Kadima MK: The emperor is naked, Livni must quit

Party members call for “action, not just plans” at Kadima event; Livni says she “will not get stuck in the political swamp.”

By
September 15, 2011 19:39
3 minute read.
Opposition leader Tzipi Livni

Opposition leader Tzipi Livni 311. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)

 
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A number of Kadima MKs criticized the party and its leader, Tzipi Livni, at an event in honor of Rosh Hashana on Thursday.

“We have problems with our leadership, ” MK Yulia Shamolov Berkovich announced at the party’s Petah Tikva headquarters.

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“Tzipi Livni, you have failed. You must quit! In these days, before Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, I say: The emperor is naked.

“All we do is talk about Bibi, Bibi, Bibi,” Shamolov Berkovich said, referring to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. “Maybe we should stop criticizing and start doing.

“We’re very active,” she added sarcastically, “we bring air fresheners and cottage cheese to the Knesset. I am speaking with a heart full of pain – I came to the Knesset to fulfill [former prime minister and Kadima founder] Ariel Sharon’s dream to turn the State of Israel into the best place in the world to live. But we have left Sharon’s path.”

The MK said that “Kadima was a centrist party, and suddenly, we swung left because we listened to political advisers who said we can take seats from left-wing parties. Suddenly, what a surprise – here comes [Labor leadership candidate] Shelly Yacimovich!” “What have we come to that Shelly Yacimovich is the alternative to Kadima? A million supporters have left us,” Shamolov Berkovich stated.

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MK Ronit Tirosh added to the criticism.

“We need to stop with the euphoria, stop saying that we’re great and everything is okay,” she said.

“One month ago, Kadima MKs sat with local authority heads and said we need to make a plan. I congratulate Tzipi on bringing a plan, but it’s just a vision,” Tirosh explained. “You can’t use a vision to buy food at the market. We need to act.”

According to Tirosh, action means “to promote all of the good, socioeconomic bills by Kadima MKs. I have proposed bills on early childhood education and childcare. MK Ruhama Avraham-Balila has proposed bills on food for the hungry, and more.

“We have to give a stage to all the members of Kadima,” not just Livni, “because we all have what to say,” Tirosh said.

MK Meir Sheetrit called for increased transparency and clearer regulations for decisions within the party.

“We should decide when we are having a primary to choose the head of the party and make guidelines for how to compile our candidate list for the Knesset,” Sheetrit said. “We should do this now, not at the last minute when we’re busy with elections.”

Kadima activists at the event also criticized Livni.

“How does Livni explain that the housing protests harmed our party and didn’t help it?” Moti Elfaria, head of Kadima’s Haifa branch asked. “The only thing Livni did was give some activists money to make signs, and then leaked the information to Channel 2.”

“Livni is a princess without a crown,” Elfaria said.

Livni did not directly respond to the criticisms in her speech, but at the end of the event, when she raised a toast over red wine, apples and honey, she said: “Next year, I will continue to lead this house.

“I will not turn this house into a place of personal rivalries,” Livni stated. “I will not get stuck in the political swamp.

“Next year will be a dramatic one for the State of Israel. I will talk about the issues, and not about people.”

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