My colleague, Anshel Pfeffer, has an interesting post up about the Israeli elections:
There's something about Tzipi Livni's glum and unphotogenic face - and the inarticulate slogan: "What is Good for the Country". It sounds just as bad in Hebrew.
Kadima has the savviest PR team in the business. Eyal Arad and Lior Horev are not only Israel's premier spin-doctors, they are in demand around the world. Legendary ad-man Reuven Adler was the brains behind the transformation of Ariel Sharon from warmonger to cuddly grandpa. If these three can't make Livni look a bit sexier, then she's in trouble.
My premonition seems to have been confirmed by last night's Channel One poll. After a month in which Kadima was polling almost even with Likud, the governing party is now trailing by ten percent.
So let's assume that Likid wins. The question is, what will Netanyahu be like in office again. I commend to you a piece in the Jerusalem Post by David Kimche, which is worth reading as a whole. Here's the gist of it:
Our next prime minister, whether it is Tzipi Livni or Binyamin Netanyahu, may not like this new American activism that Barack Obama will, in all likelihood, adopt. She or he will, however, find it very difficult to ignore. Our government has, after all, embraced the Annapolis process and we cannot renege on it.
When our new prime minister is installed after next February's elections, Obama will already have been sworn in. If the prime minister is Netanyahu, he will find it very difficult to put into practice the hawkish campaign he is leading now. One way or another, we may well be seeing a continuation of the peace policy being conducted by Livni - whether it will be Tzipi or Bibi who will be in the saddle.