The Israeli Kadima party held their leadership primaries and Tzipi Livni, current former Minister of Foreign Affairs, has won the leadership by a margin of 1.1% over her rival, Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz.
Now Livni gets to entice Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to actually keep his word and step down (this may take far more skill than negotiating a peace agreement with the Palestinians). She then has the dubious honour of trying to establish a coalition government within 42 days. What kind of leader will she be? My first gut instinct says one who can be good at photo ops and not much else. If anything, she really minds me of Shimon Peres and I expect to see many photo ops with the two of them in the coming days (with the requisite celebrities in tow).
Caroline Glick, has penned a column on her called – Mrs. Clean is a Fraud which gives you a little background on Livni, but I am adding this caveat. Almost every single shady dealing Glick accuses Livni of doing; is done routinely by almost every Israeli politician of all political stripes. No new news here.
Livni needs desperately to create a ruling coalition in order to keep Kadima in power. There is a better than average chance, if elections were held immediately, Kadima would be swept into the fringe party zone. It has been suggested she may go outside the current Kadima coalition frame work and solicit the aid of the very far left political parties like Meretz or the Arab anti-Zionist parties to keep her grip on power, and if that happens - expect a major disconnect between the government and the people. Such a move could prove to possess utterly disastrous consequences for any agreement with the Palestinians Livni might reach.
For Livni to reach her ambitious; she has to come to an understanding with the religious and ‘so-called’ Israeli rightwing parties. In any other western nation, the rightwing would be a more conservative party but this is Israel where the political parties line up left, lefter, leftist, and hard left.