Sunday, February 05, 2012

Casablanca, Israel

By Jason Gold

The human mind is truly wondrous in the way it makes certain associations. For example, during last week’s Likud elections, when I first heard the reports of voting stations in Yesha opening hours late or not at all, voting registry books missing, and Gush Katif refugees being denied ballot access, I envisioned that the current Likud ruling team had shared a session or two with the current White House occupant on the finer techniques of Chicago-style politics.

Ah, but the coup de grace was to come hours later when the results were announced showing Moshe Feiglin with an impressive (running against a sitting prime minister with one month’s notice) 36% of the vote and Bibi Netanyahu with 64%. Then one hour (!) later defying the laws of ballot physics and probability, Feiglin suddenly found himself with 24% as word of, uh, ballot count revisions, and “lost” votes began to filter in. At that moment my mind wistfully played out the scene in Casablanca with Feiglin in Humphrey Bogart’s role of Rick Blaine (Moshe would really look good in that white dinner jacket) and Bibi in place of Claude Raines’ Captain Renault with the scene looking something like this:

Rick: How can you run elections like this and try to shut me down with this voter fraud?

Renault: I am shocked, SHOCKED to find there is voter fraud occurring here (as the head election observer hands Renault an envelope and says, here are your “revised” votes, adoni).

There are several take home points from this little fiasco.

Firstly, with this election, Israel reached a new low in banana republic politics. It is rather pathetic that the most technologically advanced country in the world still resorts to paper balloting rather than a secured electronic system. With this paper balloting, it allows for scenes out of Venezuela, Nigeria or even Russia. While the recent South Carolina primaries in the US had voter fraud exposed by James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas for allowing dead people to vote, not content with allowing Techiyat Ha’Meitim (resurrection of the dead) in Israel, the current elections had Yesh Me’ein (creation from nothing) as in more votes than people voted, AND removal of people/votes to an alternate reality/dimension ala Fringe. Impressive, eh?

But perhaps the key point here is the fear that the current ruling class has for Feiglin and Manhigut Yehudit. Fear because they look outside their insulated Knesset window offices and see the future. They see the slowly but inexorable moving of the country to the right and associated higher religious observance and know that their secular Godless leadership-without-vision days are approaching an end. They know in their hearts that Feiglin, while not as pretty as Yair Lapid, is the ONLY candidate to fear (by Lapid’s own admission) and as uber leftist Avraham Burg said, the only candidate with a vision for Israel’s future. Perhaps it is that fear that explains the arrogance, stupidity, and desperation (a lethal combination) of how the fraud was so glaringly obvious.

It is now the duty of the proper authorities to do an investigation of these events for the good of the Likud to keep it from turning into another Kadima. Whether that will happen, who can say? Although no matter what happens, Feiglin still stands tall in having the courage to go up against a sitting prime minister with short notice and for running the first Lashon Hara free political campaign in the history of the planet. Hopefully we will all be shocked, SHOCKED in a very good way, and very soon. Tick tock, Bibi.


Shimshon said...

You've got it backwards. Pure electronic balloting is the Gan Eden (l'havdil) of opportunities for voter fraud. No paper trail, a computer program (whose source code is NOT available for inspection or review) is tabulating and counting the votes.

Dead people can actually vote in either system, and that is a problem that can't be solved when those in control of the system are immoral. But ballot stuffing is far more difficult in a paper ballot system.

I'm surprised you don't see it this way.

Jason Gold-Editor said...

Not really. The better systems have code that's been verified as well as redudancies and backups that are verifiable. Ballot stuffing difficult? Like I said, tell it to the Russians, Venezuelans, Nigerians, etc.

Shimshon said...

Please name even ONE system that has been "verified" in such a manner. As a software developer with decades of experience, I will add, and even insist on, that any system without open source is simply IMPOSSIBLE to verify in even the most minimal manner.

I am telling you that I have been reading for years (over a decade really) about these systems and they have been highly controversial from the very beginning. They are easily hacked, and have been hacked quite publicly many times by critics of such systems.

Practically anyone with a background in software development is going to be skeptical of such systems, since not one system that I am aware of provides enough design info to be able to verify in the manner you credulously believe.

You have just shown yourself how ballot stuffing is quite possible even in monitored elections. If you're dealing with immoral people controlling the levers of power, there is little you can do, other than have such an overwhelming victory that no one believes the bogus results.

Jason Gold-Editor said...

Can't exactly remember where but that's irrelevant now. Totally agree with your last comment. Need to focus on getting Moshe the leverage he needs so that all this becomes a pimple on an elephant's behind.