Livni and Barak Gamble All on Invasion

Why did the Israeli government choose now to invade Gaza? Some commentators believe they are gambling everything to ensure they win the upcoming Israeli general election. Success in putting an end to the Palestinian rocket attacks would also save the two-state solution at the heart of the American “peace process.” “Olmert is a dead politician walking as he will have no leadership role in any party competing in the election,” comments Tim Butcher in The Sunday Telegraph. “But operation Cast Lead is the last chance for [Tzipi] Livni and [Ehud] Barak…Polls were predicting victory for the right wing Likud party led by Benjamin Netanyahu on a ticket of rejecting peace talks with Palestinians and robust military action against Hamas.” According to Nahum Barnea and Shimon Shiffer in Yedioth Ahronoth, the Gaza invasion was ordered because Livni, of the Kadima Party, and Barak, of Labor, gambled it would help them win the election. “Both Livni and Barak emphasize that in all their moves, in all the considerations, there was no trace of the elections. The elections did not even cross their minds,’’ they write. “Someone looking on from the sidelines might gain a different impression.’’