The Labor party contest for a new chairman is good news for nationalists: A new poll shows that Defense Minister Ehud Barak is headed for political oblivion, regardless of whether Shelly Yechimovich or Amir Peretz wins the leadership vote.
Yechimovich won the first round of the balloting this week with a narrow lead over Peretz, and the run-off will take place later this month.
A poll carried out by “Dialogue” the day after this week’s voting reveals that Barak, who quit as Labor's leader to form a new Independence party earlier this year, would be left with no representation in the next Knesset elections.
The national camp – Likud, Yisrael Beiteinu, the Shas and Yehadut HaTorah religious parties, Jewish Home and National Union – would win a solid majority of 64-65 Knesset seats if elections were held today, virtually the same strength it now has.
Labor, which has only 13 seats now, would gain strength at the expense of Kadima, Likud and the Arab parties, while the nationalist Jewish Home and National Union parties would gain two Knesset Members.
Barak has been the number one nemesis of nationalists, promoting policies that are opposite to that of the government coalition to which he belongs. He has systematically ordered the demolition of Jewish homes and outposts in Judea and Samaria.
Arutz Sheva revealed Tuesday that he gave the go-ahead to demolish three homes in a surprise operation last week in the community of Migron, in Samaria, leaving three families – including a two-week-old baby – homeless in the middle of the night.
Barak has consistently warmed up to President Barack Obama and has accepted a long line of American demands to eliminate dozens of security checkpoints and roadblocks in Judea and Samaria. Several terrorist attacks, some of them resulting in the murder of Jews, have followed in the aftermath.
Barak’s failure to continue to lead the fractious Labor party was the second time he has stepped down. After his humiliating defeat by Ariel Sharon in the elections in 2001, he quit, vowing never to return to politics.