Likud has won at the polls, and Labor, according to the Jerusalem Post,is in danger of slipping to the #3 party behind Shinui. Shinui is secularist, but apparently not as hateful as Meretz.
The Washington Post article repeats all of the old bromides within the first few paragraphs: Likud is "hard-line," Sharon's "harsh military crackdown on Palestinians," Labor, which calls for unilateral surrender,and completely beholden to the universal labor union, Histradrut, is "center-left," and, of course, "Sharon's tough military policies [are] aimed at destroying the Palestinian Authority." In reality, Likud is centrist, Sharon has been harsh to terrorists, not Palestinians in general, Labor left the center a long time ago, and Sharon could have destroyed the PA months ago if he had wanted to. He seems to be taking the "mend it, don't end it" line with the PA, and realizes that, in George Will's words, the West Bank is in dire need of de-nazification.
The article gives lip-service to the notion that Sharon, one of the last of the original generation of Zionists from 1948, would rather work with Labor than with the Orthodox parties. It then goes on for three paragraphs claiming that Labor, like the Democrats, suffer from not proposing an alternative. Perhaps because when your country is under assault, there is no reasonable alternative. The Post does mention that people don't trust Labor to negotiate successfully, and that even many traditional Labor voters have a Nixon-goes-to-China attitude; they remember that it took Begin to get Sadat to Camp David. The problem is not, as Labor would have it, that people think Labor compromised its principles in the last unity government; it's that Foreign Minister Peres, but taking every opportunity to publicly sabotage Prime Minister Sharon, showed that Labor still hasn't figured out that Arafat is evil.
Personally, I'd like to see Labor split. It would marginalize the irresponsible wing of the party, leaving them out of the government, while giving the Scoop Jackson Laborites the chance to form a responsible party, or rescue Labor's name.