Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Ehud Barak Leads Labor Off a Cliff

Israeli Labour leader Ehud Barak has agreed to be part of the nationalist coalition in Israel, headed by right-winger Benjamin Netanyahu, and gotten labor to go along with it. I've never been much of a fan of Ehud Barak, but even so the sheer stupidity and opportunism takes my breath away. The fact that the rest of the labor party voted to go along with the choice tells me everything I need to know about the state of the labor party in Israel. The fact that Tzipi Lvini, head of Kadima, which is to labors right, refused to be moderate cover to the far-right government of Netanyahu and the neo-fascistic Avigdor Lieberman shows this decision to be all the more craven.
I can't understand why Barak's party would go along with this. It's good for him in the short-run, in that he can play a (minor) cabinet role, but it's suicide for his party. This gains no votes: anyone who likes the nationalists is not going to vote for labor simply for being a lackey of thses parties. It will lose plenty of votes though. What progressive in his or her right mind would vote for such craven party. What constituency does that leave labor with? Barak fans?

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