I have no doubt that Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu slept well last night. The ridiculous media festival surrounding the election of Shaul Mofaz as chairman of the Kadima party is slowly giving up the ghost, and Israeli politics remain exactly where they were on Monday. With a small advantage to Netanyahu – the block of naïve voters, men and women, who believed with all their heart that Tzipi Livni had the skills and abilities required to bring a breath of fresh air to Israeli politics crumbled at once. Elements of this block will now seek solace in the arms of Sheli Yekhimovitch or in the photogenic portrait of Yair Lapid and will vote for them when one day, next year, Israel will finally hold elections.
Despite all the razzmatazz, Shaul Mofaz does not delude himself for a minute that he will be a prime minister one day. The people of Israel do indeed have a very short memory, but not that short that they will accept a government headed by Mofaz, with Dan Halutz as defence minister, while Israel is facing the most grave security challenges since the War of Independence. Polls show Netanyahu to have more than three times the support when as the most suitable person to be prime minister. Shaul Mofaz has the same agenda that kept him grumpy and fermenting on the opposition benches during the last few years – he wants back the defence portfolio that was taken away from him when Ehud Olmert handed it in a moment of political insanity to Amir Peretz. To get this portfolio, Mofaz will carry out any manoeuvre, manipulation and combination needed. I cannot see Binyamin Netanyahu giving him this portfolio for the shrunken dowry he will be able to produce after the elections.
But after the pleasant night sleep, the prime minister must wake up and smell the coffee. In the Middle East things happen fast, especially to those who did not prepare their homework. Already tomorrow, and perhaps even sooner, the security forces will face a wide front of disturbances and multi sector attempts to break through the borders which would probably end in blood, hopefully others’ blood rather than IDF soldiers’. I have not heard the prime minister prepare international opinion to the looming events, points out Iran’s direct involvement in the attempts to set the region on fire, or warn the governments of the countries and territories from which trouble will come of their direct responsibility to the outcomes, The day is still long, Binyamin –wake up and start doing.