I had one of those special, memorable-for-all-time mornings today, jumping from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem to Jericho to Ramallah. The afternoon had me back in Jerusalem, and now I’m sorting out what happened today in Tel Aviv.
I don’t have time to post much at this moment about all that was learned, but the morning started in spectacular form with a fascinating session in Amir Peretz‘s personal office, which is the smallest office I have ever seen for a trigger of a political earthquake. He’s an interesting man and gave his support staff the larger part of the office, which most Knesset members reserve for themselves. He has a bold modesty that is seductive and matter-of-factly stated that he took the tiny office because his staff are there more often and need the space to get stuff done.
I’ve been in a lot of Congressional, National Assembly, Bundestag, Parliament, People’s Assembly, and National Diet offices before and never heard that line before. A first of many firsts today.
He asked me if I might be interested in joining the lower part of the Labor Party list for the elections next March (not really; actually by the end of the meeting, I was trying to get him to ask me). . .but all this aside, this guy is very compelling.
Ariel Sharon is getting lots of headlines with his new Kadima party, but without much analysis of what’s going on here — my gut tells me that Sharon’s moves are too frenetic, and the news he is generating is peaking far too early.
Peretz shared a lot of his views with my colleagues and me, on an off the record basis, and I’m impressed. . .really, simply impressed.
More later on him, as well as TWN‘s take on the state of Israeli politics and public policy.
Let me say that as fascinating as I found Israeli politics during this trip, I’m mesmerized by what is going on on the Palestinian side.
I need more time to assemble some reactions — and to those who are emailing me on the “Bush Bombing Memo,” yes — the wheels are still turning.
— Steve Clemons