Kadima billing itself as party focused on security

In a last-ditch effort to enter next Knesset, Kadima unveiled a new strategy, rebranding itself as a party focused on security.

December 20, 2012 01:58
2 minute read.
Shaul Mofaz at Kadima press conference

Mofaz Kadima press conference 370. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)

In a last-ditch effort to pass the 2-percent electoral threshold and enter the next Knesset, Kadima unveiled a new strategy at a sparsely attended Tel Aviv press conference on Wednesday, rebranding itself as a party focused on security.

In its campaign advertisements, Kadima will highlight the military expertise of party chairman Shaul Mofaz and MKs Yisrael Hasson, Yohanan Plesner and Doron Avital. The party will call for equalizing the salaries of IDF soldiers, who make NIS 352 a month, with those of kollel students, who the party claims can make up to NIS 3,400 from governmental benefits.

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“Until the burden of service is equalized, we can equalize the public funding and stop this humiliating situation,” said Plesner, who wrote two controversial reports over the past two years on how to draft yeshiva students.

Plesner said the issue was uniquely Kadima’s because it was not a priority for Labor, while Yesh Atid focuses on a five-year exemption for haredi service in a plan written by Elazar Stern before he decided to run with The Tzipi Livni Party.

Mocking the seven Kadima MKs who left for The Tzipi Livni Party, Plesner said that “the job-seekers and opportunists” had left the party and only the “real people” remained.

“We have heard too many eulogies lately,” said Hasson, who chairs the campaign.

“We are alive and kicking and predictions about us have been wrong before. We know nothing about frustration or giving up.”

Hasson blasted the press for not taking the party seriously.

“If I was a member of the press, I would look at myself in the mirror and be embarrassed at what I did to a former IDF chief of general staff who has done so much for this country,” he said.

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The new campaign replaces Kadima’s negative advertisements, which warned that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu could bring about Israel’s destruction by attacking Iran. Kadima strategist Moti Morel, who once worked for Likud, took credit for Netanyahu not raising the Iran issue in the campaign for months after Kadima’s ads ran.

Morel said Kadima’s new campaign was not anti-haredi because it does not call for taking money away from haredim.

“It says pay soldiers like the haredim, not instead of them,” he said.

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