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      Fundamentally Freund
      by Michael Freund
      An alternative approach to Israeli political commentary.
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      Michael Freund is Founder and Chairman of Shavei Israel (www.shavei.org), which reaches out and assists "lost Jews" seeking to return to the Jewish people. He writes a syndicated column and feature stories for the Jerusalem Post. Previously, he served as Deputy Director of Communications & Policy Planning in the Israeli Prime Minister´s Office under former premier Benjamin Netanyahu. A native of New York, he holds an MBA in Finance from Columbia University and a BA from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. He has lived in Israel for the past decade.
      Kislev 10, 5766, 12/11/2005

      When Cynicism Prevails


      Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz set a new national record for cynical opportunism today – and that is no small feat.

      After days of reaffirming, declaring, insisting and announcing that he was staying in the Likud, Mofaz has now flip-flopped and said that he is bolting the party to join Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s Kadima.

      Cynicism_1 And what exactly was it that prompted this dramatic change? According to various media reports, Sharon has promised Mofaz that he can remain Defense Minister.

      Of course, it was just the other day that Mofaz was telling people: “You don’t leave your home,” when asked if he was planning to leave the Likud.

      But then poll results were published in Friday’s newspapers indicating that he had little chance of winning the Likud leadership in the party’s upcoming primary – hence, his decision to jump ship.

      So much for the man’s credibility.

      This is a sorry day for Israeli politics – not so much because of Mofaz’ decision to switch parties, but more because of what it represents – a complete abandonment of any pretense of ideology, and a total embrace of crass political opportunism.

      The Jewish people deserve better, far better, than this.