Kadima Leader Tzipi Livni has spent weeks resisting Benjamin Netanyahu’s pleas that she enter his cabinet, citing the fact that she has no desire to be moderate window-dressing for a hard-right administration that’s overtly opposed to a two-state resolution of the Israel-Palestine conflict. Ehud Barak, though, is eager to provide such window-dressing and now he’s got his party’s approval to enter into a coalition in which he’ll play third fiddle to Netanyahu and Yisrael Beiteinu leader Avigdor Lieberman.
It’s hard to imagine this being anything other than the end for the remnants of the Labor Party. This behavior will give voters no reason whatsoever to back Labor in subsequent elections irrespective of their ideological proclivities. It’s hard to think of other examples of individuals whose leadership has had such a calamitous impact on the political party they headed. One case that comes to mind is Canada’s Brian Mulroney who basically destroyed the Progressive Conservative Party. But the PCP’s collapse was something of a big bang, where the Barak-era Labor Party has been a long slow bleed.