(Banner will apear here)

Beautiful Kabbalah Jewelry Judaicawebstore.com
Font Size:

Kahlon's Cold Feet and Abbas's Hot Tip

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's Likud Party Breaths Sigh of Relief After Moshe Kahlon Decides Not To Form New Party

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas Chimes In By Declaring: "The West Bank & Gaza Is Palestine, All the Rest Is Israel"

President Mahmoud Abbas (Photo: Amit Shabi)

 What is the impact of Likud Cabinet Minister's Moshe Kahlon's final decision not to form a new party to run against the Likud in the upcoming election? Kahlon's shooting star has now burned out and the campaign will now turn to whether former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will again throw his hat into the ring to lead a new Center bloc or whether he will succumb to his numerous legal problems. From another quarter, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has also got into the action by trying to stir up interest in the moribund Palestinian issue. Analyst David Essing has this election update.

 Nah, I guess not' – in effect that was Moshe Kahlon's decision. For days on end, the Likud cabinet minister dominated Israel's election campaign and the media. Would he or would he not bolt the Likud to form a new party to run against Likud. Those close to Kahlon told reporters that he had lost confidence in Bibi Netanyahu's economic policy. So after throwing the election campaign into a frenzy and his own Likud into hysteria, Kahlon's cronies leaked that he had dropped the idea of running independently and would stick to his original plan to take a 'time out' from politics. So the Kahlon balloon has ended not with a bang but a whimper. Obviously, the Likud breathed a collective sigh of relief; the polls had indicated that a Kahlon party could have snatched a crucial number of seats from the Likud and possibly jeopardize Netanyahu's chance to form the next government.

As for the Likud, they will likely welcome their prodigal son back into the fold with open arms – his ego trip had lasted only a few days anyway. Moreover, he himself had never said anything publicly against the Likud, his backroom campaign was instigated by his unscrupulous aides! But many Israeli voters are asking today: "Is Moshe Kahlon for real?" His shilly-shallying has raised serious questions about his political judgment and his indecisiveness – if his game plan is to become prime minister of Israel one day then surely: 'Ambition should be made of sterner stuff!'. Commenting on the Kahlon fiasco, Labor's Shelly Yachimovich quipped: "There's one Likud spin and there's another, but the Israeli people are not fools". Moshe Kahlon now has a massive job ahead to rebuild his hard won political image that he has now squandered so ignominiously.

Abbas and Israeli election campaign….

As for the impact on the campaign, count on other issues to come to the fore. For example, the statement by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas: "Palestine for me is the 1967 border with Israel with East Jerusalem its capital, this is Palestine. I am a refugee, I live in Ramallah – the West Bank and Gaza is Palestine, everything else is Israel". That interview on Israel's Channel 2 TV was conducted in English. Later, Abbas told Egyptian TV in Arabic: "In no way did I imply the giving up of the Palestinian right of return that is sacred". President Shimon Peres welcomed the Channel 2 interview as 'a very important statement'. Prime Minister Netanyahu viewed it as a ploy to intervene in Israel's election campaign noting that Abbas had consistently refused to renew peace negotiations with Israel for the past four years, even after he had frozen settlement construction. Labor's Yachimovich said an Israeli withdrawal to the 1967 was not acceptable. The solution should be based on the Clinton plan that would include the settlement blocs inside Israel in return for territorial swaps.

David Essing

Back To The Top