I agree with Shavit in part, in that at the moment that Likud only through Netanyahu can offer an intellectual "big picture" on where Israeli policy should be going to challenge Sharon and Kadima. Natanyahu has the experience as PM and a better grasp on dealing with United States policies and political figures than Shalom. On the other hand, this suggests that Ha'aretz has abandoned the Peretz candidacy, or believes Peretz would not be an effective opposition leader. I think it would be more in the interests of the country if Ehud Barak would take his place at Labor. Barak did poorly as PM but more so than Netanyahu? A Sharon-Netanyahu-Barak race would allow the best possible discourse on Israel's security needs and future, as these three are the most experienced and intellectually sound of the Israeli politicians out there at the moment.
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Alleged assailant behind officer's stabbing in north to remain in custody for 4 more days (Haaretz)
from the article: Finally, Israelis have a real choice