogical threat. And until recently have had to put up with a most horendous price in loss of life and liberty due to the scourge of terrorism. Which brings us back neatly to the election, and the possibility that a right wing coalition takes over power from Kadima (in itself a sort of coalition). Whatever happens it will fall to the new US administration to make the difference and change the direction of this costly conflict.

  31. 31 srinivasan
    February 10, 2009 at 17:00

    Hi i am srinivasan from india…

    Israel election is a wonderful opportunity for the israel publics… they have been provided the rights to vote… it will create a unity among Israeli nd tend think about whom to vote…
    basically, during election.. its a very valuable thing to think whom to vote… well, for this election… people have given freedom to think and vote… and sure this will bring a great change in the new developing israel…

    i have a question here…

    what could be the policy changes after the election… obviously its must be security…. how could the people been brought up ????

    and what could be the impact for the other countries in this so called melt down???

    does any one provide answer.. it would be nice… to hear….

  32. 32 Steve
    February 10, 2009 at 18:01

    @ Sulaiman

    immediately after 1967, Israel offered ALL land in return to the arabs for peace. The arabs responded with the Khartoum resolution, which said no neogiations, no recognition, and no peace with Israel. You’re not blaming Israel for the actions of the Arabs? I know it’s easy to blame Israel for everything wrong on the world, but at least look to history before you comment.

  33. 33 Jim Newman
    February 13, 2009 at 11:07

    hello again
    I think Jim has an exellent idea which is very similar to mine which unfortunately got zapped. I think that all of Palestine should become
    Palestine and any squatters who want to remain should become Palestinians. Of course zionist criminals must be brought to justice.
    I think Steve is mistaken. I can’t remember the squatters offering to hand back Palestine to it’s rightful owners.

  34. 34 Shakhoor Rehman
    February 14, 2009 at 14:03

    There is one solution a Middle East Union like the European Union. It would need a centre that can be either Cairo, Damascus, Jerusalem or any other capital in the region. Middle Easterner should be the only identity like European in Europe. Europe has started that journey. It’s long overdue that The Middle East does the same.

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