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Friday, September 1, 2006

The cracks widen


I think that Amir Peretz, former onward-follow me leader of the Histadrut, Israel's enormous labor union, is finally returning to his "old self." I don't think it's my imagination that since he was elected head of the "establishment" Labor Party and then joined Olmert's coalition being given the "prestigious" Defense Ministry, he was trying to "fit in."

Remember that as union leader, he'd stop the country's traffic or paralyze all the ports, stopping all imports and exports with the ease of Lance Armstrong cycling down a gentle hill.

As "hotshot politician" he became the patsy for the defense debacle this summer here in Israel. He stood by powerless, though he is the Defense Minister, while his city, Sderot has been attacked for months now.

Now in the midst of demands from right, left and center that an official commission to investigate the IDF's handling of the war be established, Peretz announced that he agrees. He didn't consult with anybody. Finally he's waking up and showing some backbone, some leadership.

To make things clear, he's far from being my favorite politician, but considering his position in Olmert's government, his announcement is very important.

Things are starting to look very interesting....

Shabbat Shalom

3 comments:

Sammy_Finkelman said...

Peretz is inexperienced in this issue - so he's coming to it honestly and fresh. There could be all kinds of leftist type reasons not to have a complete investigation, especially protecting individuals and doctrine (that is really individuals who came up with a bad doctrine or signed on to it for career reasons) but he's not part of that and probably is not even suspicious. And also, he may not have been told things he should have been told, and if that is the cxase, why should he want to protect anybody?

josh said...

Good point Sammy. If he really is a true leftist blue collar, it's about time that he stick it to the elites. Leftists are supposed to care about the interests of the people over those of the minority elites. It is sad that leftists in Israel became synonymous with hating settlers and being bohemian. Everyone liked to paint him as an amatuer ignoring the power he managed to amass through the years, but maybe he won't simply be the left's patsy after all like Ben Eliexer was the 'temporary' labour leader.

Batya said...

Sammy, josh, good points.

One should never underestimate a union leader. His victory shocked the Labor establishment, who never expected him to win. the Labor Party is not united. It may even have more problems than the Likud.