Israelis (actually, just Kadima members) went to the polls Wednesday to choose the man (or woman) who will be the next prime minister of Israel (or not, depending on whether the winner can put together a coalition government), finally ending the Ehud Olmert era (though not exactly, since Olmert will stay on as caretaker prime minister until someone can put together a coalition government).
In any case, on this big day for Israel (sort of), here’s what the Israeli papers are saying (the ones that publish in English, that is):
- Aluf Benn in Ha’aretz: The question for the winner isn’t so much how s/he will deal with the reality of Israeli politics and the challenges of coalition partners, but how the new prime minister will deal with international friends and foes.
- The Jerusalem Post editorialists: Can Kadima really provide a third-way alternative to Likud and Labor? It’s a lot easier to explain where Kadima came from than what it stands for. Attila Somfalvi of Ynet adds: In order to survive, Kadima must prove that it truly wants to change Israeli politics.
- Guy Bechor in Ynet: The Arab world is fascinated by the Israeli people’s ability to topple its leader, since that’s impossible in the Arab world without a bloody revolution that leaves society in tatters.
- Gil Hoffman in the Jerusalem Post: What would Ariel Sharon think?
Results should be in the wee hours of Thursday morning Israel time (Wednesday evening in New York).