Ex-Russian billionaire Gaydamak builds new Israel parliamentary faction out of defectors

Arcadi Gaydamak, who provoked the government by his holiday camps for distressed Israelis under rocket fire in the 2006 Lebanon War, is taking a leap into national politics. He hopes his Social Justice faction will enter parliament on the backs of defectors from other parties, starting with lawmakers who defected from the Pensioners’ Party and with whom he is in negotiation.
debkafile reports: The tycoon, who has not let his poor command of Hebrew stop him, has already thrown his hat in the municipal ring. He will run for mayor of Jerusalem and is setting up party branches in other towns to contest local elections later this year.
Gaydamak’s Social Justice party’s platform is a rough, populist jumble of hawkish security, respect for Jewish tradition, promises to the underprivileged classes, sensitivity to the difficulties of new immigrants and affinity with the Jewish Diaspora. While Gaydamak is not taken seriously by mainstream politicians, he is building his hopes on a protest vote in the next election.
Halfway through their four-year term of office, prime minister Ehud Olmert and his leading ministers consistently flop in popularity polls. They are found wanting on all the issues on which Gaydamak promises a new deal – and not by chance.

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