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Thursday, November 10, 2005 

Shimon Peres continues his losing streak

The Israel Labor Party, which is becoming quite a has-been today, held their internal party primaries yesterday, and Shimon Peres, long unwilling to admit defeat, lost again to the former head of the the country's union division, Amir Peretz.

Now this was a very narrow vote, and none of the candidates, if you ask me, is inspiring. But in any case, what really makes me shake my head here is how Peres really went the awkward route by not congratulating Peretz for his victory, narrow as it was. As told here:
Peres said this early morning that he would ask the party to investigate charges of vote-tampering in the Peretz camp. "There are real suspicions of forgeries, pressures, and threats," he said. In an unprecedented act of omission, Peres did not call Peretz to congratulate him on his victory.
Wow! Peres can't even lose with honor in a primary election? Oh brother. (Update: now he has congratulated Peretz, but that he did so belatedly is still quite damaging to his public image.)
When the polls closed last night at 8:30 PM, a major media drama began when the two leading radio stations produced diametrically-opposed projections. The Voice of Israel, commissioning Prof. Yitzchak Katz of Maagar Mohot (Brain Base), reported that Peretz would beat the incumbent Peres by a 46%-41% margin. Army Radio, on the other hand, utilizing the services of the Smith Institute, reported a large Peres victory - 52%-38% - over Peretz.
The problem with these ostensible pollsters is that they're simply unreliable, and/or tend to run the risk of sensationalizing the news a bit too much.

Now, here's another head-shaker, for me anyway:
Shinui Party leader Tommy Lapid said that Peretz's victory put Labor on the extreme-left of Israel's political scene.
The problem is that, if Lapid is going to build his campaign on inciting against the Hasidic community, as he did in past elections, then he's no better than Peretz, now is he?

As for Peres, beside the fact that he was responsible for the destructive Oslo agreements, there's one more thing here of note:
It is not yet known whether Peres, 82, who has become accustomed to losing elections, will retire from politics, or whether he will continue with "business as usual."
Considering his age, which is past eighty years old, he'd do best to retire ASAP, lest he continue to make himself look like pure comedy. And another reason why he'd do best to retire is due to his involvement in the Marc Rich pardon scandal, which, as revealed in this old report from FindLaw's Writ, he and Ehud Barak were instrumental in getting former president Clinton to pardon Swiss-Jewish-American financier Marc Rich:
Apparently the fact that Israeli Prime Minister Barak and Nobel Prize winner Shimon Peres personally solicited Clinton for a pardon of Marc Rich was an important factor in granting the pardon. Indeed, Barak called the president regarding this subject on at least two occasions. But how is the Congress going to obtain what may be the most important information about the pardon, the information conveyed in these conversations with Barak and Peres?

Neither Mr. Barak nor Mr. Peres is likely to have anything to do with this politically inspired investigation. And Congress cannot subpoena either Barak or Peres. Thus, unless the president volunteers this information, it may remain unknown, and its impact unknowable.
Sadly so. Nevertheless, if this was something scandalous that they were involved in, then that's certainly a serious matter.

Also, there's the Peres Center scandal to think about, and which Caroline Glick wrote about that back in 2002. The UN envoy Terje Larsen was a big contributor to that, and so too was Marc Rich. And, as WorldNetDaily reported earlier this year, Peres was involved in a technology fund scam coordinated with the PLO.

Those deeds do not bode well for his image.

Also available at Basil's Blog, Choose Life, Don Surber, Jo's Cafe, The Mudville Gazette, NIF, Oblogatory Anecdotes, Outside the Beltway, The Political Teen. Others on the subject include Cosmic X, Israel Perspectives, Joe Settler, The Muqata, Faith in Nathan.

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