I FEEL A NEED- A NEED FOR LAPID!: Israel’s latest parliamentary election is over, and Ariel Sharon will once again govern The Zionist Entity as Prime Minister. His Likud Party came in first, after a collapse by a Labor Party that makes the Democrats’ recent performance in US politics look a triumph of visionary strategy and purpose.
I’m no big fan of Ariel Sharon, I wish he weren’t Prime Minister, and I don’t believe there will ever be peace for as long as he is in the picture. That said, the Labor Party’s strategy was faulty, to say the least, in nominating ultra-dove Amram Mitzna over Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezar (who, I believe could have presented a serious challenge to Sharon, especially considering Ariel’s corruption problems.) Mitzna didn’t help matters with his ridiculous plans to immediately enter into negotiations with Yasser Arafat over withdrawl from the West Bank regardless of terrorism- followed by promises to unilaterally withdraw if negotiations were to fail. Huh? We may not love Sharon’s thus-far-fruitless get-tough approach, but it’s certainly preferable to the abject surrender favored by Mitzna & Co.
One bright spot from the super-fractious election was the rise of the center-right Shinui Party and its charismatic leader, Tommy Lapid; the party fell only one seat behind Labor to finish third. Lapid is exactly what is needed in American politics: a secular Jewish leader who is tough on issues of terrorism, yet not entirely opposed to peace, and ardently against right-wing attempts to impose theocracy. I guess the closest we’ve got is John McCain, but he’s not running for president again anytime soon, and he’s not a Jew.
Could Lapid be Israel’s first Kosher Scoop Jackson?
Regardless of what the results were, we should all be thankful that this election happened, because there aren’t too many of those going on in that part of the world these days. The historical miracle that is the State of Israel continues…

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