The Israeli left has been sold out by Labour. Amir Peretz fought the election campaign on social issues, but when he entered government as Ehud Olmert's Kadima Party's main coalition partner he didn't take a socio-economic ministry, instead opting for the defence ministry - a position for which he is hopelessly unqualified. During the election campaign, he also pledged never to sit in government with Avigdor Lieberman and his Yisrael Beitenu - a party of extremists and racists, essentually Israeli fascists. The Labour Party as an entity was markedly silent whilst Olmert tried to get Lieberman into government. Only one Labour minister, Ophir Pines-Paz
, resigned over the matter, when if Amir Peretz was truely commited to the ideology he and labour had set out for themselves he would have threatened to pull his party out of government. This would have been disastrous for Olmert, as he would have been left with a choice of either running back to Likud and grovelling (which would give him the absolute minimum needed for a majority, provided Netanyahu agreed which is unlikely), or calling an election in which both Kadima and Labour would suffer heavy losses and gains would be made by Likud and Yisrael Beitenu. Olmert would have no choice but giving up on Lieberman. Instead, Peretz has become Olmert's yes man, a nodding dog. I certainly hope Labour elect a new leader in next year's primary - maybe Pines-Paz himself - and go back to concentrating on what needs to be done to address Israel's growing social problems. Then maybe they can go into an election with enough credibility to tackle Likud and build a government commited to socio-economic issues and the peace process.