EIR Daily Alert Service, THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 19,2019

Volume 6, Number 186
EIR Daily Alert Service
P.O. Box 17390, Washington, DC 20041-0390
  • Panic on Wall Street, Danger of War-There Is No Time To Waste for the New Paradigm
  • Obama Tells Greta Thunberg ‘We’re a Team,’ and Offers Fistbumps for Climate Lunacy
  • New Hong Kong Democracy Council Launched in Washington, To Back Color Revolution
  • ‘Good Grief’ Counseling and ‘Climate Psychiatry Alliance’ Induce Youth Despair Over Climate
  • Qualified Military Officer Warns President Trump Against Falling into Neocon Iran War Trap
  • Little Appetite for U.S. War Against Iran
  • Fed Pumps Billions Into the System, First Time in a Decade
  • Phillippines Finance Secretary Dominguez Admires China’s Success in Poverty Elimination
  • Putin To Visit Saudi Arabia in October and Israel in January
  • Europeanist Argues for Europe and British To Unite Against Four Powers, U.S., Russia, China, and India
  • Moscow and Beijing Sign Nearly Two Dozen Agreements During Li Keqiang’s Russia Visit
  • Failure of Wind and Solar Gaining Recognition-Time for LaRouche’s Nuclear Program
  • U.K. Launches Research of Materials and Technology for Fusion Power Commercialization
  • Likud Loses to Blue and White Party in Israeli Elections


Panic on Wall Street, Danger of War—There Is No Time To Waste for the New Paradigm.

Sept. 18 (EIRNS)—The interbank lending system nearly exploded on Tuesday, with interbank lending rates (normally maintained at the Fed rate, which was between 2.0% and 2.25% on Sept. 17) exploded to 10% due to a lack of liquidity in the bond markets. As interest rates decline to near zero—or even negative—speculators (euphemistically known as “investors”) would rather speculate in derivatives than to buy low-yield bonds.

The Federal Reserve, for the first time since the 2008-09 panic, dumped over $128 billion into the banking system to keep things afloat—but this may not be enough to stem the tide. Also, the Fed today, as expected, lowered the Fed rate by a quarter-percent, but did not go beyond expectations in order to respond to the panic—i.e., no new quantitative easing. More paper may be needed to stall the inevitable crash, as President Donald Trump is demanding of the Fed, but nothing short of Glass-Steagall reorganization of the entire banking system can resolve the problem.

Add to that the danger of war. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is in Saudi Arabia, where some officials, U.S. and Saudi, are trying to blame Iran for the attack on the Aramco oil facilities. President Trump has insisted that he wants to avoid a war, that there are “other options,” and announced only that new sanctions would be imposed on Iran.

Meanwhile, the political situations in both the U.K. and in Israel are nearing terminal crisis. Bibi Netanyahu failed to gain a majority in the re-run of national elections yesterday, and neither he nor his primary opponent Benny Gantz have the numbers to form a government. In the U.K., the Supreme Court is hearing testimony on two suits charging Prime Minister Boris Johnson of lying (to the Queen, no less!) about his intention in suspending the Parliament. The fate of Brexit is still up in the air as the Oct. 31 deadline approaches.

And in Washington, the U.S. Congress and the media are hosting, and heaping praise on, both Joshua Wong, the boy-wonder from Hong Kong sponsored by the regime-change apparatus in London and Washington to destabilize China, and Greta Thunberg, the abused teen being paraded around the world with a doomsday message that the world will die in 12 years if industrial progress is not immediately reversed.

Barack Obama invited the pathetic Greta Thunberg to his Washington manse, declaring that he and Thunberg “are a team,” thus exposing to the world what the LaRouche movement has always known—that Obama has embraced the racist, genocidal lunacy of the British Empire’s eco-fascist demand to drive the world back to a primitive energy regime with solar panel and windmills, capable of sustaining only a small portion of the current human population.

