Mofaz calls for unity gov’t with Likud

If elected to be Kadima leader and called on to form a coaltion, Shaul Mofaz says he would establish a national-unity government with the Likud.

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
March 19, 2012 04:40
1 minute read.
Mofaz speaks at political event at bar

Mofaz speaks at bar 370. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)

Kadima leadership candidate Shaul Mofaz said Sunday night that if he is elected to head his party and is called on to form a coalition after the next general election, he would establish a national-unity government with the Likud.

Mofaz made the statement during an event at a Tel Aviv bar organized by Mitpakdim, a new organization that encourages young people to become more politically active by joining current political parties and influencing their future from within. The group hosted current Kadima leader Tzipi Livni last week to give its members a chance to hear both of the party’s major candidates ahead of the March 27 primary.

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“Israel needs a national unity government because the challenges Israel is facing require us to have a wide coalition that doesn’t depend on a few MKs,” Mofaz said. “The public wanted Kadima, which won 28 seats, to be part of the government.”

Mofaz said he had favored entering Netanyahu’s coalition on condition that it adopt a diplomatic plan and change the political system within a year and a half. He said he still believed the political system could be changed if the leaders of the largest parties got together and insisted on this.

He declined to answer questions about what his red line would be for entering the government if Netanyahu won the next general election. He also refused to rule out bringing Shas into a coalition if he formed the government, despite making strong statements about the need for the haredim (ultra-Orthodox) to serve in the army.

Mofaz defended his track record as a former defense minister and IDF chief of staff. He defended the 2005 withdrawal from Gaza that took place when he was defense minister.

“Many say it was a mistake, but I say the disengagement was one of the most correct things Israel has done,” he said.

Mofaz expressed hope that a peace agreement could be reached not only with the Palestinians, but also with the Syrians after the downfall of their current leader, Bashar Assad.


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