Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Election news

The first election news item in Israel was that Ehud Barak, Defense Minister and former Prime Minister, is retiring from politics.  When PM Netanyahu wanted to appoint him his Defense Minister for the second time, this went against the policy of the Labor Party in which Barak was a leading figure.  So, in order to retain the Defense portfolio, Barak bolted the Labor Party and founded his own mini-party, called Ha'atzmaut or Independence Party.  This is what leading politicians in Israel do when it suits their personal advantage rather than that of their Party.  But, now that we have a new election in the offing, it is expected that the Independence Party will do poorly and receive only 3 seats, not enough for a top politician like Barak to obtain an important post in any coalition.  So he has decided to resign now (effective Jan 1) rather than wait for the inevitable embarrassment, although he said it was for family reasons.
The second item in the news was that Tzipi Livni, former Minister in the Governments of Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert, has decided to rejoin the political fray and has announced the establishment of a new party, to be called Tzipi Livni's Movement.  What chutzpah, what effrontery, to believe that her name has enough cachet that she can call it after herself.  That is a new low in Israeli politics.  Not only does she fragment the left's opposition to Netanyahu, her dreaded enemy, but she has received so far no endorsement from any established party, neither Labor nor Yesh Atid.  If she gets to run in the general election she will hopefully be shown that her political life is over.  As opposition leader she was a failure motivated by personal considerations and this has not changed.
Another major item in the news was the Likud primary.  The clear result of this election was a shift to the right in the Likud, with the likes of such right wing notables as Moshe Feiglin.  Although this does not in any way challenge Netanyahu's position as no. 1 in the Party and the likely winner in the election campaign to be next PM, nevertheless it indicates a turn to the right in the Likud against the wishes of Netanyahu, several of whose supporters, such as Benny Begin and  Dan Meridor were defeated.  Some of the party favorites were re-elected, such as Gideon Sa'ar who came no.2 and now becomes Netanyahu's likely successor.   If the country also turns to the right, that will help Likud, but it is likely that the electorate will show a more centrist and liberal tendency and this could reduce Netanyahu's majority and his capability to form a new coalition.


Post a Comment

<< Home