Bernard Susser and Giora Goldberg, in their 2005 Israel Affairs article "Escapist Parties in Israeli Politics", sum up "New Start" escapist parties like Atzmaut as being:
"ideologically unfocused. It is difﬁcult to use conventional categories like left and right, dove and hawk, socialist and capitalist, establishment or anti-establishment to describe them. Their answers to political dilemmas tend to be sensational, uncomplicated and ethically charged. They promise quick results and dramatic successes. They display a low threshold for political ambiguities."What is critical to mention is the relative success rate of these parties, and their cumulative effect on the political landscape of Israel. Rafi dissolved three years after its formation despite its initial success, and Ben Gurion's National List party disintegrated after one term. Kadima enjoyed three years in power before losing political steam and the election to Likud and Yisrael Beiteinu in 2009. Now, in 2011, an already deflated Labor party has been cloven. Barak seeks to succeed where Ben Gurion and Sharon failed by using the same tactic: rally around the figurehead.
Not only shall his ambiguous aims not succeed, but Atzmaut will find that further division among the Israeli Left, rather than cohesion and compromise, will only yield greater isolation and failure. Not only for the Left, but for the Israeli public as well.
Over Israel's 62 years, Knesset parties multiply as they fracture into factions, creating ever-more political instability. Coalition strength has declined drastically, resulting in ineffectual governments incapable of compromise and progress. Rarely has the distribution of seats among the various parties ever been so spread out, and rarely do such configurations remain stable or succeed in reaching necessary compromises. The ability for the legislature to arrive at a consensus will only grow increasingly difficult; adding another party to the mix only complicates matters and is sure to strengthen the ruling coalition of right-wing and religious parties and the Left and Center's expense.
Without distinct aims, and by repeating the platitudes of Kadima from the left side of the political spectrum, Atzmaut offers little to the Israeli public.