The 99 Day Blog – Day 4
Naturally, the various parties are now trying to get their ducks in a row, or “the right people on the bus” before January. Here is just some of the last two days’ developments, in no particular order-
- The battle over leadership in Shas (already discussed here) has ended with a surprising compromise imposed by Rabbi Ovadya Yosef. Shas is becoming the only political party in Israel with no chairman. Instead, a Triumvirate has been formed of former Shas leader Aryeh Deri, current leader Eli Yishai and up-and-coming Minister Ariel Attias .
- According to the Talmud (Chullin page 70b) two kings cannot share one crown. Of course, it says nothing of three kings. Nonetheless, the electoral appeal of Shas has just gone up. This will likely hurt Likud.
Jewish Home/ National Union
- In another rare act of unity, far right National Union and nationalist-religious party Jewish home consolidated power today.
- It is already old news that Moshe Kahlaon is leaving Likud in a move that shocked many. Shocking, because Israeli politicians tend to stick around forever, and because Kahlon — who led a popular reform in the communications market — is one of the most popular Likud ministers. Months ago Bibi urged his ministers “Be Kahlons!”
- It was reported yesterday that Benny Begin was contemplating leaving the Likud party but he was quoted as saying he is staying today.
- Labor is leading in new recruits. Some of these include student Union Chairman and social protest leader Itzik Shmuli, social activist Stav Shaif, journalist Miki Rosenthal and possibly 5 Kadima MKs.
- As mentioned on day 2, Olmert has been toying with the idea of returning to politics after his name was cleared of corrpution charges.
- What complicates things for him is an intentionally timed warning of his lawyers by the State Attorney’s Office, that the State plans to appeal. This may force Olmert to sit this one out. In the words of Jpost’s Gill Hoffman and Yona Jeremy Bob–
The decision could have tremendous repercussions on the upcoming elections, in which Olmert has considered taking part as a challenger to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. The former prime minister was expected to make a decision about whether to run by early next week, following meetings with former Kadima leader Tzipi Livni on Wednesday and other key political figures.”
Yesh Atid (Yair Lapid’s New Party)
- Lapid’s announcement that businessman and former Shin Bet head Ya’akov Peri was joining his party left little impression. The rest of the names will be revealed gradually.
In other elections related news, Israeli journalists are calling, in Hebrew and in English, for televised debates. One Israeli on Facebook mentioned, though, that in Israel there could be dozens of politicians demanding to participate in such debates. Sigh…
The 99 Day Blog will return next week, on day 7 or 8.