Sunday, August 07, 2005

Bibi Resigns.

Bibi, really after 12 to 18 months of speculation, resigned as the Finance Minister today. The immediate effect was a down turn in the Tel Aviv Stock exchange, as investors and business people become nervous that all of Bibi's reforms will not be instituted. It appears that Bibi will have the support of Natan Scharansky as this situation moves forward. Bibi's statements about the resignation are a last minute shot across PM Sharon's bow.

There are two things that came to mind from hearing about this. One is, why did he wait until it is really to late, with only 1 week left, to do anything about the disengagement and then use this as his reasoning for the disengagement. The second was how will this affect things in Israel.

My thinking on this is really not all that complicated. I think this throws several kinks in the disengagement plan for the sitting government. First, I think it is going to hurt Sharon's popularity and effectiveness with the business community in Israel and possible abroad. Bibi's reform plans were both popular and necessary. Yes, they did dig deep in to some people's pockets but in the long run it would have made Israel a much stronger economic force.

Second it will give the anti-disengagement movement a very high profile, very well spoke, and fairly well regarded spokesman both inside and outside Israel. He has made several legitimate statements about how the disengagement will affect Israel, in his resignation speach, based on the Shin Bak and Military Intellegence assements on the situation. (And I have to admit, some of these areas were things that I had personal concerns about with disengagement.)

The biggest disadvantage to Bibi and the anti-disengagement movement is that some may see this as nothing more than a political move that is designed to undercut Sharon at a key time and to boost Bibi toward the PM's position in his place. The problems as I seem them though are far out weighed by the possible good this will do for Israel in the long run.

In addition to all of this, I have a suspicion that this will lead to early elections with in Likud for the leadership positions and probably to early elections, with the national/parlimentary elections possibly being held before the end of the year.

Arutz Sheva Story

Bibi's resignation was, lulei demistafina, nothing more than a call for a referencum on the likud leadership.
That may be true. I think that Bibi is trying to force the issue before the vote was supposed to occur. I also think, as I stated in the post that the likelihood is that this will force early national elections.
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