Jewish Week’s reporter, Stewart Ain got did a story about Hikind’s Ad Campaign to get the Tower of Jello to go (see Below). Most analysts that he spoke to agree with the spirit of the effort but don’t think it will do much.
Thank You Carl at Israel Matzav for spreading the word
Ehud K. Olmert, please resign now!
This ad, sponsored by New York Assemblyman Dov Hikind, is appearing in many Anglo-Jewish weeklies this week.
Do you think Cubans are fighting for healthcare or freedom from Communism?
December 6, 2006 for immediate release
Contact: Charni Sochet
HIKIND LAUNCHES AD CAMPAIGN IMPLORING
ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER:
“OLMERT, PLEASE RESIGN. FOR THE SAKE OF ISRAEL AND THE JEWISH PEOPLE.”
“OLMERT IS ARROGANT, IRRESPONSIBLE, DEFEATIST & INCOMPETENT.”
Stewart Ain From the Jewish Week got some comments about the campaign for today’s issue
Opposing Olmert, From Brooklyn Stewart Ain – Staff Writer
….this week, Hikind is spearheading an ad campaign aimed at creating a discussion that could convince Olmert to resign as Israel’s prime minister.
Israel today is leaderless, clueless and the prime minister is confused and does not know where he is going, Hikind said in explaining why he took out the ads in seven Anglo-Jewish weekly newspapers from coast to coast.
Hikind, a fierce supporter of Jewish settlements in the West Bank, hopes to stave off Olmert’s plan to dismantle many of them in order to disengage Israel from the Palestinians…I’m going to create the debate and the discussion……It hurts me to do something like this, he added. But I’m deeply concerned about the well-being of Israel.
Hikind said a similar ad would appear within a month in major Israeli newspapers with the direct involvement of Israelis, and in major American newspapers early next year. He said the first five people he approached gave him the $40,000 needed for the ads running this week, and that he was prepared to dip into his campaign war chest of more than $1 million to help pay for the other ads.
But just how successful Hikind will be with the campaign is debatable. Yossi Alpher, an Israeli political analyst, said he does not believe the effort will gain traction in Israel because Hikind is an outsider, not an Israeli. If he wants influence, let him make aliyah and then publish what he wants. This will not seem legitimate in the eyes of Israelis.
Alpher added. The majority of Israelis who are fed up with Olmert will perhaps get a kick out of it, but it will not have an appreciable influence. What would have influence is if a majority of the members of [Olmert’s] Kadima Party abandoned the party.
Eran Lerman, executive director of the American Jewish Committee’s Israel/Middle East Office, said he too did not believe the ads would have much impact in Israel except among the right wing who oppose relinquishing land to the Palestinians. But, he acknowledged, people are seriously worried in the defense establishment and in the country at large, and I’m not surprised that people are making noises
Dr. Joseph Frager, an American who is openly critical of Olmert and concerned that his proposed concessions would hurt the people of Israel, said he welcomed the ad campaign. He noted that a majority of Israelis are also disenchanted with Olmert, but he said he did not know how much traction this will ultimately get, or the degree to which it would resonate with Israeli voters.
Doron Ben-Atar, a professor of history at Fordham University, said he found much of the criticism of Olmert to be on the mark.
Olmert did not perform in the most distinguished manner in the Lebanon War, he said. His approval ratings dropped to the single digits. The issue with the ad is complicated, however, because Olmert heads a coalition of people who are equally in a tenuous political situation in Israel. His defense minister who also heads the Labor Party doesn’t enjoy support in the aftermath of the Lebanon War. The security services have condemned the cease-fire because Kassam rockets continue to fly and Hamas is building up its military arsenal for the next round of fighting.
Ben-Atar said the most likely winner of the political turmoil� in Israel is Likud Party leader Benjamin Netanyahu. But he cautioned that Netanyahu could self-destruct because of his tendency to make mistakes involving lapses of judgment.
Hikind stressed that his campaign is aimed strictly at convincing Olmert to resign and not to see him replaced with anyone in particular. I’m not playing politics here, he insisted.