Day 11 – Netanyahu outsmarts the left

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.

About the Author
Ari Applbaum is Director of Israel Operations for The David Project, a non-profit that positively shapes campus opinion on Israel, and has been with the organization since 2007. Ari manages all aspects of the organization’s work in Israel such as overseeing operations and budget, a staff of three, strategic partnerships with other organizations and all educational programming. He also lectures to thousands of Americans visiting the Jewish state each year. From 2008 to 2010, Ari served as a Middle East Analyst for The David Project. Based out of Boston, MA, Ari travelled extensively throughout the U.S. and Canada to educate and inspire effective supporters of Israel. He spoke to thousands of adults and students and lectured at hundreds of venus, including Ivy League universities such as Harvard and prestigious conferences such as AIPAC’s Saban Leadership conference. While in Boston, Ari also served as marketing and communications manager for the organization. In this role, Ari was responsible for the organization’s overall media, public relations and marketing activities. Prior to The David Project, Ari served as Senior Account Executive at the Israel branch of Ruder Finn, one of the world’s largest marketing and communications consultancies. There he specialized in strategic planning, media and analyst relations, marketing material development, market research, and branding. Ari provided these services to non-profit organizations, global telecommunications and technology companies (including several Fortune 100 companies), Israeli start-ups and financial institutions. As a student activist, Ari was sent numerous times by the MFA, The Jewish Agency for Israel, and other organizations to represent Israel in the U.S., Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, and The Netherlands. Ari holds a Master of the Arts degree in Security and Diplomacy from Tel Aviv University and a Bachelor of the Arts degree in Communication & Journalism and Islam & Middle-East Studies from Hebrew University. Ari is currently working on his first book, a compilation of inspirational Zionist quotes. He is married to Na'ama; Their twin sons Yuval and Roni were born in Boston but are eighth-generation Jerusalemites.