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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Kadima getting nervous as Lieberman and Shas to compromise

On the outside Kadima is maintaining unity in their decision (thus far at least) to reject the offer to join a government headed by the Likud. But on the inside, senior people in Kadima believe that party leader Tzipi Livni is making a mistake.
In a talk with Ynet Monday, senior Kadima officials slammed Livni's rejection of Benjamin Netanyahu's offers.

"Netanyahu made a very generous offer, and it's a mistake to reject it out of hand," one source said, dismissing Livni's estimation that a narrow right-wing government will be toppled quickly.

"This is wrong thinking," the source said. "Netanyahu will have a disciplined government that would be able to conduct itself and vote in unison."

However, Kadima sources expressed cautious optimism regarding the prospects of ultimately joining Bibi's government, pointing to the fact that Livni and Netanyahu were scheduled to meet again and that their first meeting lasted two hours.

Meanwhile, Kadima officials also criticized Livni's management style.

"She manages everything on her own and takes the decisions herself," one party source said. Officials in Kadima are saying that senior party members have not yet openly criticized Livni because "she responds aggressively to every deviation from the path she sets."
The management style issue is nothing new. We've heard that complaint before.

Shaul Mofaz, number two in Kadima, said that the party should join the government, although he denied he would leave the party if it did not (heh).
"The Israeli people want to see a unity government," Mofaz said in an interview with Army Radio, adding that "the citizens of [the State] gave us 28 mandates, and not so that we would sit in the opposition.

"We have great challenges, and we need to address them from within the government," he continued, emphasizing, however, that "if in the end we don't come to an agreement regarding the platform and a change in the system of government, then we will go to the opposition."


"Tzipi Livni is right when she is testing, checking, and clarifying the platform on which a unity government could be built," he said. "It doesn't matter what her decision will be, I will still stay with the Kadima party."
One reason that Kadima may be getting nervous is that Yisrael Beiteinu and Shas seem to be finding a modus operandi that would allow them to sit together in the government.
The issue of civil marriages is not a top priority for Yisrael Beiteinu, party leader Avigdor Lieberman said in closed-door sessions Monday, paving the way for joining forces with Shas in a Netanyahu-led government.

Lieberman reportedly stressed that his party's top priority is the granting of legislative and financial preference to discharged soldiers, followed by efforts to change Israel's system of government, Ynet learned, with the issue of civil marriages only coming next.

The Yisrael Beiteinu leader is apparently preparing to reach a compromise on the issue of civil marriages in order to enable his party and Shas to join the next government. Lieberman reportedly made it clear that such compromises may materialize in allowing roughly 100,000 Israelis who are not defined as Jews to marry amongst themselves.

Meanwhile, Shas made it clear that should Lieberman make do with finding such solution for marriages between non-Jews living in Israel, the major disagreements between Yisrael Beiteinu and Shas will be resolved.
That certainly sounds sensible.


At 5:20 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Bibi is in no hurry to renew his unity offer to Kadima. He can let the party's divisions work on Livni and my guess is he will inform her if it doesn't join now, it won't get as much as it could get if it joins later. And given her abrasive management style, there's the matter of how long Kadima would last if it really elects to go into opposition - and that means finding an ideology on which its wings can agree can keep them going in the political wilderness.

As for the expectation a narrow right-wing Likud-led government wouldn't last long in office, Ehud Olmert survived almost three years even in the face of corruption, scandals and gross incompetence. No Israeli government has ever been brought down by a no confidence vote. Can Kadima wait three years or more to reclaim the government?

Time will tell.


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