web analytics
October 23, 2014 / 29 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Israel’s Political Landscape: Crowded – And Murky

JERUSALEM – With the Kadima leadership primary just days away, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni looks like a sure winner.


The latest opinion poll shows her 20 percentage points ahead of her closest rival in the contest that could produce Israel’s next prime minister.


The Sept. 17 Kadima Party vote comes after Prime Minister Ehud Olmert announced he would resign following a string of corruption scandals. Assuming the primary winner can put together a coalition government, she – or he – will automatically assume the premiership.


Livni’s closest competition, according to the polls, is Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz, with the two other candidates, Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter and Interior Minister Meir Sheetrit, stuck in the single digits.


For Mofaz to have even an outside chance at winning the primary, the pollsters would have to be significantly off. That is not beyond the bounds of possibility.


In the run-up to the 2005 Labor leadership primary, polls showed Shimon Peres beating his main rival, Amir Peretz, by 20 points. But Peretz pulled off a major upset, edging out his octogenarian rival by 2 percent. What pollsters hadn’t considered was Peretz’s brilliant election-day machine for getting supporters to the polls.


Kadima’s party leader is to be elected by the party’s membership – about 72,000 people.
Recruitment of new members with full voting rights was allowed until registration closed on July 31. That opened up a recruitment race among the candidates, with each trying to bring in as many potential supporters as possible. That, in turn, spawned a system of so-called mega-recruiters and vote contractors: people with grassroots connections and influence who undertook wholesale recruitment for the various candidates.


Support for Mofaz is high among these party strongmen as well as with party mayors, who could influence voters. But it doesn’t look like enough to turn the tide.


The key factor in the Kadima primary – the party’s first since its founding by Ariel Sharon as a centrist alternative to Likud – has been the widespread perception that Livni is the only candidate capable of winning a national election for Kadima.


The latest poll, conducted by the respected Dialog organization, shows Livni winning with 40 percent of the Kadima vote, followed by Mofaz with 20 percent, Dichter with 6 percent and Sheetrit with 5 percent; 28 percent are undecided.


If no candidate wins at least 40 percent in the Sept. 17 vote, there will be a runoff between the top two a week later. In such a scenario with Mofaz and Livni the winners, the poll shows Livni defeating Mofaz by 51 percent to 31 percent.


The first task for the Kadima victor will be to try to form a governing coalition.


Success will depend first and foremost on whether he or she can count on all 29 Kadima Knesset votes. If Mofaz wins, Livni has made it plain that she might well leave Kadima and form a breakaway faction; he might do the same if she wins.


On the assumption that she wins and Kadima does not split, Livni has been receiving two contradictory sets of advice.


Some are urging her to do all she can to form a government and then run from the position of prime minister in new elections in a year or two. Others say that instead of trying to form a government, Livni should exploit her current wave of popularity and go for immediate general elections.


The Labor Party, which is currently down in the polls, also faces a dilemma: If Livni wins, should Labor join the coalition and try to rebuild its electoral strength from inside the government, or clip Livni’s wings by bolting the coalition and thereby preventing her having enough seats to form a government?


If Labor goes in with Livni, it will help boost her standing as prime minister; if it stays out, it risks early elections in which polls show Labor would take an unprecedented beating.
The new political situation in Israel highlights the Labor-Kadima paradox. On the one hand, the two parties share a similar centrist ideology and are natural allies against the Israeli right. On the other hand, they must fight for the same political space.


Likud, which still leads in most polls, will wants to press for early elections before Livni gains stature as a recognized national leader.


There is talk of a possible Labor-Likud coalition without Kadima, leaving Livni to wither in the opposition. But, as appealing as this may appear at first glance to Labor’s Ehud Barak and Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu, it is highly unlikely. The key to whether Livni is able to form a coalition could lie with the Orthodox Sephardic Shas Party. Shas will make heavy demands – for example, restoration of large allowances for families with many children. Livni so far has not made any promises to Shas or anyone else. That has been one of the reasons for her popularity.


How she deals with the pressures of coalition-building could be a first test of her leadership.
As for the outgoing Olmert, even though he will formally resign after the Kadima primaries next week, he will stay on as acting prime minister until a new government is formed.
Even the threat of a potential indictment against the prime minister is not expected to change the political picture. If Mazuz ultimately decides to indict Olmert, he is unlikely to do so imminently.


