The 99 Day Blog – Day 11
Netanyahu Outsmarts The Left

It’s been a fascinating week in the political system.

First, Kadima is dissintgetarting with many of its members fleeing like rats leaving a sinking ship. Nino Abesadze is joining Labor, Shamalov-Berkovich and Arye Bibi are joining Likud and Ruchama Avraham is leaving politics

Yair Lapid announced that Rabbi Shai Piron will be his #2. Many were surprised because Lapid’s father ran based on an anti-religious platform. But Piron is moderate and well respected. And Lapid is trying to appeal to the middle class religious and secular average Israeli family. Once again, the announcement did not draw much attention to his party.

Olmert is silent about whether or not he will return to politics. Again, many believe Olmer and Livni (especially if some other center-left parties such as Lapid’s Yesh Atid join) could beat Netanyahu.

So Netanyahu, as he has done many times during his term, is taking political initative and possibly outsmarting his opponents. And now to the biggest news since our blog launched 11 days ago:

At 8pm Israel time (2pm EST) Netanyahu’s Likud and Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu are expected to join forces. There is little doubt such a party will be the largest one, event if Olmert and Livni return  to Kadima or form a new center-left party.  Netanyahu also hopes to draw voters from other, smaller right wing/ religious parties.  Most importantly, he wants to ensure that when the President starts consulting heads of parties, on January 23rd, who should form the new coalition, a vast majority will say Bibi.

It seems like a brilliant strategy at this time.

But who knows what tomorrow will bring.