Large parties suspend election campaigns; Barak to focus entire attention on
Gaza op, Labor says
Attila Somfalvi YNET Published: 12.27.08, 16:43 / Israel News
Israel's three largest parties have announced that they are suspending their
election campaigns in the wake of the launch of the Gaza Strip operation
Defense Minister Ehud Barak said he is halting his involvement in the Labor
Party's election campaign. Barak's office said that "the situation in the
south requires the defense minister to focus his entire attention on defense
activity, and he is detaching himself from the campaign until further
Kadima adopted a similar approach, with campaign chief Knesset Member Dalia
Itzik telling Ynet that she is calling on all parties to suspend their
political activity in face of the fighting in the south.
"On this day, we are all the IDF and we are all residents of the western
Negev," she said. "There is no room for politics and we all need to unite
behind the Israel Defense Force and the defense establishment."
Itzik added that the "political establishment conducted itself completely
irresponsibly by dragging Israel into a needless elections campaign in such
difficult and complex period in economic and security terms," she said.
Meanwhile, Likud canceled all campaign events planned for Saturday evening
in the wake of the IDF assault. Among other things, the launch of Likud's
Young Guard campaign in Tel Aviv, slated to include Chairman Benjamin
Netanyahu touring local bars, was postponed. The Likud said that "the
movement offers its support to IDF soldiers and commanders."
Likud also decided to suspend a negative campaign against Kadima leader
Tzipi Livni that was scheduled to get underway Sunday. Several billboards
that were posted over the weekend were to be removed as a result of the