Barak’s party shows signs of staying power

Defense minister launches effort to prove his Independence Party will be a player in the next general election.

DEFENSE MINISTER Ehud Barak 370 (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
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 Uri.
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.
“From the 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 succeed.”
Independence began a membership drive in May. Recent polls indicating that it could pass the electoral threshold have boosted hopes in the party.
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.”