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Monday, July 28, 2008

The Israeli Factor

Dick Morris latest column paints an interesting possibility.

The most important primary for our 2008 election may be yet to come - the Kadima Party primary in Israel in mid or late September. It pits liberal-leaning Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni against hardliner and former Army Chief of Staff Shaul Mofaz. (Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is expected to sit out the contest and concentrate on staying out of jail.)

According to polling that Morris has seen, the race between Mofaz and Livni is a near dead heat. Livni is the dove and Mofaz is the hawk. If Mofaz happens to win then Morris sees a set of events that could bring a strike by Israel on the Iranian nuclear facility before our election.

The thinking goes like this. A McCain Presidency would be a lot more sympathetic to a strike by Israel on Iran's nuclear program. Since it is by no means a guarantee that McCain will be President, Mofaz, if elected, may not wait.

Morris even offers some implied politcal machiavellia. Mofaz might strike at Iran right before our own election. This would make national security the top issue in the minds of American voters just before our election. Of course, if national security is the number one issue, this gives McCain the best chance to win.

Morris' hypothesis is filled with many what ifs and as a friend of mine used to say

if if was a fifth we'd all be drunk

and thus it's purely hypothetical at this stage. That said the Israeli election is one to keep an eye on as it may very well have a huge impact on our own.

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