Time is short, yet the potential for revolutionary change has never been greater. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang is in Moscow, where China and Russia have agreed to a dramatic expansion of trade and cooperation in scientific projects, including the establishment of a Joint Moon and Outer Space Research Center. Last week, in Xi’an, Helga Zepp-LaRouche, representing Germany at the 2019 Euro-Asia Economic Forum, pointed to the international cooperation in space exploration, and in the Belt and Road projects on Earth, as the necessary means for peace, while France and Italy were also represented by friends of the LaRouche movement, Jacques Cheminade and Nino Galloni.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine has insisted that international cooperation is central to the historic Moon-Mars project being implemented by the Trump Administration, and last week told LaRouche spokeswoman Kesha Rogers that he would like to help in our campaign to intervene on college campuses around the world, to win the next generation of youth to the optimism of the space program—that “The Age of Reason Is in the Stars.”


Obama tells Greta Thunberg ‘We’re a Team,’ and Offers Fistbumps for Climate Lunacy

Sept. 18 (EIRNS)—The Obama Foundation posted a short video yesterday publicizing the former President’s meeting with Greta Thunberg, in which he enthusiastically welcomed her, proclaiming how happy he was to see her “again.”

At the beginning of the video, Greta is shown saying that “the best thing we can do is be creative … and not underestimate ourselves. There’s so incredibly much you can do.”

Later, replying to Obama’s question on how the Fridays For Future and climate strikes were going, she commented “very well … all the young people seem so eager, so enthusiastic,” and that “no one is too small to have an impact and change the world, so do everything you can.”

To show his solidarity with her cause, at the end of their brief exchange, Obama told Thunberg “we’re a team…. You’re changing the world, so we’re very excited to have you.” He then emphasized his support by showing her how to do fistbumps, apparently “being cool” in an allegedly overheating world.

Former Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, not wanting to be left out, tweeted “she’s right,” after hearing Thunberg chastise Congressmen for “not doing enough.”

New Hong Kong Democracy Council Launched in Washington, To Back Color Revolution

Sept. 18 (EIRNS)—Coinciding with the media and Congressional spectacle involving Hong Kong media darling Joshua Wong, a group of “pro-democracy” academics and activists officially launched the new Hong Kong Democracy Council (HKDC) in Washington, D.C., to promote a color revolution in Hong Kong. Last night, the group announced its creation at a press conference, followed by a reception, welcoming Wong and his cohorts, as well as Congressional backers.

From the looks of it, the HKDC is simply an appendage of the National Endowment for Democracy, and affiliated “Project Democracy” agencies. One of its advisory board members is Andrew Nathan, who also sits on the board of the NED (and who played a leading role in supporting the 1989 Tiananmen color revolution), Prof. Michael David of the Woodrow Wilson Center, and Larry Diamond, a senior consultant at NED’s International Forum for Democratic Studies.

Advisory board members include assorted academics specializing in Asia and “democracy.” Diamond, for example, is about to publish a book, Saving Democracy from Russian Rage, Chinese Ambition and American Complacency. Other members include Hong Kong activists who boast of having been jailed “for our beliefs,” but are now safely ensconced at American universities.

The HKDC’s website explains that its members are all from Hong Kong but live in the U.S., claiming to know how to “translate the immense and complex challenges facing Hong Kong,” also boasting that “we have assembled the leading experts in the U.S. who best understand Hong Kong’s democracy and human rights and are best positioned to be the authoritative sources of analysis.” Financing for the group ostensibly comes from “crowdfunding.”

‘Good Grief’ Counseling and ‘Climate Psychiatry Alliance’ Induce Youth Despair over Climate

Sept. 18 (EIRNS)—Doomsday cults predicting the end of the world in 12 years as a result of climate change are reportedly causing such bouts of depression, pessimism and anxiety among young people that new professions and organizations are emerging to specifically deal with the fabricated crisis, mostly by further brainwashing the “victims.”

