3 thoughts on “Likud is Down and Peres is Out – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. Perhaps some of Peres’ motivation is sour grapes. But it also has always been the case that, despite being in different parties, Peres and Sharon have always been very good friends. Sharon probably trusts Peres more than he trusts anyone in his former Likud faction.

    Also, Shas was not the 3rd largest party in the most recent Knesset. Shinui had 15 seats, Shas had 11.

    Shas may end up being the the third largest after this election. Shinui is in big, big trouble and they know it. With Sharon grabbing the center, all Shinui has left is their base, i.e., people who can’t stand the ultra-orthodox. I have no doubt Shas will eclipse them.

    More interesting is whether Shas can overtake Likud. Likud is in free fall. The main thing to see is if they can establish themselves as THE opposition party.

  2. Thanks for correcting my mistake about Shas being 3rd largest.

    I don’t see how Likud can establish themselves as a viable opposition. They’re so bitter, splintered & rudderless (at least now). Perhaps if some vibrant younger pol came along to lead them out of the wilderness they’ve wandered into…

    Regarding yr comment about Sharon & Peres being chums–no doubt you’re right. But the idea that Shimon Peres can become bosom buddies with the Sharon who performed all those horrid crimes in Lebanon (not just Sabra & Chatilla, but the invasion itself) & the Sharon who spearheaded the miserable settlement enterprise which entrenched the Occupation so deeply that it can only be uprooted w. the utmost social trauma–this all indicates to me that Peres never had an ideological or principled position regarding anything. All was relative. I’m all in favor of politicians showing flexibility. But flexibility has to be used toward a principled end which in Peres’ case is a dubious proposition..

  3. I see the Likud becoming an opposititon party because something has to arise in opposition. My assumption is that Kadima gets the most seats, Labor comes in a healthy second, and the two form a coalition with Labor as junior partner. But if that’s the case, then it will be very difficult for Labor to position itself as opposition in the next elections. What usually happens in “unity” governments is that the two parties work together for a while, then when the political timing is right, the other will “split” and try to make it an ideological difference that they can run for office on.

    I don’t see Labor doing that effectively here. The coalition government will work toward some resolution, either through negotiations or unilateral action, and there will inevitably be some opposition to play on the natural discontents that occur in any democratic citizenry.

    I am guessing that this will be Likud. Right now, the polls are showing that they will take a TREMENDOUS beating. They are down to 9 seats in the latest poll (one behind Shas). It could be that Likud gets so demolished that the can never recover. But (I think they’ll pick up more once they select their standard bearer, and will possibly align with the far right parties (NRP, Natiional Union).

    This troubles me a little bit. One reason I would have liked Sharon to stay in Likud is that, while he led it, there was no “absolutist” opposition anymore. A smaller Likud, with far right allies, will mean that the opposition, even if small in the next Knesset, will regularly get heard if only because the media and others need to present “the other side.” So in the end, even a weaker Likud means that there can be a movement that gives credence to hardline opposition.

    My guess is that Sharon has decided to go for broke. He has decided he WILL be the one that resolves the conflict, and he WILL do it in his next term because he’s getting very old.

    As for Peres. I can say that despite his inability to win an election, there is no question that he has been a tireless peacemaker and is ideologicallty committed to that. While I have never really liked Sharon, I also think your portrayal of him is inaccurate. And I don’t think that Peres’ willingness to work with him signals a lack of commitment, although it does show a pragmatic side.

    Finally, I will say that my views on these matters are closer to the Labor Party, and even that of Meretz (although they have struck me as arrogant blowhards the past few years). However, I do believe that it is only Sharon that has credibility with the Israeli citizenry to deliver a resolution to the conflict that will attract broad based support.

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