I'm sure that I'm not the only one whose reaction to yesterday's Likud election for party leader is "no surprise." That's why it has taken me so long to write about it.
Bibi, the slick chameleon, got more than the minimum 40% needed to be elected. The colorless, Sylvan Shalom, who's like a Meridor without the family history, came in second. I must admit that I can't read him. I don't know what he stands for, except playing straight man to his controversial, media-savvy wife, Judy Shalom Nir-Mozes.
Last place was Yisrael Katz, formerly known as Tzachi Hanegbi's university buddy. Katz's girth may have increased since then, but his political support hasn't, though I'm glad he has remained in the Likud. Officially he opposed Disengagement, but he wasn't fired by Arik Sharon. That means one of two things. Either his opposition wasn't really sincere, like Tzachi's, or Sharon considered him "harmless," meaning powerless and lacking in personal support.
If you're reading carefully, you've noticed that I left out the third place. It was Moshe Feiglin. Contrary to Katz's statements, it was Feiglin, not Katz, who was the most anti-Disengagement of all the candidates. Feiglin's big problem is that he's not a politician. He seems too shy up close and doesn't work the crowds. He doesn't enjoy people from my observations. A few times I've noticed him at large social events, and he seemed uncomfortable and made no efforts to get to know people. The great and successful politicians, even if innately shy, learn quickly how to approach people and speak to them, touch them, shake their hands and in Israel, hug and kiss. I've seen the pros at work, and it's a very important skill. The real pros have a small discreet staff close by taking mental notes of all the people and subjects discussed to utilize every social opportunity.
The pundits and spinners seem impressed that Feiglin got over 10% of the votes. The big question is how he'll do when choosing the list for Knesset members. Will he and any of his supporters get in? It's a great leap of faith to vote Likud, when Bibi is at its helm. In Bibi's previous term as Prime Minister he gave Chevron to the Arabs, further endangering the Jewish residents.
In just over three months there will be elections here in Israel. Many voters feel pessimistic, having lost whatever faith we had in the government and politicians. Sharon surprised us in a negative way. We'll vote, but we know that we must remember:
Yisrael, Yisrael, b'tach
Israel, Israel, trust in