Thursday, January 09, 2003

So Sharon called a press conference
to explain about the loan thing. He started with a lengthy attack of the Labor party for conducting a witch-hunt against the Likud and himself and then went on to sort of explain his part in the loan thing, rather lamely. While he was talking, the transmission suddenly stopped mid-sentence and the presenters in the newsroom explained that Judge Heshin, head of the central election committee, had ordered them to stop the transmission in the middle, because it was election propaganda.

I heard an analyst say that Sharon was aiming the speech at his voters and is less bothered about what the analysts have to say about his performance, and they have had plenty so far. So have the left-wing politicians.

It’s a bit embarrassing for a prime minister to be cut off like that, though, isn’t it? I wonder how the Likud voters will see this. The first poll to follow the exposure of this affair shows an interesting influence on voters, but it was taken too close to the publication to mean anything. Not that polls should be taken seriously. I’ll never forget going to bed in 1996, knowing we (Labor, Peres…) had won the elections, and waking up the next morning to discover the exit polls had been dead wrong. This Reshet Bet radio station poll (Hebrew), taken yesterday, indicates that a substantial percentage of Israelis (48%) sees this loan affair as a false charge. (40% sees it as a serious matter with suspicion of bribery and fraud).

I only know how all this is affecting me personally. If I’m anything to go by, Labor shouldn’t be too jubilant.

Anyway, we’re now watching a Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball game (at least Bish is), so I’m spared the ranting of indignant Labor and Meretz leaders.

Update: The Frog on this.

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