Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's statements to The Jerusalem Post about deciding Israel's borders by 2010 and accusing Likud chairman Binyamin Netanyahu of inciting to harm him will expedite Kadima's downfall in the polls, Likud leaders claimed Thursday.
In a Post poll taken by Smith Research after the interview was published on Thursday, Kadima fell to 34-35 seats - two seats down on last week, Likud rose half a mandate to between 17 and 18 and Labor climbed 1-2 mandates to 18. It was the fifth straight week that Kadima fell in the polls.
"The weakening of Kadima and the strengthening of the Likud will continue the more Kadima moves to the Left," said MK Gilad Erdan, who heads the Likud's response team. "Olmert's comments show once again how irresponsible he is for being willing to give land to Hamas. No matter where he would draw the border, it will just be a starting point for negotiations that will force Israel to give up strategic areas, making peace impossible."
Erdan said that Olmert had adopted the strategy of the Left of "accusing the Right of incitement every time they fall in the polls and get desperate." He called Olmert "hypocritical" for "talking about incitement when he is attacking Netanyahu in a fascist way."
Netanyahu slammed Olmert for being overconfident after Olmert said in a Rishon Lezion speech that "the question of who will win this election has already been decided" and "[Kadima] will be the governing party, I promise you."
"I would advise Olmert to wait for the election results," Netanyahu said at a memorial for Yosef Trumpeldor in Tel Hai. "He will find the results very interesting. All the polls indicate that the Likud is rising and Kadima is falling."