Once the Kadima primary is over, the new Kadima leader will have six weeks to form a government.


If she or he succeeds, the winner could choose to govern or use the majority to call for early general elections. If she or he fails, President Shimon Peres could give another Knesset member a chance to form a government or call early elections if there is no likely candidate.


One way or another, the scandal-ridden Olmert era is fast coming to a close.         

(JTA)

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Israel’s Political Landscape: Crowded – And Murky”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Chaye Zissel Braun Grave
Funeral for Chaye Zisel Braun [photos]
Latest News Stories
Chaye Zissel Braun Grave

The funeral for Chaye Zisel Braun began at midnight Wednesday night.

Car in Light Rail Runover

Al-Shaloudi was the nephew of the former Hamas chief and bombmaker Mohiyedine Sharif.

Aftermath of the vehicular terrorist attack at the light rail station near Ammunition Hill, Jerusalem, Oct. 22, 2014.

Arab media describes Hamas vehicular terrorist attack as ‘Palestinian ‘shot dead’ by Israeli police.’

Police tried to reach the home of the driver in Wednesday’s attack.

Hundreds of Jewish leaders from around the world who are part of the Jewish Agency for Israel Board of Governor will convene in Ashkelon, one of Hamas favorite targets for rockets and missiles, next week. The Board had been set to meet in Mexico as part of its annual rotation amongst the world’s Jewish communities, […]

With all due respect to the IDF, since when is drug smuggling not linked to terror?

A demonstration by 10,000 in Isfahan for women’s rights has morphed into a protest against Iran’s regime.

Syria says it bombed the jets as they were landing in Aleppo.

The baby that was injured in the suspected terror attack this evening died in the hospital.

The train company’s video of the event in Jerusalem that left 8 people injured.

Haifa-based Elbit Systems won an $88 million from an unnamed Asian country for various projects, most of them for an F-5 aircraft avionics upgrade program and the supply of electro-optic and communications systems, Elbit announced Wednesday. The F-5 fighter jet has been in operation for more than 40 years four decades, and is used by […]

Wouldn’t be a lot easier if fanatic Haredim would simply charter their own planes?

One dead, 8 injured, 2 seriously when a car (purposely?) drove into a group of people waiting for a train in Jerusalem.

Please see this article for the latest update. Updates as soon as available. UPDATE 4, 6:42 p.m. Israel Time: Official word from Superintendent Micky Rosenfeld, Israel Police Foreign Press Spokesman is that nine people were injured by a vehicle which struck people at the light rail station. The shots people heard were ones fired at the […]

More Articles from Leslie Susser

JERUSALEM – For Israel, the popular uprising in Egypt against the Mubarak regime raises the specter of its worst strategic nightmare: collapse of the peace treaty with Egypt, the cornerstone of its regional policy for the past three decades.

JERUSALEM – Not so long ago, few Israelis had heard of Rabbi Chaim Amsellem, a soft-spoken Shas backbencher in the Knesset.

JERUSALEM – With talks at a stalemate and no agreement from the Israelis to reinstate a settlement freeze, the Palestinians are playing a new card: an end game to statehood through an appeal to the international community.

JERUSALEM – With talks at a stalemate and no agreement from the Israelis to reinstate a settlement freeze, the Palestinians are playing a new card: an end game to statehood through an appeal to the international community.

JERUSALEM – Following reports of an unprecedented U.S. offer of a host of assurances in return for a 60-day extension of the settlement building freeze, some political analysts are wondering why Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has not grabbed the deal with both hands.

JERUSALEM – If the United States doesn’t attack Iran’s nuclear facilities within the next eight months or so, Israel probably will.

JERUSALEM – In one of the more curious twists in Israeli politics, prominent right-wing political figures in Israel have begun pushing for a one-state solution with Israelis and Palestinians as equal citizens with full voting rights.

JERUSALEM – -The showdown between the Israeli Supreme Court and the parents of students at a haredi Orthodox school found guilty of discriminatory practices against Sephardic girls has brought already strained secular-religious relations in Israel to a fever pitch.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israels-political-landscape-crowded-and-murky/2008/09/10/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: