Welcome back to Kalpi’s politubureau! Where the takes are hot and the corruption is kept to a minimum. When we last left the political world, Likud and Yesh Atid were sparring for poll position and the Labor party was a mess…I’m sure Passover changed everything.
- Likud and Yesh Atid are still trading spots atop the polls while everyone else is staying consistent with previous polling. Yesh Atid’s real test will come after Labor party primaries. Can the Labor party use the momentum of elections to regain some prestige and popularity? Well, considering that Labor party activists are still pushing for crusty old military men, no. They can’t. Labor always provides such vision and progress.
- Regarding those primaries, it seems that Amir Peretz is holding a strong lead . The primaries were delayed by a Britney Spears concert, which is fitting because… Labor is toxic/ the Labor party is not a contender not yet totally dead/ come election season Labor will be singing hit me Bibi one more time/ Oops… Boogie is still in charge.
- During the break Moshe Kahlon was sneakily putting together a major economic plan. I say sneakily because he hid the plan for as long as he could to prevent Bibi from taking credit. To clarify, we’re not in a very special episode of Israeli politics where the whole show is occupied by a flashback to when everyone was a child. The plan cuts taxes and increased subsidies and grants for working parents. Theoretically, it will increase household salaries by tens of thousands of Shekels a year and will improve Kulanu’s future prospects. The plan also served as a shot to Kahlon’s biggest political rivals Bibi and Lapid. In an interview, Kahlon made it clear that he dislikes Bibi and I picture him giggling as he sprung his policy trap. And to think, just the other day they were happily eating falafel together.
- In addition to punking Bibi, Khalon gained some ammunition for his inevitable campaign against Yair Lapid, his main centrist competitor. Kahlon has already ribbed Yesh Atid for achieving more of their platform than they did and any clear accomplishment will provide easy campaign fodder.
- Bibi is still being investigated.
- On the legislative side, look for controversy regarding the “Nation Law”, which will confirm that the state is a Jewish state (shhhhh, it’s a secret), intrigue regarding religion and state issues (exacerbated by elections in Jerusalem) and our old friend the Israeli Public Broadcasting Authority, the issue no one cares about, but that no one can agree to let go.
Totally precise and not arbitrary election date: February 20, 2018 (I’m gonna add two extra weeks apropos of nothing. The coalition is on very shaky ground. HaBayit HaYehudi has incentive to leave in order to gain the seats back from the Likud that they feel were stolen, the ultra-Orthodox parties are going to face pressure to not compromise on Shabbat issues, a pressure that will be increased due to a mobilized Jerusalem polity and Kulanu is building up steam for a campaign while Bibi and Kahlon’s relationship is at its nadir. Yisrael Beitenu is the only reliable member of the coalition, but their 6 seats won’t do much for the Likud. Completely tangentially, I just saw a commercial for a medicine that said “don’t take Otezla if you are allergic to any of its ingredients”. I think we could have figured that out on our own Otezla)
Runner Up: Yesh Atid (non-traditional parties tend to lose seats as elections near)