Monday, November 07, 2005

The optimism among some Labor party members and leaders is somewhere between endearing and pathetic. On Wednesday the party members will choose the party's leader for the coming elections. The two main contenders are the 80+year-old Shimon Peres and the populist Amir Peretz. Of the two remaining candidates, Benyamin Ben-Eliezer ( 'Fuad' ) and Matan Vilnai ( both former highranking officers in the IDF ), at least one ( Vilnai ) has quit the race, the other is expected to give up his candidacy as well. Matan Vilnai - who probably would have received my vote, even though he did not stand a chance - expressed his support for Peres. He would have done that anyway, I am sure, but I really had to laugh when I read that "Shimon Peres won the loyalty of senior MK Matan Vilnai with a promise to name the former general as defense minister in a future Peres-led government." I respect and in more than one way admire Shimon Peres, but I would not bet even one shekel on him winning any elections soon, no matter who will lead the Likud, Sharon or Nethanyahu. As for Amir Peretz, supposedly he already announced that he and his 'One People' faction will leave the Labor Party if he loses on Wednesday. Yet another reason not to vote for him, if you ask me. The party is a shambles, with no vision and no leader whatsoever, but the last thing that it needs is a man who leaves and joins the party at will, depending on whether it yields to his whims, and whose main political asset - a social agenda for Israeli politics - appears to be less sincere than his personal ambitions.

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