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

May 25, 2007

Labor Primary Nears- Olmert Based Costly War Decision on Image

It is only days before the Labor party primaries. The results of the final polls show both Barak and Ayalon at 27%, with Peretz at 12%, Pines at 9% and Yatom at only 2%. If no one gets 40% there will have to be a runoff. When Peretz was elected in the last primaries it came as a surprise, as the polls had not predicted his victory. Therefore, there is a level of skepticism in Israel as to the accuracy of these election polls. The commentators all agree that Barak ran the best campaign, while Ayalon made many mistakes.

Israeli media reported today that there had been a secret meeting between Olmert and key advisors before the decision to begin the final campaign in the Lebanon War this past summer. According to the report, Olmert had initially opposed the action claiming the campaign would be costly and would accomplish little. In the end he is said to have bowed to the advice of his media advisor who said his image needed it. Over thirty soldiers died in this action that did indeed accomplish nothing.

There was an interesting segment on tonight's TV magazine show reporting on how hard Israelis work. For those of us who still remember the days of the "afternoon siesta", take note that the world has changed. The average Israeli works 43 hours/week, with those in the private sector now working more hours than their American counterparts in the private sector.