Edward Stern
Edward Stern

Avi Gabbay

Avi Gabbay, the present Labor Party chairman and candidate for the Israeli prime minister, drew a good deal of criticism when he indicated settlements outside of the blocks could remain in Judea and Samaria after a peace agreement with the Palestinians. His critics on the left remain under a few critical misconceptions. First of all the first job of any politician is to get elected. It is ultimately not to be the head of a party or the head of the opposition it is to be selected to lead the government. Labor seems to have forgotten this objective. Labor should not criticize  Avi Gabbay, but devise ways to hold the center and center left as Gabbay pushes right in his quest for voters. A few suggestions in this area might be housing and the strengthening of the social net and educational system.

Secondly, Labor must decide really what is the purpose of the next election. Is it to replace the present Prime Minister or who may replace him from the Likud,or make peace with the Palestinians. Besides the fact that it is unlikely today that any government can be elected in Israel today on the platform of peace with the Palestinians,labor should take seriously its claim the present Prime Minister and the party he represents are a corrupting force within the country. This can be seen in the Prime Ministers conduct and his and his political party attacks on structures within Israel society such as the courts and the army. We only have listen to the words of the President of Israel Reuvin Rivlin who indicated that Israels current leadership is a threat to Democracy to understand the depth of the problem  The Prime  Minister’s conduct has become an issue in itself to many Israelis.  Labor  should focus primarily on defeating the current  Prime Minister even at the expense of the Palestinian issue in the coming election . Ironically Labor  by  saddling Gabbay with the Palestinian issue strengthen a Prime Minister and a party that stand in the way of any type of settlement. Labor today must  observe a very elementary rule of politics. First elect your candidate and then begin to deal with the issues.

About the Author
Born and educated in the United States Edward Stern has spent most of his adult life in Israel with the exception of five years when he lived and worked in China and Korea. He is an English teacher and sometime editor with a life long interest in politics and history. Some people have told him he is also a good photographer.