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September 16, 1988 - Image 52

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1988-09-16

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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52

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 1988

erusalem — Though
the Arab uprising in
the territories has over-
shadowed political debate,
sharpening traditional dif-
ferences between Labor and
Likud, activity has focused on
competition within, rather
than between parties in this
election year.
Due to Israel's proportional
representation system, can-
didates to Israel's Knesset are
elected through national par-
ty lists rather than consti-
tuency selection. Thus politi-
cians have been scrambling
for the highest possible rung
on their party's ladder.
Somebody in 40th positon on
the Labor or Likud list has an
excellent chance of entering
the Knesset, while a can-
didate in 50th place will in all
likelihood miss the boat in
the November elections.
In compiling their lists, the
major parties came up with
many surprises. Both Labor
and Herut, the senior partner
in the Likud coalition, have
central comittees (1,270
members in Labor and 2,100
members in Herut) who elect
these lists. Labor reserved its
first seven places for the par-
ty leadership, but there are
many new faces lower down
on the list. These include
Avraham Burg, Peace Now ac-
tivist and son of National
Religious Party veteran Dr.
Yosef Burg; Eli Dayan and
Amir Peretz, both Moroccan-
born and the mayors of
Ashkelon and Shderot respec-
tively; and Nella Karkabi, a
Christian Arab woman from
Shfaram near Haifa.
The biggest shock was the
failure of the central commit-

tee to elect former Foreign
Minister Abba Eban. But if
the Labor list is more
ethnically representative
than ever before, it also has a
distinctly dovish hue and
some experts consider this to
be an election liability in the
wake of the continued unrest
in the administered
territories.
Neither the Herut nor
Liberal lists (the two Likud
coalition partners) can be con-
sidered dovish. In contrast to
the leadership solidarity of
Labor, the Likud is divided by
internal factions. Indeed, it
was a major achievement for
the Likud to formulate its list
without excessive internal
strife.
Political scientist Alan E.
Shapiro, writing in the
Jerusalem post, observed that
"both parties have camps
rather than factions based on
personal loyalties without
clear ideological or interest
group foundations."

Herut, for example, is divid-
ed into three major camps
headed by Moshe Arens
(Prime Minister Yitzhak
Shamir's preferred heir
aparent), David Levy and
Ariel Sharon. Though Shamir
himself recommended that
Levy be placed second, Arens
third and Sharon fourth, the
central committee elected
Sharon third and Arens
fourth.
New faces in the Herut line
— up include Binyamin
Begin, son of former Prime
Minister Menachem Begin,
and Binyamin Netanyahu,
Israel's former ambassador to
the United Nations. Overall,
the Herut list is dominated by
male Ashkenazim. This too

Continued on Page 54

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