Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon left the right wing Likud Party, which he founded in 1973, to form a new centrist political party and call new elections this March. A lot of bloggers and the American press have been talking about Israel’s political earthquake and the tectonic plates moving in Israeli politics. I think the analogy is apt, but they’re mostly missing the real tectonic shift. There is something bigger and deeper happening here.The real earthquake began on November 9th, when Amir Peretz beat Shimon Peres in an election for leader of the Labor Party. Peretz promptly pulled Labor out of the governing coalition with the Likud, forcing Sharon’s hand and spurring his quick departure from the Likud. Beneath these flashy, headline-grabbing events, however, Peretz’s election to head Labor may both signal and catalyze a shift in one of Israel’s most fundamental political and social rifts – a rift that is almost invisible in the western press. A shift that could mean the end of Likud’s status as a major party, for good.( … continued, in this DailyKos diary )
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