- New polls! The polls mostly reinforced what we already knew. However, one has the Zionist Union (12) gaining two seats back from Yesh Atid (22) and the Likud (30) gaining 3 seats plus back from Bayit Yehudi (9). The poll was Likud’s strongest performance in some time, even though it only predicted that they maintain their current seats. Another poll gave the Zionist Union 15 seats in the hypothetical situation where Ehud Barak is leading the party, a huge improvement. The Labor Party! Where the failed leaders of the past who helped burn the party to the ground are the new leaders of tomorrow.
- When asked for their preference to lead the country, Bibi outperformed “don’t know” by a rousing 35% to 27%. Real life embodiment of “don’t know”, Yair Lapid, received 14%.
- Histadrut elections took place this past week with Labor supported candidate Avi Nisrakon taking the sought after job. His opponent, Labor MK Shelly Yachimovitch is claiming that Nisrakon won because of fraud and is seeking new elections. Some think Yachimovitch could leave the party to form a new socialist-democratic party with former Yisrael Beitenu MK Orly-Levy Abukasis.
- Speaking of drama in the house of Labor, MK Erel Margalit, who once declared that a plane being delayed due to mechanical failure was a sign of Israel’s demise, demanded that MK Amir Peretz retire from public life. Peretz, the current front runner to be the next head of Labor, is involved in a scandal concerning the registration of Labor party members who are also those who select the next head of the party. His people allegedly threatened Dina Dayan, another candidate and activist who is unlikely to win, for bringing the issue to the party’s internal court. Peretz responded to Margalit saying “It seems that it is very hard to invest many millions only to find out that people don’t like you.” Mic. Dropped. Margalit has been considered “involved” in a general scandal involving the purchasing of votes in the upcoming primaries, but unlike Peretz has not been investigated.
- In coalition news, “Credit to the Memory of Rav Ovadia Yosef” Aryeh “Machlouf” Deri is once again being investigated for corruption. Apparently, police began to notice that it’s strange that a man who was once supported by Holocaust survivors and who has only worked in the public sector owns multiple apartments around the country.
Totally precise and not arbitrary election date: February 20, 2018
Winner: Likud (The secret to the Likud’s power in recent years has been their internal stability. The current mess in Labor and the 9 person race (which includes someone who was recently a Likud minister) recalls the internal battles going back to Peres vs. Rabin. Meanwhile here is the list of Likud leaders. Begin, Shamir, Sharon, Bibi. This is not to say that there are no internal battles within the Likud, but the ability of the party to rally around their charismatic leaders has definitely afforded them an advantage in elections.)
Runner Up: Yesh Atid (I imagine that Labor might recover many of their theoretically lost seats after the primaries. Yesh Atid will have to step it up.)