Saturday, December 3, 2005

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Kadima is doomed. Doomed, doomed, doomed, doomed, doomed.

I've been remiss in not blogging about Israel, because I do so love the roiling comments section such posts generate. However, I have only one thing to say about Shimon Peres' decision to leave the Labor party and join Ariel Sharon's brand-spanking new Kadima Party -- it can only mean Kadima is doomed to implode.

Why do I say this? Because the one constant in Israeli politics is that Shimon Peres might be the single-worst politician in the brief history of the Israeli state. By this I don't mean Peres is a bad policymaker or leader -- I mean the man couldn't win an election to save his life. This is a guy who couldn't beat Mr. anti-charisma, Yitzhak Shamir. He couldn't beat Bibi Netanyahu after Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated by a Jewish zealot.

If Peres keeps his mouth shut and goes into a bunker until the election is over, maybe Kadima has a chance. But unless the focus is completely on Ariel Sharon, Kadima will have a very short half-life.

UPDATE: Omri Ceren has an Israeli politics blogg, Mere Rhetoric, that is worth checking out. He's more optimstic about Peres than I am.

posted by Dan on 12.03.05 at 01:13 AM


peres joining kadima is actually a coup for sharon. the two grand lions of israel's 'greatest generation' are now joined at the hip for a grand centrist bid. good news...that i hope to blog about in my space soon. yes, it's true, peres has been distrusted by many israelis as an effete euro-phile and pie-in-the-sky 'new' middle east dreamer. but circumstances have changed, and sharon manning the government acts as prophylactic for the peres effect sketched out above. so i guess i disagree w/ Dr Dr on this one, but we shall see come electioneering time...

p.s don't miss ykh over at tnr on the sharon going-ons either...

posted by: greg on 12.03.05 at 01:13 AM [permalink]

If Peres were the head of the party, you might have a point. But having Peres in a secondary position in the party can hardly be considered a recipe for disaster. The very fact that he has had such a long and distinguished career in major positions, and has landed in the PM office so often, makes it rather clear that he is an extremely valuable member of any leadership team.

Going just on the history, one could even argue that, when choosing up teams, once you get past the leadership position, Peres would be the one person you would most want to recruit.

posted by: Tano on 12.03.05 at 01:13 AM [permalink]

"the single-worst politician in the brief history of the Israeli state"

Oh really Dan.....

Wouldn't the worst politician be one who never managed to get himself elected to anything? Or perhaps one who got near the apex of power and proved to be an utter disaster? You are talking about a guy who has probably held more positions of importance, for longer periods, than anyone in Israeli history. He was prime minister, what,,,5 times? Even today, after nearly half a century, he is activly recruited by the current PM, who probably has a slightly better instinctive sense of Israeli politics than you do.

Yes, he never won a decisive victory for PM. Which would probably preclude him from being ranked as a truly great political leader. But the worst ever???????

posted by: Observer on 12.03.05 at 01:13 AM [permalink]

I'm sorry, did you say "doomed"?

posted by: Anderson on 12.03.05 at 01:13 AM [permalink]

The best thing (if you can even call it that) about this move is that it frees up both Labor and Likud from these crusty old fools. It looks like Kadima is basically a party of old time cronyism, formed by politicians who were getting sick of their jobs being threatened by people who might actually bring peace (remember Barak, Mitzna and now Peretz, or, in the case of Likud, now they can go back to advocating the complete ethnic cleansing of all the palestinians once and for all). Sharon and Peres have had 40 years to bring peace, but they didn't want peace and never will. I hope the Israeli public is smarter then to elect these snakes any longer.

posted by: joe m. on 12.03.05 at 01:13 AM [permalink]

I think you're off base Dan. Kadima will likely be a successful party. It will siphon off a lot of Leftists from Labor, as well as Sharon supporters. This is a very unfortunate situation for Israel, as Sharon is prepared to give away 95% of the West Bank without any reciprocity by the PA.

posted by: Eye Doc on 12.03.05 at 01:13 AM [permalink]

ha, the Peres curse. As others have hinted, but not said quite explicitly, is that the Peres curse was only operative on Labour when Peres was actually head of the party. Rabin and Barak both managed to win elections while having Peres on their slate.

posted by: liberalhawk on 12.03.05 at 01:13 AM [permalink]

There is something that you did not considered.
Shimon always come second on elections. In Kadima he is "Second" so in order to Shimon to get second - Kadima has to come first! And because (As I mentioned) Shimon is always come second - Kadima will win elections... So smart move by Ariel Sharon. Funny :))) I hope...

posted by: Serg Lexx on 12.03.05 at 01:13 AM [permalink]

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