Mofaz ‘credits’ PM with halting leftist Kadima split

“We have to credit PM for bumbling split like such a schlemiel that no one wants to leave right now,” says official close to Mofaz.

July 25, 2012 01:32
2 minute read.
Kadima leader Shaul Mofaz

Kadima leader Shaul Mofaz 370. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem / The Jerusalem Post)

Kadima leader Shaul Mofaz will apparently emerge from the final day of the winter Knesset session on Wednesday with his 28-MK faction unbroken, despite efforts on the Right and Left to divide it, sources in all the camps in Kadima said Tuesday night.

The Knesset will begin a three-month recess Thursday that will stretch until October 15, after the fall holidays.

Although political maneuvering is possible during the recess, it is more risky and complicated.

The Knesset House Committee, which must approve any split, can be summoned at a moment’s notice when the Knesset is in session, but must be notified three days in advance during the recess. During those three days, MKs can be pressured to change their mind about leaving Kadima.

Mofaz’s associates expressed confidence that the danger of a split in Kadima had passed.

They credited Mofaz for working behind the scenes to prevent a split of the party’s Right flank by exposing it prematurely, and ironically praised Netanyahu for mishandling the Right split so much that MKs on the party’s Left flank are afraid to leave.

“We have to credit Bibi [Netanyahu] for bumbling the split like such a schlemiel that no one wants to leave right now,” a source close to Mofaz said. “There is no public legitimacy for leaving now. A split on the Left cannot be painted ideologically.”

Former Kadima council chairman Haim Ramon still hopes to persuade the seven MKs required to split a faction to leave and form the basis for a new party he will build with former Kadima leader Tzipi Livni. But MKs who had planned to leave said the move was on hold.

“Nothing is happening, at least in the next few days,” said MK Majallie Whbee, who was one of six Kadima doves rumored to be on the verge of leaving to Ramon’s as-yet-unformed party. “Anything you hear to the contrary is speculation of people who don’t have anything to do.”

MK Robert Tibayev, who is close to Livni, added that “whoever says I am leaving Kadima [Wednesday] can go to hell.”

Former minister Tzachi Hanegbi, who was the architect of the failed split on Kadima’s Right flank, expressed disappointment that seven MKs were not leaving Kadima for Likud together with him.

“I hope there will be people who strengthen the coalition, but I unfortunately don’t see it as doable and I am not dealing with it now,” Hanegbi said.

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