Posted by: Liza Rosenberg | June 13, 2007

Caught between Barak and a Hard Place

Well, it’s now official. Amir Peretz, aka “The Mustache” is gone. Following nineteen painful months as Labor party leader, Amir Peretz has been voted out. The winner of yesterday’s Labor primaries is military man turned politician turned businessman turned politician Ehud Barak, who, quite frankly, does not make my socks roll up and down. I think I would have preferred Ami Ayalon, but as is often the case in Israeli politics, it would have been a matter of choosing the less disappointing candidate.

Barak’s political history is not terribly impressive, and his brief run as prime minister left much to be desired. As I remember it, the most exciting revelation to come out of his previous incarnation as a government minister was that he was an accomplished penis pianist. He was also notorious for running his government as though it were an extension of the military, maintaining a small, tight group of advisors and militaristic secrecy, keeping odd hours and doing his best to keep his fellow players on their toes at all times.

Barak not only left the prime minister’s office behind following the outbreak of the second intifada, he also left his former wife behind (who was, quite honestly the best thing he had going for him), removed an unsightly mole from his face, and successfully made his way in the world of business and the global lecture circuit, easily catapulting himself into the upper echelons of Israeli society. Not much was heard from him during his absence, and since his return to the world of Israeli politics, he was often criticized for remaining silent in the media. In fact, the only sound byte I can actually remember during the campaign period prior to the Labor primaries is that he is the only Labor personality who can beat out Bibi Netanyahu in nationwide elections, which, whether or not it is actually true, is a rather scant platform on which to base one’s campaign for leadership.

We are still far enough away from nationwide elections that I don’t feel the need to worry about the outcome. As it stands today, none of the potential candidates terribly excite me – not Barak and certainly not Olmert or Netanyahu. Barring the unexpected appearance of a knight in shining armor who will somehow miraculously be able to lead the country out of its current quagmire, I suspect that come election time, I will feel as though I don’t have anyone to vote for. Indeed, the State of Israel is once again caught between Barak and a hard place.



  1. what a lovely post – started off great with the title, and continued in the same vein. I loved it. How long did it take to come up with the title? I think you should try to sell it…

  2. I can’t think of the last time I voted that I was actually enthusiastic about a candidate. What a sad social commentary.

  3. True, unfortunately – for us…

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