It wasn’t long after the cease fire between Hamas and Israel was declared that political calculations by Israel’s leaders started up once again.
Election campaigning temporarily put on hold during the recent conflagration was back in full force only minutes after the ceasefire took effect, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s opponents immediately began jockeying to replace him.
Israel’s news agencies reported that former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who resigned from office in 2008 over investigations into corruption, will likely sit out this election, leaving the way clear for others to vie for leadership.
If Olmert steps out of the public eye, that might give Tzipi Livini a path back to politics. Livini, once an up and coming leader, resigned from the Knesset in May after a thorough defeat in her quest to continue as leader of the Kadima Party.
Livini warned that if PM Netanyahu didn’t immediately start peace talks with Hamas, the next confrontation would be worse. Livini also mocked Bibi for his own past comments made when she was leader of Kadima.
“Tzipi Livni and the Kadima government stopped the IDF before it finished the job,” Netanyahu said in January 2009. “We will continue the work. We will ensure that the Hamas reign of terror will collapse.”
Natanyahu is facing criticism from many sources for the bluster he indulged in before becoming Prime Minister; he criticized former PMs and officials for their failures to curb Hamas. His claims that he’d end the terror campaigns are now being used against him.
“Netanyahu misled millions of people into thinking he would stop the Hamas from firing at us,” Likud activist Eli Cornfeld said. “The prime minister cannot outsource our security to the president of Egypt who does not even want us to exist.”
The long knives are out for Netanyahu after this Hamas attack. It will be interesting to see if he can withstand these attacks from within.