Kadima leader Shaul Mofaz 370 (R).
(photo credit: Reuters / Pool)
Kadima MKs on Monday expressed contempt for their fellow party members who on Sunday, confirmed their intention to move to the Likud.
MKs Otniel Schneller, Ya’acov Edri, Arieh Bibi, Avi Duan and Yulia Shamolov Berkovich confirmed that they wanted to leave Kadima for the Likud. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has been trying for three years to split Kadima, and his efforts have borne fruit in meetings with its lawmakers over the past two days. The group needs seven MKs in order to bring about a split in the party.
MKs in Kadima are divided over whether the rebels should be allowed to leave even if they do not get seven statements of intent.
MK Ronnie Bar-On said Monday morning that Kadima should dismiss the MKs that intend to leave the party for the Likud, and added that those MKs should take with them the debt that they accrued on Kadima's behalf.
"We took people like Otniel Schneller and Yulia Shamolov Berkovich from the winery and the granary. We made a mistake, and we are paying for it today," said Bar-On.
MK Nino Abesadze (Kadima) refuted rumors that she was part of the move, asserting that she would not be part of a "shady deal" that would strengthen Netanyahu.
Abesadze said she would not be a partner in a move that would enable Netanyahu to pass an "empty" replacement to the Tal Law, as well as a "cruel budget."
However, Absedadze added, "there is no doubt that Kadima has come to the end of its role, but if I make a political move, it will be solely on ideological grounds, not for compensation, and not as part of a dirty deal."
Meanwhile MK Meir Sheetrit (Kadima) cast doubt that Netanyahu had obtained the seven MKs needed to bring about a split in the party.
"I don't believe they have seven MKs and I'm not sure that all of those listed really agreed. I don't believe that the chance of it [a split in the party] happening is big," Sheetrit said in an interview with Army Radio.
"There is no doubt that [Kadima leader] Shaul Mofaz made a great mistake in entering the government. All those who now want to leave for the Likud, supported Mofaz in the primaries. I think he made a mistake and he is paying a political price for it," Sheetrit added.
Joining the chorus of voices, Meretz leader Zehava Gal-On on Monday accused Netanyahu of being capable of implementing any dirty move that will preserve his power. "Leftists who voted for Tzipi Livni against Netanyahu woke up and found out that their vote will roll to Netanyahu, because in the centrist parties, in stead of principles, there are only seats," said Gal-On. Gil Hoffman contributed to this report