Defense Minister Ehud Barak began an effort over the past week to prove to the
public that his Independence Party will be a player whenever the next general
election will be held.
To push his party, Barak has hired an advertising
firm headed by former justice minister Yossi Beilin’s two sons, Gil and
They put together a campaign with the slogan “Independence with Ehud
Barak, because we need a responsible adult.” At a pre-Rosh Hashana toast Barak
hosted at the Tel Aviv Fairgrounds, the party screened its first election
commercial to activists who crowded into the undersized hall.
day Independence was formed, people eulogized it, but now everyone knows it is
here to stay,” Barak told the crowd. “There will be an election in the next
year. This is the time to work together. If we work correctly, we will
Independence began a membership drive in May. Recent polls
indicating that it could pass the electoral threshold have boosted hopes in the
Industry, Trade, and Labor Minister Shalom Simhon (Independence)
called for passing the 2013 state budget, a move that could lead to the election
only taking place in October 2013.
That would give Independence more time
to prepare for the race.
“I promised we would be larger than Kadima and I
intend to keep that promise,” Simhon said. “Pretty soon we will pass them up in
the polls. Despite the political manipulations of our rivals, we will be ready
to capture the center of the political map.”