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January 14, 2003

Labor Focuses Campaign On PM After Drop In Polls

Labor continues to lurch to the left as their desperation grows. Despite a well organized smear campaign against Sharon in the leftist media, Labor still flirts with oblivion as people are becoming increasingly aware that their suicidal ideology of surrender and appeasement to the terrorists only results in more dead Jewish children. G-d willing, in our time we will live to see the end of this leftist conspiracy against the survival of the Jewish people. By sending their party youth brigades to protest in front of Sharon’s home just as they did during their betrayal in the Lebanon War, they only serve to remind us that their hatred of the Jewish state and the person most responsible for its survival, Arik Sharon, knows no bounds.
(Jerusalem Post) Facing new polls showing its support eroding to below 20 mandates, the Labor Party decided on Monday to sharpen its attacks on Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and called a press conference for Tuesday to rule out joining a national-unity government under his leadership.

The entire Labor list, including unity government supporters Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, Shimon Peres, and Matan Vilna'i, is expected to come to the event to display party solidarity.

The goal of the leftward shift is to convince voters that Labor provides an alternative to Sharon and prevent him from promising a unity government after the January 28 election.

Labor Party chairman Amram Mitzna is expected to attack Sharon's age for the first time, suggesting that at 74 he is too old to function and will not finish a four-year term either because of his age or because ongoing criminal investigations could force him to resign.

"The allegations against Sharon preclude us from sitting under him in a Likud-led government," party secretary-general Ophir Pines-Paz said. "Sharon is unfit to serve as prime minister because of the charges against him. We have not risen in the polls because the public does not see us as an alternative. They are still under the illusion that we will sit with Sharon, so all we have to do is make it clear that we won't."

Labor has been running a very aggressive negative campaign against Sharon, portraying him as the "godfather" of a Mafia-style family.

Labor strategists sparred with Mitzna a month ago for ruling out joining a unity government, which is popular with the public. But the same strategists decided Monday that the way to boost the party in the polls is to add even more negative attacks and strengthen its message against unity.

"We are ready to start out an all-out war and take our gloves off against Sharon," a Labor strategist said.

"Starting now, it's time to stop being nice and explain loud and clear that Sharon's corruption, extremist policies, and loyalty to the settlers make him unfit to be prime minister."

A Dahaf Institute poll published Monday predicted 32 to 33 seats for the Likud and only 20 for Labor. On Friday, the same company had forecast 28 for Likud and 21 to 22 for Labor. A New Wave poll had similar results, with Likud winning 32 seats compared to last week's 30, and Labor falling from 22 mandates to 20. Both polls had a 4.5 percent margin of error. [Read More]