So there I was with my popcorn in hand waiting for the show of the century, last night’s results from the primaries of Israel’s Likud party. Now I pride myself on my time keeping so I was more than a little disappointed to hear the results would not be announced on time at midnight. I felt a little down-in-the-mouth when the new 1 a.m. deadline passed. I put the popcorn down at 2 a.m., having lost my appetite. I was just getting matchsticks in place to hold my eyelids up when the results were declared at 3 a.m.
The truth is it really was worth waiting for, especially for the battle of the blondes. But more of the titillation later.
While Prime Minister Ariel Sharon romped home against Foreign Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in the party’s leadership primary last month, Sharon’s closest allies were badly burnt in yesterday’s voting. Sharon’s choice for Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz, only made 12th position, while Jerusalem Mayor Ehud Olmert slumped to 33rd, and perhaps Sharon’s closest confidant in the cabinet, Communications Minister Ruby Rivlin, finished in 37th place.
Netanyahu, however, must be smiling. His campaign manager in the leadership vote, Yisrael Katz, took slot number seven, Knesset member Yuval Steinitz pulled a rabbit out of the hat to reach 13th, and that brings us to the battle of the blondes. Netanyahu’s long-time secretary Ruchama Avraham surprised many by taking the 18th slot ahead of model turned cosmetics superstar Pnina Rosenblum, who finished in a very disappointing 39th slot.
The two women live in the same area, are both highly capable, but are both perhaps best known for being highly blonde. And so politicians and pundits alike dubbed the rivalry “the battle of the blondes,” but I have a feeling it was really the battle of the hair dyes.
And in case you think I am sexist, amongst the men, it was definitely a battle of guts…