Saturday, December 03, 2005

All over the country we can already see election posters. Most of them are aimed at the party members who will vote in the Labor and Likud primaries. Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom has a very lame slogan ( "Only Silvan can" ) that has been used by more than one politician in the past. The guy married into one of the richest and most influential families in Israel ( the Mozes family, owners of Yedioth Aharonoth ), and that is all that he and his advisers could come up with? If he had asked me I would have suggested something like "Rotsim Shalom? Matsbi'im Silvan!" ( "Want peace/Shalom? Vote Silvan" ), I can hardly imagine that someone did not at least propose doing a similar thing with his name. Shaul Mofaz, one of the most loyal Sharon supporters in the last two years, tries to find favor in the eyes of the right wing of the Likud by making all kinds of pro-settlement and anti-Oslo statements. He cried on one of the most popular tv shows ( hosted by Yair Lapid, son of the Shinuy leader Tommy Lapid ) and also tries to score points by profiling himself - rightly, in more than one way - as the only non-extremist who worked his way up all by himself. Sharon's posters are impressive and persuasive ( "Israel wants Kadimah ( forward )", but the slogan that keeps playing in my head is the one used by the online-casino businessman Avi Shaked, who runs in the Labor party primaries. His posters say "Avi Shaked, socialist-millionnaire, and not ashamed of it". I knew he dealt with online gambling, but I did not know him as a veteran Beilin-Peres supporter and activist. The chances that I will vote for him got smaller, though, when I received a telephone call with a recorded message from him. Shimon Peres' campaign sent me tens of such calls in the weeks leading up to the elections for the Labor party chairmanship, and those calls are one of the main reasons why in the end I voted for Binyamin 'Fuad' Eliezer.

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