Published in The Times of IsraelOctober 16, 2012
And we’re off! The 99 Day Blog – Day 2
It’s officially elections season! The Knesset has voted last night to disband itself and set the official elections date for January 22, exactly 98 days away. 10 Highlights-
- Kadima Chairman Shaul Mofaz is trying to position himself as the only alternative to Netanyahu, while Netanyahu seems to be primarily worried about Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who may take Kadima over or launch his own party, possibly with Tsippy Livni. An Olmert comeback would no doubt challenge Netanyahu.
- And where is Labor head Shely Yachimovich in all this? Nowhere to be seen. For now.
- It is not yet official but it seems Aryeh Deri will soon be back at the helms of Shas. Under Deri’s leadership the ultra-Orthodox Sephardi party won 17 seats back in 1999 but has been stagnant under the leadership of Eli Yishai. Will the ex-con be able to recreate his past electoral success? I doubt it. But they say one should never ever underestimate Aryeh Deri
- In the meantime, Yishai is fighting to hold on to power and the two might reach a unity deal.
- Gideon Levy complains about the endless recycling of Israeli politicians here.
- January is a strange time for government officials to get a pay raise, isn’t it?
- Israelis are pleased with Europe’s increased sanctions against Iran but the never ending sanctions Vs. attack debate will no doubt play a central role in the elections.
- Far Leftist Eldad Yaniv held a modest launch of a new political party yesterday. Yaniv hopes to capitalize on the 2010 social protest’s success but has almost no political base.
- Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics? I just learned of Tal Schneider, a freelance journalist who is apparently also a poll aggregation machine. She aggregates and compares various polling data from the Israeli media and publishes the information in Hebrew and in English. Fascinating! Let’s hope she keeps it up.
- Israel Hayom English Editor Amir Mizroch has this to say-
Elections in Israel is like TV: Deri is Prison Break, Olmert is Sopranos, Mofaz is Walking Dead, Livni is Lost, Bibi keeping the Homeland.”