Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Politics as usual

They used to say there was no honor among thieves. Maybe so, but there's even less among Israeli politicians. So it goes.

Labor and Kadima agreed late Tuesday night to work together to reject any proposal which calls for the dissolution of the Knesset, whether it is brought to the floor on Wednesday, or any time in the coming weeks.

The agreement was a result of a meeting between Labor party secretary-general Eitan Cabel and Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Chairman Tzahi Hanegbi (Kadima) which lasted several hours, and allowed both parties to avoid a potentially hazardous political showdown.

According to the agreement, the Kadima party promised to convene a committee on Wednesday which would begin the process of primaries for choosing a new chairperson. On Monday of next week, the Kadima faction will discuss the results, and 10 days later the Kadima council will convene to determine an exact date for primary elections, to be held before September 25. Should a run-off election be needed as well, that, too, will be held before September 25.

So Olmert (probably) survives to run his country into the ground yet another day. Without even getting Shas involved. Nice. Congratulations. Mazal tov.

A bill by Likud MK Silvan Shalom calling for the Knesset to be dissolved was to be brought to the floor on Wednesday, and until late Tuesday night, had a very good chance of garnering the support necessary in order to pass and force early elections. Given the latest development, however, there is now a chance that the bill will not be raised during Wednesday's session.