10 of the Tenth Month 5769
By now, most in Israel have caught on to the election ploy that is the current Israeli Defense Forces' [IDF] action in Azza. Necessary and proper as this action is, there is no doubt that it is taking place now, and not three months ago, nor three years ago, due to our proximity to the Israeli national elections to be held on 16 Shevat/February 10.
Fortunately, some Jews in the U. S., like Debbie Schlussel, are also on the ball, and can see through the veil of this war.
I was in Tel Aviv yesterday, and the Kadima and Labor posters were up in force, starting sparsely on the border of the Greater Tel Aviv area (Petah Tiqwah), then all over the place once withing Tel Aviv and suburbs, save for the religious, and mostly Haredi city of B'nei Braq whose votes will undoubtedly go to Shas and United Torah Judaism [UTJ], with some going to the Nationl Union and Likud.
Everywhere there was a Tzippi Livni (Kadima) billboard, an Ehud Baraq (Labor) one was right next to it,...almost as if they were running mates.
In many ways, the Israeli news media has been portraying Foreign Minister Livni as the defacto prime minister,...with very little mention of standing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. And, now all of a sudden it is politically-correct to root for the IDF against the Arabs. That is because it is Kadima and Labor doing the attacking,...and trying to win an election.
Needless to say there are no such posters, let alone billboards in the Shomron (Samaria), almost all of which would be on the chopping blocks if a Kadima/Labor/Mere"tz goverment had anything to say about it. Even Kadima MK Otniel Schneller knows better than to expect any votes to come from his town in the Binyamin Area, Ma'aleh Mikhmas.
There may be some Kadima/Labor efforts in Yehudah (Judea), where two large chunks are said to be included within final status borders in any agreement between Israel and the Arabs. After all, 12% of the City of Efrat voted for Labor, back in 1999.
According to the latest polls, Binyamin Netanyahu (Likud) could still create a right of center/right wing coalition government of 61, probably too weak for his taste. He may join with Kadima in a unity government. Some time ago, Likud candidate Dan Meridor was talking of trying to convince Netanyahu to make the bold move of giving up the Golan Heights. Many want to know why Meridor is on the Likud list at all. No doubt it is to get his supporters' votes.
It seems that Meridor has been silenced,...at least for the time being. Talk of giving up the Golan will lose votes for the Likud to other farther right-wing parties, threatening the Likud's expected plurality.
Projected seats for Labor have jumped from 8 to 15. Kadima and Likud are still neck and neck. The ploy seems to be working.
I am not optimistic.