Israel’s Imploding Labor Party Opts for the Past in Primary
Israel’s Labor Party, a shadow of the dominant political force it once was, has voted to go “back to the future” as it elected Amir Peretz for another trip to the well. Peretz served a lackluster term in 2006, shepherding a parliamentary faction of 16 as the party began a slide that resulted in a paltry 6 seats in the April election that is being repeated in September. Peretz, is known for a famous photo taken of him while serving as defense minister during the Second Lebanon War in which during a reconnaissance pose, he held his binoculars backwards and stared into the wrong end of the device. Apparently part of a wave of senior politicians returning to the fore rather than allowing a new generation of leadership to emerge, Ehud Barak, another Labor politician whose tenure as prime minister was the shortest tenure of all Israeli prime ministers, has also announced his return to active duty with plans to form a new party and seek the prime ministry. Also, among failed politicians who have purportedly “left” politics but are rumored to be returning are Tzipi Livni and Gidon Saar.