Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu 311 (R).
(photo credit: REUTERS/Charles Dharapak)
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and US President Barack Obama may not see
eye-to-eye on everything, but the two leaders reached a near-consensus in recent
days as to when to launch their reelection campaigns.
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Hours before Obama
launched his campaign on Monday, Netanyahu appointed a special political action
team to prepare for the next general elections, slated for 2013.
Obama and Netanyahu have reached the mid-point of their terms in office.
Netanyahu’s decision to appoint Dr. Orit Galili- Tzuker to lead his election
team signals an adoption of the American practice of beginning reelection
Galili-Tzuker, who has worked in the past with
Defense Minister Ehud Barak and the Labor Party, describes her political
orientation as “social-economic new socialism and dovish in foreign
She will be joined on Netanyahu’s team by Dr. Alina
Berdich-Yalov, who specializes in Russian media and strategy, and Natalie Solon,
who has worked on political campaigns in eastern Europe.
Solon’s role in
the team will be to focus on Internet and new media campaigning, an area in
which Netanyahu was considered particularly strong in the previous
The campaign team is expected to grow significantly in the
coming months, adding additional media experts and at least one spokesperson,
who will work for Netanyahu outside of the framework of the Prime Minister’s
Netanyahu’s rivals in Kadima were quick to respond to the prime
minister’s move, quipping that “Netanyahu has understood that Israel is better
off without him, and that elections are needed and
“Netanyahu dragged down the diplomatic, social and ethical
fields to unprecedented levels. He understood that he is part of the problem and
not part of the solution, and the communications team that can reverse a prime
minister who acts in such a twisted manner has yet to be born,” continued the
opposition party, in an official response.