Wednesday, January 25, 2006

I spent two productive days in Tel Aviv, and heard three fascinating analyses of the political situation in Israel and the Palestinian territories. The analyses were given by a former head of Mossad, a former deputy chief of staff of the IDF and a former deputy minister of Defense ( the appointment with the former defense minister was canceled eventually ). Since I was only the mediator and not the one who conducted the interviews I do not think that it would be fair if I repeated parts of the conversations here. You will find the final results on the pages and the website of the Reformatorisch Dagblad. While the Labor party has without any doubt a very good list of candidates, it has an image problem when it comes to the person heading the list, Amir Peretz. Today, one of the most talented and popular candidates on the list, Isaac Herzog, made an 'interesting' attempt to improve that image: "Peretz inexperienced? So was Bush." Although the three briefings that I heard yesterday and Monday in Tel Aviv convinced me of something that I thought I knew already ( that Labor has the best team and the right ideology to lead the coalition after March 28th ), Herzog's words almost caused me to start having misgivings about that. Bush-bashing has become as populist as Bush is himself, and I do not normally join the anti-Bush choirs that can be heard singing loudly all over the world, but I do not believe that George W. Bush is the best possible example in recent history of an unexperienced politician who turned out to be a wonderful leader in difficult times. Au contraire, I am afraid. Mr Herzog should know better than to use that example.

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