Ehud Barak’s Labor Party is finally dead.
Paradoxically, this may be the single most important factor in Israel regaining its sanity and moral compass. No longer will moderates waste their votes by giving Ehud Barak one more chance. No longer will Labor’s traditional pro-peace, pro-social justice constituency legitimize a government which is anti-peace, anti-democracy and anti-labor.
WHY THIS MATTERS: In the short term, Barak’s decamping acts to stabilize Netanyahu’s rule – but the short term may be very short indeed. A range of events, including a Lieberman indictment or the specter of a UN-backed Palestinian declaration of statehood, could re-shuffle the Israeli political deck and reactivate the center and left.
A recently published opinion study of Israeli Jews by Tel Aviv University’s highly regarded Institute for National Security Studies shows that, even factoring in a shift to the right over the past decade, 64 percent support a “two states for two peoples” solution, and 53 percent specifically support the establishment of a Palestinian state within the context of a permanent agreement.
WHY IT MATTERS: The majority in Israel wants to see an end to the occupation of the West Bank. An overwhelming majority wants to see negotiations proceed with the Palestinians.