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(okay, i promise to stop trying to find good puns for posts on the Israeli parties’ list of candidates for the election!)

I just thought about it, because Ha’aretz had this predictable piece on “female leadership” (Vote for the Women, Haaretz Opinion, Nov 29, 2012)

For the first time, there is a chance that a female discourse less violent and more intelligent than the macho male version will take center stage (…) Gal-On, Yacimovich and Livni are high-quality leaders who offer a discourse of hope in various shades. Together they cover most of the political spectrum – left, center and right. If the voters in this broad spectrum choose them, we may have a chance for a different kind of Israel – with a woman at its helm.


I mean, if only wishing made it so. I am biased here, but i want leadership – not just someone with a specific set of chromosomes  And neither Meretz’ Zahava Gal-On nor Tzipi Livni (now with her own party “The Movement”) have shown particular leadership and engaged in a particular loving discourse in the past year (Livni’s sound-bite in the press conference was “באתי להילחם“= I have come to fight)

I am a firm believer  that promoting female political candidates simply because they are women is bad for politics and certainly bad for feminism.

Okay, back to the LABOR PARTY. That’s what this post is supposed to be about. And their list of candidates, and especially the female candidates. The party is headed by Shelly Yachimovich, and has feminist activist Merav Michaeli as number 5. By far outranking Yesh Atid and Likud in terms of qualified, high-ranking women (see, this is OK. As opposed to “women for the sake of women”)

There’s an interesting analysis of Yachimovich’s strategies for Labor and how she hopes to beat Bibi over at the Daily Beast ( Shelly Yachimovich’s Balancing Act / Bren Sasley): I’ve argued before in these pages that Yachimovich is playing a smart long game, carefully reconstructing Labor and avoiding issues that are overly controversial and of less interest to the Israeli public at this moment. She has channeled Israelis’ disenchantment over growing income inequality, rising prices, and a general sense that the country’s drift from its former collectivist ethos is not necessarily a good thing (a feeling not shared by everyone, to be sure).

National Student Union chairman Itzik Shmuli, right, one of the leaders of the summer 2011 social justice protests, shakes hands with Shelly Yachimovich as he joins the Labor Party on October 17. (photo credit: Yossi Zeliger/Flash90)

photo credit: Yossi Zeliger/Flash90 – Shelly and Itzik Shmuli

So, will it work? With Opereation Pollar of Defense in the background and Iran looming over our heads, can we really expect elections to be about love and soft-issues and not hard-politics and security (a Likud/Bibi strong-suit)? Time will tell…