The Likud Party may suffer from the same problem the Republican Party is beginning to divorce itself from; an embarrassment. The Likud Party is the party of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is in a battle to retain his post. The election will be held on March 17th. The Knesset is the legislative body of the Israeli government. Miri Regev is a member of the Knesset, and of Netanyahu’s party. Although it is well-known that he did not want her to be the ‘face of the party,’ she has decided to attach a trailer to her Audi SUV. It is painted in Likud colors with a picture of her face. She plans to tour the country and promote Netanyahu’s reelection.
Regev admits that the trailer is a political ploy, and it is no surprise; she is known for outlandish stunts, and is frequently mocked and criticized by the Israeli press and satirists.
As she was departing, she told journalists that ‘the best part of this venture was that she had nothing specific planned; then she contradicted herself saying, ‘we’ve planned all the stops we’ll be making.’ (Sound familiar?)
Regev’s comparison to Sarah Palin is understandable; she is outspoken, even when she doesn’t know what she is talking about; she is a flag waving Zionist constantly spewing patriotic phrases; she is labeled as ‘folksy,’ and projects a demeaning attitude towards Israel’s left leaning party while denouncing the country’s ‘media elite.’
Whether or not she is mimicking Palin, she is growing in popularity thanks to a dramatic shift to the right in Israel’s political attitude. Animosity has increased towards leftists. Campaign tactics are using the same ploy as those of President Bush during his 2004 campaign; fear. A film supporting the Likud Party claims that those on the left would ‘allow ISIS into Israel.’
Netanyahu has his detractors. Retired generals and political figures recently denounced Israel’s continuous involvement in military action, stating that they would prefer not to see their grandchildren in another war.
Netanyahu is also under fire for allegations of labor misconduct. Claims have been made that he and his wife used state money for food, furnishings, and gardening. The State Comptroller’s investigation revealed ‘overspending to the point of being unethical.’ The Netanyahu’s quickly focused the blame on Meni Naftali, who was in charge of the Prime Minister’s residence in Jerusalem. Naftali subsequently sued the Netanyahu’s; and he is not the only former employee to suggest misconduct by the Prime Minister and his wife.
Representatives for Netanyahu and the Likud Party are claiming the charges are purely political and that no violations have occurred.
Netanyahu has increasingly created his own problems. When he accepted the controversial invitation from Secretary of State John Boehner to speak before Congress in relation to negotiations with Iran, and without consulting the President, his own countrymen questioned his acceptance.
In the United States polls display opposition towards Boehner’s lack of protocol; suggesting he overstepped his position within the government and outside of his job description. Even within Republicans only 52 percent approved, and 45 percent disapproved. Overall Americans disapproved by a margin of 63 percent to 33 percent.
A final question is, ‘how long will the Likud Party tolerate their own Palin? The Republican Party took nearly seven years to begin removing itself from the recklessness of Palin.
By James Turnage