Religion Magazine

Herzog and Livni Are Not Campaigning to Win

By Gldmeier @gldmeier
I don't think Hamachane Hatzioni, Bujie and Tzippi, are really in this to win an election. At least not on their own merits or efforts. Perhaps they are hoping that foreign intervention and money, like V15 and others, can sweep them in, but that would be despite their own efforts, not in addition to or in compliment of.
Why is that?
First of all, Bujie and Tzippi have yet to really present their plan to the public. They still seem to only be running on the "just not Bibi" ticket, but are not actually promoting themselves. they made a slight effort with a few minor campaign promises, but they have not explained their plans to the public.
it is true, neither has Bibi. I would posit though, that Bibi does not need to (even if he should). Bibi has been prime minister, has been in charge, and everyone pretty much knows what he stands for, more or less. He is the known,  not the unknown. The unknown are his challengers, and for them to win either Bibi has to be really bad or they have to explain clearly and loudly what they would do and how it would be better.
Second, the numbers just do not add up, and they seem to be making efforts to make it worse for themselves.
While the numbers in regards to the blocs seem to have always been in favor of Netanyahu, recently they have gotten so, much more sharply.
The other day Herzog announced he would support an effort to have Hanin Zoabi banned form the Knesset (along with Baruch Marzel). In response, the Arab party demanded he retract and indicated they would not support him and recommend him to the President for Prime minister. There goes give or take 12 votes from his bloc of recommendations. And he was already behind.
And now, the Arab division of his own party is saying that they have not been active for the party, and will not be, because they cannot come to terms with the name of the united list that they are running on - The Zionist Camp (or Zionist Union). They demanded Herzog stop using that name and until then they will not take part in the campaign. The sides are in negotiations to find a solution. They may eventually find one, but in the meantime they are getting hurt daily by the lack of campaigning and support. Meaning they are not just giving up on votes within the bloc, but even within their own party.
My conclusion is that Herzog and Livni, probably Herzog more than Livni, have not been campaigning to win the elections, but only to come out strong enough to be attractive to Bibi for a national unity government of some formation. Maybe they hope for a rotation arrangement, but I doubt they'll be strong enough to be able to demand that and receive it.
That would also be why Meretz has spent much of their campaign directed against Herzog and Livni demanding that they commit to not joining a Bibi led government after the elections. They have campaigned so more than they have campaigned for themselves (with the polls showing the result with Meretz down in numbers). Even Bennet has spent some time campaigning in that direction - to prevent a unity government.
While some Likudniks (including most recently Benny Begin) have said such a government won't happen, it does not mean Herzog cannot try for it.
So, it seems to me that Herzog and Livni are not campaigning to win but only to be strong enough to be attractive to Bibi as an alternative to a straight right-wing government.
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