Monday, June 04, 2007

Peretz and Ayalon

Amir Peretz has endorsed Ami Ayalon for the Labor Party leadership. From what I've heard, in Israeli primary politics an endorsement like this actually matters, and many of Peretz's supporters will now vote for Ayalon in his run-off against Ehud Barak. Together, their vote totals in the first round were over 50%, meaning Ayalon is now the favorite in leadership race.

I don't think Barak's claim that Peretz's endorsement will drive people away from Ayalon holds water. Peretz is unpopular as Defense Minister, but I've seen little evidence that people are that hostile to his social agenda, which he seems to be getting a second wind from pursuing. What's more, I expect Barak already has most of the crowd primarily interested in experience. In short, I, too, expect Ayalon to win come June 12 barring some new development.



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