In a Sept. 17 article, RT asked how long it will be before these “millenarian doomsday cults”—better called a version of the medieval Flagellants—start causing young people to commit suicide?

The same day, the Daily Beast documented the rise of “self-care” groups dealing with emotional problems among young people who are certain they have no future. (Daily Beast is part of “Covering Climate Now,” a network of some 300 news outlets to “emphasize” climate coverage for the week of Sept. 15-23.)

The Daily Beast points to last May’s “Catharsis on the Mall” in Washington, whose goal was “healing,” and holding “climate anxiety sessions” to address “feelings of despair, depression and anxiety” caused by fears of the future extinction of the world. The focus was on helping people come up with “coping mechanisms.”

Psychiatrists who belong to the newly-created “Climate Psychiatry Alliance” believe that “mental health is significantly impacted by the changing climate and requires more clinicians to be well-versed in the concerns of the activist community,” the Daily Beast reports. This outfit is building a network of “climate-aware therapists”—better called “shrinks”—to help distraught youth.

Then there’s the “Good Grief Network” set up and modeled on the 12-step program of Alcoholics Anonymous, only with ten steps people can follow to deal with their anxiety and depression. The tenth step is “action-oriented” to “help express climate anxiety in a positive way, while taking ‘the pressure off the individual to save the world,’ ” one organizer explains.

A Sunrise Movement organizer quoted by the Daily Beast remarked about the anxiety of young people, “people would say, ‘isn’t it great that the world is ending in 12 years?’ It’s in the back of people’s minds, and it’s constantly over our heads. There’s a real fear for the next generation. Thinking about the future, I can’t imagine planning for the future when we only have 12 years.”


Qualified Military Officer Warns President Trump against Falling into Neocon Iran War Trap

Sept. 19 (EIRNS)—Col. Pat Lang, a retired military strategic intelligence officer with decades of experience in the Middle East, posted an open letter to President Donald Trump last night on his “Sic Semper Tyrannus” military discussion blog, warning of how devastating a war with Iran would be for the United States, and his Presidency. It reads as follows:

“What a War with Iran Would Be …

“Mr. President, I believe that the Iranians will fight us with everything they have if we go to war with them.

 You have several thousand soldiers in Iraq and Syria. These countries have large proxy forces of Iran’s allies in the form of Shi’a militias in Iraq and actual Iranian Quds Force troops in Syria.  These forces will be used to attack and kill our soldiers.

 The Iranians have significant numbers of ballistic missiles which they have already said will be used against our forces.

 The U.S. Navy has many ships in the Gulf and the Arabian Sea. The Iranian Navy and the IRGC Navy will attack our naval vessels until the Iranian forces are utterly destroyed.  In that process the U.S. Navy will lose men and ships.

 In direct air attacks on Iran we are bound to lose aircraft and air crew.

 The IRGC and its Quds Force will carry out terrorist attacks across the world.

“Do you really want to be a one-term President?

“Pompeo can talk big now and then go back to Kansas to run for senator.

“Where will you be able to take refuge?

“Don’t let the neocons like Pompeo sell you on war.

“Make the intelligence people show you the evidence in detail. Make your own judgments.”

Little Appetite for U.S. War against Iran

Sept. 18 (EIRNS)—President Donald Trump announced today that he has ordered additional “very significant sanctions” on Iran, which he said will be announced in the next 48 hours. But while keeping the option of a military strike on the table, the President’s rebukes of Sen. Lindsey Graham for his campaign for immediate U.S. strikes against Iran indicate the British and their neoconservatives may not get the war they are itching for.

In a tweet yesterday, Graham blamed the bombing of the Saudi oil refinery on the President’s failure to strike Iran last June, whining that the Iranians read Trump’s “restraint as weakness.” Trump quickly re-tweeted Graham’s complaint, with his response: “No Lindsey, it was a sign of strength that some people just don’t understand!”

