- By Robbie GramerRobbie Gramer is a staff writer at Foreign Policy. He writes for The Cable, FP’s real-time take on all things, well, foreign policy. Before he joined FP in 2016, he used to think in a tank, managing the NATO portfolio at the Atlantic Council for three years. He’s a graduate of American University’s School of International Service, where he studied international relations and European affairs. He has lived in both Washington and Brussels, though he grew up in Idaho and Oregon, so he’s a West Coaster at heart. When he’s not busy reporting, he’s probably busy starting three new books before he has finished the last one or planning a trip to a national park he hasn’t visited yet.
One of Israel’s biggest political parties has a key election coming up. But party bosses had to delay it. They quickly ran into that age-old problem of trying to schedule democracy around Britney Spears concerts. Rookie mistake.
The Labor Party was slated to cast ballots for a new chairperson on July 3 in Tel Aviv, the same day America’s pop icon is scheduled to perform at the city’s Hayarkon Park. For some reason, the Labor Party couldn’t compete with her popularity that day, so it decided to push the vote back a day.
A Labor Party spokesperson told the Times of Israel pushing back the vote would “make it easier for people to reach polling stations” lest they get caught in the concert-goers’ traffic. The spokesperson also said they’d had “difficulty in recruiting security guards” for their vote, since apparently most are busy staffing the concert.
Seeing Spears live must be exciting, but the Labor Party has an exciting race of its own. Seven candidates are jockeying to oust incumbent Isaac Herzog, including former tech magnate and member of the Knesset Erel Margalit, former Labor chair and Defense Minister Amir Peretz, and the former chief of an elite military unit, Sayeret Matkal.
Peretz, widely seen as the top challenger to Herzog, said the new date works well as a symbol of the U.S.-Israeli alliance. “American independence day has a lot of messages we can take on board,” he told Israeli radio network Army Radio. “The 4th [of] July suits us very well.”
No word on whether he, Herzog, or their party rivals will be heading to the concert themselves. But who could blame them if they did? VIP lounge tickets for her Tel Aviv show are going for the bargain-bin price of about $300. What a deal.
And who knows, that extra day of campaigning could help a candidate out. Sometimes people are just stronger than yesterday.
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