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

May 30, 2007

Peretz to Support Ayalon, Peres Runs for the Presidency

The next round of the Labor party primary election is less than two weeks away. TodayŐs news was dominated by a meeting between MK Ami Ayalon and Minister of Defense Amir Peretz. The expectations are that Peretz will come out in support of Ayalon. It is not clear how much that will help or hurt Ayalon. While Peretz received 23% of the vote, it is not unclear whether his supporters will move with him or seek new alliances. It is also unclear if Ayalon could lose some of his supporters just by receiving support from Peretz.

Meanwhile, Vice Premier Shimon Peres officially announced his candidacy for President. Seven years ago he lost his first bid to be President. The day after the lost, Yediot Aharonot, a daily Israeli newspaper, stated in the lead article that at least Peres can be consoled that this will be his last lost. Political observers believe MK Reuven Rivlin is currently leading Peres for the presidency. It is sad but likely that a man who has done so much for Israel will go down as the loser who lost to two second rate politicians; one who turns out was a rapist and the second who has accomplished little.

An interesting poll of Israelis released yesterday shows that 58% believe there is a military solution to the Qassam firing, while 25% believe there is no solution. 17% donŐt know. In another interesting poll, when asked an open question which leader could get Israel out of its current difficulties, 31% said there was no one; 19% said MK Netanyahu; 12% said MK Lieberman; 7% said MK Ayalon and 6% Barak. Prime Minister Olmert received 1%.

London and Kirshenbaum interviewed Ginor Isabella and Gideon Remez, the authors of the just released Foxbats over Dimona the Soviet Nuclear Gamble in the Six Day War (Yale University Press). The authors claim that the Soviets deliberately provoked Israel, including a flight by their newest aircraft the Foxbat over Dimona. They wanted a war to start and were ready to intervene. As previously noted, Segev's new book about the Six Day War was also released this month and at least according to the review I have read, blames to a large extent Israeli misreading of the situation for the start of the war. I should be receiving both tomorrow, so hopefully I will be able to try to resolve what could be very different historical conclusions.