Asked today by reporters about Graham’s pressures, Trump repeated that message, and then referenced the disasters created by the military interventions of previous U.S. administrations. Trump suggested the reporters “ask Lindsey: How did going into the Middle East—how did that work out?  And how did going in Iraq work out? So, we have a disagreement on that.”

We have “plenty of time” to act, he added. “We’ll see what happens.”

Similarly, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford told reporters yesterday that Trump has not yet requested military action, only planning in response to Iran, and Central Command commander Gen. Kenneth McKenzie has not asked for additional forces in the region, Dunford told media yesterday.

Sen. Rand Paul continues to warn against a military response. “This is a regional conflict. There’s no reason the superpower, the United States, needs to be getting into bombing mainland Iran. It would be a needless escalation of this,” he told Fox News last night.

Cautions against action from other leading Republican Senators against plunging into military action have been noted by military-oriented media, such as Defense News. One such caution came from Oklahoma’s Sen. Jim Lankford, who argued that “military is always last—always, always. Our beef is not with the people of Iran but the regime of Iran. Why would we take aggressive action against people who mean us no harm?”

Even Democrats Sen. Tim Kaine and Rep. Elliot Engel spoke of Constitutional requirement for Congress to declare war.


Fed Pumps Billions into the System, First Time in a Decade

Sept. 18 (EIRNS)—For the first time in ten years the Federal Reserve injected billions in cash into the money markets to quell a surge in the interbank lending rates. The New York Fed used the repo market to pump $53 billion into the banks on Sept. 17 and another $75 billion today (by buying Treasury bills held by the banks), after the interbank rate—which is normally kept at the fed rate, 2.0-2.25% as of Tuesday—surged to 10% on Sept. 17 due to a lack of liquidity for banks to do the overnight lending required to keep balances in order. This is the first time in ten years that the Fed has resorted to these measures. While the Fed blamed a confluence of liquidity demand from various sources, it is the extremely low interest rates which discourage bond purchases which is causing the liquidity crisis—investors (speculators) are buying derivatives rather than bonds.

Also, today the Fed announced, as expected, a quarter-point cut in the Fed rate, to 1.75-2.0%. But Federal Reserve System Chairman Jerome Powell did not announce either a continuation of the repo market interventions (called QE Light), or any new QE, which means the panic may not be resolved. Trump, who has been driven to demand negative interest rates and more QE to paper over the crisis, issued a tweet: “Jay Powell and the Federal Reserve Fail Again. No ‘guts,’ no sense, no vision!  A terrible communicator!”

In fact, Powell did say that QE is coming soon: “It is certainly possible that we’ll need to resume the organic growth of the balance sheet sooner than we thought”—i.e., pumping liquidity into the banking system by purchasing Treasury debt and derivatives from the banks.

These “plunge protection” operations may or may not paper over the crisis this week, but more paper is simply aggravating the problem. The system cannot be “fixed,” as LaRouche has warned for many years—it must be replaced according to LaRouche’s Four Laws, starting with Glass-Steagall reorganization of the entire system.

Philippines Finance Secretary Dominguez Admires China’s Success in Poverty Elimination

Sept. 18 (EIRNS)—Addressing the Philippines-China Trade and Investment Forum, attended by about 100 business leaders from the industrial city of Chongqing in southwest China, held in Pasay City, the Philippines on Sept. 16, Philippines’ Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III congratulated the People’s Republic of China on its 70th founding anniversary, and expressed his admiration for its past and present leadership for accomplishing its goal of virtually eliminating poverty among its people.  “No other country, at the size and scale of China, has ever achieved this in human history,” Dominguez said, Philippines’ Department of Finance website reported.

Dominguez, praising the leadership of President Rodrigo Duterte for developing a forward-looking policy towards China, said that China, under President Xi Jinping’s leadership, has moved ahead with its Belt and Road Initiative, which is the“single largest enterprise in human history,” which will “reshape the global economy for the new century” and bring Asian economies closer together through enhanced trade linkages and seamless connections for investments. He said the Philippines fully supports BRI, aware of its vast economic potentials for all countries both in the region and outside it.

