Former Kadima head Tzipi Livni's decision to launch a new political party
drew harsh condemnation from across the political spectrum on Tuesday,
in what could be the first time in recent years officials from Likud to
Meretz all agreed on any particular issue.
During a press conference formally launching the "The Tzipi Livni Party," (called Hatnuah
in Hebrew) Livni said her organization represented the only ideological
alternative in the upcoming elections to Prime Minister Binyamin
The Likud responded harshly to Livni's
announcement, describing her as nationally irresponsible and politically
incomprehensible. "Tzipi Livni supported the disengagement and brought
Hamas to Gaza, now she is working vigorously to bring Hamas to Judea and
Samaria (the West Bank)," a party spokesman said, accusing her of
projecting weakness to Israel's enemies.
Yesh Atid, which has
tried to position itself in the Center of Israel's political spectrum,
attacked Livni for recycling the "same old politics." In a press
statement, the party added "It is unfortunate that Livni refused to take
part in real change for the lives of Israeli citizens," expressing that
Livni's decision was made out of considerations for her own ego than
for the Israeli public. Party leader Yair Lapid had recently offered Livni the No. 2 position on his party’s list for the Knesset.
Labor party called Livni's decision a "bitter mistake," adding "she is
creating a party for the refugees of refugees, and is making (Prime
Minister Binyamin) Netanyahu and (Foreign Minister Avigdor) Liberman
smile broadly. Instead of focusing on [the Likud's] ultra-extreme party
list, we are now dealing with the formation of new parties in the
Labor leader Shelly Yacimovich slammed Livni at a Tel Aviv press conference on Tuesday evening, saying "a worthy leader knows how to make decisions and doesn't change their agenda every minute." She added that the Center should be uniting to topple Netanyahu rather than forming new parties and further splintering.
head Zehava Gal-On used Livni's announcement to assert her party's
claim as Israel's only representative on the Left. "Livni is a deserving
woman filled with good intentions," she said. "But her entrance into
the political realm is a repeat of Kadima, only backwards, because she
is weakening her opponents in the Center bloc - Labor and Yesh Atid. In
previous elections Livni dressed as a leftist but failed as an impotent
opposition party. Her political message is also dazed and confused after
she supported the IDF operation in Gaza."
Perhaps the harshest
condemnation came from Livni's former party, Kadima, as MK Yisrael
Hasson called her a "facade" and described her as "the woman who agrees
to sit down with Abu Mazen, Abu Allah and Ali Baba but refuses to sit
down with (Kadima head) Shaul Mofaz, a former IDF chief of staff and
Hasson, a confidant of Shaul Mofaz, charged Livni with being disloyal and added that she "does not have a gram of truth in her."