MKs call Kadima members 390.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
More than 600,000 Americans lost their lives in the civil war between the North
and the South 150 years ago. But the hardest battle occurred afterward when the
reunited states of America tried to pick up the pieces and govern together
The animosity between Kadima leadership candidates Tzipi Livni and
Shaul Mofaz could rival that of the most committed Union and Confederate
The hatred and resentment between the two have only grown since
they last faced off in the 2008 Kadima primary.
In that race, Livni had
the support of the overwhelming majority of the party’s 28 MKs. This time the
party is divided nearly in half, with 14 MKs backing Mofaz, 13 supporting Livni
and only faction head Dalia Itzik declaring neutrality.
The party is
split in two, and it will be very difficult for whoever wins to make it fit
together again. A lot will depend on the grace of the loser.
refused to commit to staying in the party – or even politics – if Mofaz wins.
Mofaz has said he would stay. But he said so in the last race as well, and then
appeared to quit politics for a few days after he lost.
Both of them are
saying what their political strategists have been telling them to say. It is
impossible to know what they will really do in the moment of truth.
There are MKs in both camps whose minds are made up. MKs Avi Dichter, Yulia
Shamolov Berkovich and Otniel Schneller have all said publicly that they would
not stay in a Livni-led party. MKs who back Livni have said privately that they
would not want to take orders from Mofaz and would follow Livni if she
Despite all the emotions involved, the Kadima race failed to
generate too many headlines.
The rocket attacks from Gaza and the
potential of war with Iran kept it on inside pages – on days it was in the
newspapers at all.
The race was also downplayed due to the party’s poor
standing in the polls, Livni and Mofaz’s lack of charisma and the absence of
real differences between them on key policy issues.
Perhaps the party
will begin to attract more attention on Wednesday when the results are in – and
the real battle begins.