“Enhanced trade will encourage more efficient investment flows. Improved connectivity will enhance the inclusiveness of our growth patterns. We have everything to gain from this,” he said. Dominguez went on, that the Philippines also has its own BRI in the form of the “Build, Build, Build” program, which is the centerpiece of President Duterte’s economic strategy of making economic growth sustainable and inclusive for all law-abiding Filipinos.


Putin To Visit Saudi Arabia in October and Israel in January

Sept. 18 (EIRNS)—Russian President Vladimir Putin continues his personal diplomacy with leaders of all the nations of Southwest Asia, whatever their disputes. He will be visiting Saudi Arabia in October, and Israel in January 2020.

Putin spoke with Saudi Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammad bin Salman today by phone, to discuss the situation following the attack on oil refineries in Saudi Arabia, the Kremlin reported. Putin “called for a thorough and objective investigation of the incident”; the two heads of state discussed how to continue their “close coordination” on stabilizing world oil prices; and “touched upon preparations” for Putin’s October visit. (The agreement for the visit came out of their meeting on the sidelines of the G20 last June, but according to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, the precise date in October has yet to set.)

In addressing a congress of the Israeli charity foundation Keren Hayesod-United Israel Appeal in Moscow yesterday, Putin spoke warmly of current relations with Israel, which he called “multifaceted and mutually beneficial,” and based upon a “meaningful political dialogue.”

“Without any exaggeration whatsoever, I can proudly say that never before has there been such a level of relations between Russia and Israel, with the exception, of course, of the very first months and the first couple of years following the establishment of the State of Israel,” Putin told them.

He reported that he will visit Israel in January, at the invitation of President Reuven Rivlin, to participate in the events marking the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp and the Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust. The Holocaust is commemorated on Jan. 27, the anniversary of Auschwitz’s liberation by the Soviet Red Army.

Europeanist Argues for Europe and British To Unite against Four Powers, U.S., Russia, China and India

Sept. 18 (EIRNS)—Guy Verhofstadt, the former Prime Minister of Belgium and the former head of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe in the European Parliament since 2009, declared the future to be one of empires, not nation-states, and urged the British to reject Brexit and unite with Europe against the world’s other empires, naming Russia, China, India and the United States as empires!

It is shocking, if not surprising, that this imperial spokesman named precisely the four great nation-states identified by Lyndon LaRouche as the “Four Powers” which, united as sovereign nations, could defeat the dying British Empire.

Verhofstadt, invited to address the congress of the Liberal Democrats party in the U.K. this week, said the following:

“The world order of tomorrow in not based on nation-states or countries. It is a world order that is based on empires. China is not a nation. It’s a civilization, Han. India is not a nation. There are 2,000 nations in India, 20 different languages are used there. There are four big religions at the same time…. The U.S. is also an empire—more than an empire…. And finally, the Russian Federation. The world of tomorrow is a world of Empires, in which we Europeans and you British can only defend your interests, your way of life, by doing it together, in a European framework, and in the European Union.”

Moscow and Beijing Sign Nearly Two Dozen Agreements during Li Keqiang’s Russia Visit

Sept. 18 (EIRNS)—Premier Li Keqiang’s visit to Russia began on Sept. 16. It was the 24th regular meeting of heads of the Russian and Chinese governments and took place in St. Petersburg on Sept. 17.

Following their meeting, Premier Dmitry Medvedev said the talks showed that “the Russian-Chinese comprehensive partnership and strategic cooperation has entered a new stage.”  Medvedev stated that Moscow and Beijing plan to increase trade from $108 billion to $200 billion by 2024, which they will achieve through joint projects in energy, industry, high-tech sector and agriculture. “At the meeting, we exchanged views on key areas of cooperation, touched upon the issues of interconnection between the Eurasian Economic Union and China’s One Belt One Road initiative,” Medvedev said. “Of course, we are committed to deepen cooperation further in all areas, achieving concrete mutually beneficial results,” said Medvedev. “We maintain a close dialogue. Our bilateral practical ties are expanding, filling up with new content. This is especially significant in the year when we celebrate the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between our country and China.”

