Israeli News: A Daily Analysis
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A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman

June 7, 2007

Barak Even With Ayalon- Peres Leads For Presidency

The next week will see two major political events taking place in Israel. The runoffs for the Labor party chairman and the election of the new president of Israel are scheduled for the coming week. The latest polls show Ehud Barak and MK Ami Ayalon each receiving similar support of Labor party members.

As I predicted last week, AyalonŐs embrace of Minister of Defense Peretz has hurt him and not helped him. Barak has picked up nine points in the last week to bring the race even. Ten percent are still undecided. Yesterday Ayalon came under criticism from a kibbutz audience for his deal with Peretz. Now some of Peretz's supporters are trying to use the race card claiming that the kibbutz members do not like Peretz because he is Sephardic. Could it possibly be that since he was so competent as Defense Minister of Defense, members of the Labor party do not think he should be a minister of anything?

Meanwhile, according to most political observers, Vice Premier Peres is running a surprisingly successful campaign for President. He now seems to be comfortably ahead. The Elders of Torah of the Shas party have decided to support Peres. In the announcement, they said that they were supporting Peres to thank him for the years of work for the Jewish people. Of course Peres has been disappointed before.

The Syrians have responded positively to IsraelŐs indication of willingness to enter into negotiations. Israelis are divided as to their trust that President Assad really wants to enter into a peace agreement. Some think that he actually believes he could beat Israel in a war. That is a very dangerous delusion.