(photo credit: The Jewish Leadership Movement)
Kadima leader Tzipi Livni's brother praised far-right Likud activist Moshe Feiglin at the annual dinner of Feiglin's Manhigut Yehudit (Jewish Leadership) ideological forum at Ramat Gan's City Tower Hotel on Monday night.
Eli Livni, a lifelong Likud member who is secular, received a prize at the event for promoting Jewish education for secular students at the religious school that he runs.
He told The Jerusalem Post
at the event that he "supports most of Manhigut Yehudit's political agenda."
Asked what he thought about the multiple speakers at the event who declared Feiglin Israel's next prime minister, Livni downplayed it, saying, "So what? I know someone else who thinks that," referring to his sister.
Feiglin predicted at the event that just like the Iron Curtain unexpectedly fell, the "elites" who he said run the country would eventually fall and men of faith would take over Israel's leadership.
"How can it be that [Iranian president Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad goes free around the world and no one thinks about arresting him while Israeli ministers fear going abroad?" Feiglin asked the crowd. "The reason for this nadir is not connected to the conflict with our neighbors. The problem is that we are suffering from leaders who lack faith."
When asked about Eli Livni's participation at the Manhigut Yehudit event, Kadima officials said "that should trouble the Likud, not us."
Tzipi Livni, meanwhile, endured a fierce attack in Monday's Kadima faction meeting from MK Shai Hermesh, who was outraged that she announced the appointment of MK Ronnie Bar-On as the new head of World Kadima without informing him and other MKs in advance.
Hermesh accused her of political thievery and said that she should have appointed a Kadima MK with experience dealing with the Jewish world, such as former Jewish Agency chairman Ze'ev Bielski, former Jewish Federations of North America-Israel Director-General Nachman Shai or a former Agency treasurer like Meir Sheetrit or himself.
"I blew up and told Tzipi, 'Are you crazy?'" Hermesh said after the closed-door meeting.
"Why don't you appoint someone who knows something about the Jewish world?"
Bar-On then called Hermesh "garbage" and told him to go back to the Likud, referring to reports that he negotiated leaving Kadima last month.
Shai said after the meeting that he had informed Livni that he was interested in the job, but when she said it would go to Bar-On, he decided not to push the matter.
Kadima officials responded that Livni did in fact consult with most of her faction MKs individually about the move and that legally she did not have to bring the appointment to a vote.