Referring to the fact that the two countries signed almost two dozen agreements, Medvedev went on: “These are, indeed, significant documents. I would specifically mention those relate to cooperation on science and space, while the Economic Development Ministry and the Ministry of Commerce (of China) have adopted a roadmap to stimulate and develop mutual trade in goods and services until 2024.”

Roscosmos Director Dmitry Rogozin and China National Space Administration Director Zhang Kejian signed an agreement on cooperation in the establishment of the Joint Moon and Outer Space Research Center. This includes an agreement in the coordination of the Russian mission using Luna 26 orbiter and the Chinese research mission of the Moon’s polar area Chang’e-7.


Failure of Wind and Solar Gaining Recognition—Time for LaRouche’s Nuclear Program

Sept. 18 (EIRNS)—On Sept. 17 the leading climate “skeptic” site, Anthony Watts’ WattsUpWithThat.com posted an article, “Why Today’s Renewables Cannot Power Modern Civilization” by Dr. Lars Schernikau, providing some additional insights into the high costs of wind and solar.

As the LaRouche Science Team has covered over recent years, there is a massive discrepancy between the dropping costs of individual wind and solar units, and the rising total costs of electricity in countries with large-scale implementation of wind and solar (e.g., Germany and Denmark). The reason for this discrepancy is clear the low power density combined with the irregularity of supply means generating electricity from wind and sunlight requires massive supporting infrastructure, redundancy, and backup when generation is scaled up to significant national economic levels—dramatically driving up the total costs.

As a result, electricity costs rise in direct correlation with the amount of wind and solar implemented.  For example, this was shown in a 2015 article, “Green Mythology and the High Price of European Electricity,” by Dr. Euan Mearns, which observed that Denmark and Germany’s 1,000 watts of installed solar and wind capacity per capita came with the highest electricity costs globally (excluding small island nations), at €0.30 per kWh; European nations with half that per-capita level of wind and solar capacity, 500 watts, paid a third less, €0.20 per kWh (e.g., Portugal, Belgium, Austria); and nations with 100 watts or less of wind and solar capacity per capita had electricity prices half or less than Germany or Denmark, €.010 to €.015 per kWh (e.g., Poland, Turkey, Finland). These were values from 2015 (average U.S. electricity prices were just under €.010 equivalent at the time).

The new article on WattsUpWithThat.com provides some updated figures, and references a new cost estimate methodology developed by the International Energy Agency (IEA).  The article writes that previous IEA estimates of wind and solar costs failed to account for “(1) the additional cost of interconnections required…. (2) the cost of managing networks with highly volatile energy inputs…. (3) the efficiency losses resulting from keeping coal, gas, or nuclear power as backup.”  To attempt to account for these additional costs, in 2018 the IEA developed the “value-adjusted levelized cost of electricity” (VALCOE).

To put this in concrete terms with an example, under the prior methodology (not accounting for these additional costs of scaling up wind and solar), it was claimed that for India electricity from solar will be cheaper than from coal by 2025, and solar electricity prices in India would continue to drop after that.  Under the new methodology (accounting for these additional costs), solar electricity costs in India not only fail to ever match coal, but solar power costs will also rise in correspondence with expansion of solar implementation.

This particular case study comes from the IEA website, “Commentary: Is Exponential Growth of Solar PV the Obvious Conclusion?” by Brent Wanner. That article also observes, “China has been the driving force behind the exponential growth of solar PV [photovoltaic], accounting for 75% of global growth in solar PV deployment over the five years leading up to 2017.”

