Brain Bush’s Blog

Shark Pool Guidebook

  • By : Brian Bush
  • September 23, 2008
  • 3:09 pm

On yesterday's broadcast we mentioned the political 'Shark Pool' here in Israel at this time of formation of the post Olmert government.

To help you know a little bit about who's who and what's up – here's a little guide for you.

There are three main players on the page.

Tzipi Livni, is now the new leader of Kadima. Kadima was the new political party formed by Aeril Sharon, formally of the Likud, when he realized he could not get them to participate in the Disengagement Plan.

Mrs. Livni has been charged with forming a government and has roughly over a month to do so.

Ehud Barak, the former Prime Minister who pulled Israel out from Lebanon, is the leader of the Labor Party – Kadima's Junior partner in the coalition of Mr. Olmert. He is hungry to gain the premiership and restore Labors glory politically.

Benjamin Netanyahu, also a former Prime minister, represents the nationalistic camp. He is the opposition leader to the Government representing the Likud party. Their objective is to stop the peace process in its current form and continue controversial policies both for Israel and the West Bank.

It is important to note that, although they do not have a leader who could run for the Premiership at this time, the Ultra-Orthodox Shas party holds huge sway. At current, both Likud and Labor are courting the Shas leadership. They usually go for the partner who will fund their interests and grant them the powers they want.

At this point in the game the powers are jockeying for position – each looking for greater offices and ministries to control, and support their constituency's interest.

Livni must build a majority coalition government that will weather political storms or she will loose her chance to be Prime Minister.

One thing I have heard, is that she was given herself a deadline of about another week to form her coalition. If she is not able – then she will call for early elections.

She is figuring that all the other parties would have to scramble just as she has these days. In this scenario she believes she will have the momentum on her side and key parties will drop demands and come along sit along side Kadima for the hope of a better chance at securing their deals. In this case, Netanyahu will have to sell Likud and himself out to Shas to stand a chance for the Premiership.

Hope this helps,


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