It wasn’t particularly loving, or caring, nor did it bring anyone closer but the honeymoon period usually granted new administrations is decidedly over.
The Skill of the IDF won’t save the Emeer from his political battles
Peretz, overwhelmed by defense as it is, will not be able to call in seasoned IDF troops to save his ass in the Labor Party should hostilities flare.
For Peretz trouble was brewing from the night of the election on. While the left touted some mythic social wing of parties that supposedly stunned everyone, the reality was clear to political dogs from the get go, Labor didn’t add a single mandate despite calling for and forecasting a full on revolution! In the World of politics dropping a mandate from the last turn out which was characterized as one of the worst disasters in party history, does not make you a messiah, nor does it particularly safeguard your ass in the top seat.
Coalition of the damned
The coalition negotiations went well for Labor, but it didn’t mask the boiling over angst in the party over seats.. The press endlessly reported it as coalition jockeying, seat jockeying etc. But the truth is that Labor didn’t collect enough mandates, had a poor showing so no matter what coalition was jockeyed there would not be nearly enough positions for the Labor egos any way you sliced it.
The "we will form our own coalition with the right" move Peretz pulled one week in didn’t help, talk about making an ass of yourself, the party and everyone who voted for it. I was expecting Ami Ayalon and others to mount the challenges, not this soon mind you but it has been brewing since day one.
What was interesting to me was the failure of Peretz & Labor to unify and bring in under his wing other party leaders (he has actively done the opposite in fact). Barak, nowhere to be found, Ben Eliezer has been silent (probably eating something).. But that will come home to roost for Peretz now, he claimed yesterday the Government would last the full 4 year term, but will ‘Amir the Emeer’ do the same?
Olmert under siege for his ‘unstoppable‘ plan
Things aren’t rosy for Ehud either. He fumbled the Hamas situation before the election, dropped over ten mandates in the few weeks running up to the election, was forced to do major sellouts of his so called center position to the left in order to mount a government, and to date has yet to put forth a coherent reason for his convergence plan now that the territory goes to Hamas, and no one will recognize the borders.
USA to the non rescue
His visit to Washington hailed as a great success has not brought him closer to convergence by a long shot, if anything it has tied him more than ever to the graces of Bush on Iran, on Hamas, and on convergence at a time when Bush is himself under serious fire from all sides. His wonderful speech to congress was missing one thing, it was filled with pompadour and some prose, but was light on the reasoning of his ideas. Many can agree that Israel cannot realistically, nor should it want to govern over a million plus Palestinians..
Screw them. Literally, I couldn’t care less if they all have to eat dirt after so many duplicitous shams they have put forward in the ‘name of peace’. But I don’t see how Olmert’s plan solves this problem, if anything it will hamper the IDF from acting as the Gaza plan has, only this time Israel doesn’t even get a recognized withdrawal and border in return. This reality is dawning on a wary Israeli public, and Olmert’s statements disavowing referendums, of muscling through his un-sketched plans and coming home without any manner of paying the massive bill doesn’t smell for a particularly smooth road ahead in my opinion for Israel’s latest PM.
Two wrong lefts don’t make a right
Add these two big boys together and there’s going to be some serious fireworks coming for Peretz & Olmert’s coalition of the damned. The only saving grace as I see it, is the total ineptitude of opposition parties so far. Olmert’s budget is barely able to squeak through today, when the votes start to count on other big issues and Arab parties and Meretz are making the deciding calls, Olmert may well regret the failure of Kadima to woo Lieberman’s Israel our Home party..
The Russians will be back IMHO, and this time they will wield either the axe, or the deciding votes.