Eretz Yisrael Time

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Sunday, December 28, 2008
Without even seeing any polls I can definitely say that so far the big winner of this war is Ehud Barak.

Riding on the coattails of Gabi Ashkenazi’s military planning, Barak (along with Livni) has delayed the Gaza offensive to as close to elections as he could possibly get away with.

This has resulted in 2 good things for Barak.

The first is that all the major parties have stopped their election campaigning, while Barak gets great face time as the Defense Minister – and can you beat that for free positive (and exclusive) campaigning ahead of elections?

The second is that when the other parties realize they have been hoodwinked and renew their campaigns they will have to concentrate their attacks on Barak instead of Kadima v. Likud which will just give Barak even more legitimacy (and Barak has no where to go but up), but of course it will be difficult if not impossible to attack Barak in the middle of a war which he plans to finish only right before election time.

If Bibi uses this war to get international face time explaining Israel’s position he faces a double edged sword. On one hand he seriously helps Barak (Barak wants to be Bibi’s Defense Minister if he can’t be Prime Minister) and on the other hand he helps himself. Livni of course will lose out, as she can’t compete with Bibi in the international media.

Furthermore, Bibi can just explain that this is Barak’s show and Livni is a bystander, pushing up Barak more at Livni’s expense (Kadima was the bigger threat until yesterday).

Livni can only come out ahead here if she somehow manages to pull some of the glory away from Barak and that is going to difficult because she is just the Foreign Minister and not a particularly good one.

So far, Round One goes to Ehud Barak for delaying the defense of Israel until it would best help him in the elections.

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