While the costs cited here are given in monetary terms, they are ultimately a reflection of the actual physical/social costs. The higher energy densities of nuclear reactions (fission and fusion) are key to lowering the physical/social costs of electricity production, which is the only way to support higher levels of electrical energy flux-density of economies (national and global).  As Lyndon LaRouche said in his 1980 book Basic Economics for Conservative Democrats: “In general, the potential productivity of an economy is limited on the higher side by the energy density of the basic modes of energy production being used by that economy. The higher the energy density, the cheaper the energy can be in terms of social costs of producing energy, and the more abundant the energy available for expanding the economy.”  And, some pages later, “The step by step advance from a full-scale fission energy economy into a fusion energy economy is the unique path of development which enables our nation and the world to increase the effective rate of capital formation into the next century and beyond. It is the only policy which leads to this successful survival of our civilization.”

U.K. Launches Research of Materials and Technology for Fusion Power Commercialization

Sept. 18 (EIRNS)—UKAEA, a U.K. government research organization responsible for the development of nuclear fusion power with the mission to lead the commercial development of fusion power and related technology, has decided to create a £22 million site in Rotherham in South Yorkshire, UKAEA website reported. The facility will see UKAEA working with industrial partners to put the U.K. in a strong position to commercialize nuclear fusion as a major source of low-carbon electricity in the years ahead.

The key role of the facility will be to develop and test joining technologies for fusion materials and components—for example novel metals and ceramics. These will then be tested and evaluated under conditions simulating the inside of a fusion reactor (including high heat flux, in-vacuum, and strong magnetic fields), the website reported.

Colin Walters, director of the National Fusion Technology Platform at UKAEA, said: “Momentum is growing in fusion research and we believe the opening of this facility in South Yorkshire represents a practical step towards developing power plants…. This facility will provide fantastic opportunities for U.K. businesses to win contracts and put UKAEA in a great position to help deliver the necessary expertise for the first nuclear fusion power stations.”


Likud Loses to Blue and White Party in Israeli Elections

Sept. 18 (EIRNS)—The Israeli elections could fail to produce a new government. With 91% of votes counted, Blue and White (Kahol Lavan) party, led by retired Gen. Benny Gantz, leads with 32 seats while Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud has only 31 seats, down from the 35 they received in the last election. The third largest party could be the Arab-Israeli joint list with 13 seats. The Knesset has 120 seats, so it will be hard for either the Blue and White party or the Likud to form a government. The final results will be announced on Sept. 19.

Yisrael Beiteinu, whose base is the Russian Jewish community received 9 seats. Its leader, Avigdor Lieberman, who had been a protégé of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has said he would only join a “national unity” government, including both the Blue and White and Likud. Lieberman refuses to join any government with the Israeli religious parties, which have been Netanyahu’s partners in the past. Without Lieberman, Netanyahu would not be able to form a government. Lieberman also said he would refuse to join any government that included the Arab Israeli parties.

Gantz would also have difficulty forming a government. He has said Kahol Lavan would not form a coalition with Likud if Netanyahu is still in the party leadership because an indictment for corruption is hanging over the prime minister’s head. The left-wing Labor and Democratic Union parties received only 5 and 6 seats respectively. It would be hard to imagine a Blue and White coalition which would include the two left-wing parties, along with Lieberman, who is very right wing and lives in a West Bank settlement.

Once the final results have been announced, the next step is for President Reuven Rivlin to convene a meeting of the party leaders for a consultation, after which he will chose the leader he thinks could most likely form a government. If that leader fails, Rivlin will ask the next party leader to make an attempt.

The situation could clarify itself on Oct. 2, when an Israeli court will hear the request by the Attorney General to indict Netanyahu on corruption charges. If the court backs the indictment, Netanyahu is expected to resign from the Knesset and the Likud leadership. That could conceivably lead to a unity government that would include the Blue and White and Likud. Such a government would have a majority of at most 63 of the 120 Knesset seats and may need not include Lieberman’s party to form a government.

A Blue and White and Likud national unity government would still be center right and not particularly dovish.

Reach us at eirdailyalert@larouchepub.com or call 1-571-293-0935

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