Livni Playing Catchup

WPR’s World Citizen, Frida Ghitis, called my attention to this AP report on recent polling in Israel. Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud, after a recent surge, has lost quite a bit of ground, and while still ahead of Tzipi Livni’s Kadima party, only leads by what amounts to four Knesset seats.

It seems to me that a weak Netanyahu victory would probably be the worse possible scenario, since as Frida pointed out in her column last week, he had been making a pitch towards the moderate center. A bare margin victory would increase the leverage of the far-right parties he’d need to form a coalition government, making any moderation less likely.

What surprises me most about the polling, though, is the disappearance of the Labor Party. If the numbers hold, Labor would be just the fifth-largest party in the Knesset. Between the French Socialist Party, the American GOP and Israeli Labor, it’s as if we’ve entered a period of species extinction in global politics.

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