Mofaz seeks to dismiss four Kadima rebels

"Whoever wants to go, should go," Mofaz says after handing letter to Knesset House c'tee chair; MK Edri spared from list after last-minute denial that he is leaving party for Likud.

July 23, 2012 12:39
2 minute read.
Shaul Mofaz at Kadima faction meeting

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

Kadima Leader Shaul Mofaz on Monday submitted a letter to Knesset House Committee chairman Yariv Levin requesting the dismissal of four MKs who expressed their will to leave Kadima for the Likud.

The four Kadima MKs are Otniel Schneller, Arieh Bibi, Avi Duan and Yulia Shamolov Berkovich. MK Ya'acov Edri (Kadima) who on Monday morning backed out of the group striving for the political split, was not listed in the letter.

"Whoever wants to go, should go," Mofaz said Monday speaking at the Knesset following his submission of the letter.

"If you want to join the corrupt, and the draft dodgers, there is no place for you in Kadima. If you want to leave we won't make you stay," Mofaz said.

"Kadima will act against corruption and change the bad government system," Mofaz continued, stressing that he would continue to fight for a substantial replacement to the Tal Law. "We won't let Netanyahu pass a second Tal Law using political bribery." 

"Anyone who negotiated with Netanyahu will have to do some soul searching... with themselves, their family and their children," the Kadima leader added.

This move came following late-night meetings Sunday night as Kadima rebels, headed by  former minister Tzachi Hanegbi, attempted to recruit seven Kadima MKs to leave the party for Likud.

Their attempts broke down Monday, as the group were left with only four of the seven MKs required to split the party.

Edri clarified Monday morning that he had not decided to leave Kadima for the Likud. On Sunday, Edri has been listed as one of the five MKs who had confirmed that they wanted to leave Kadima for the Likud, along with Otniel Schneller, Arieh Bibi, Avi Duan and Yulia Shamolov Berkovich.

Edri stated that he has not signed any document, has not joined any group, and is still weighing up his options.

Meanwhile, MK Nino Abesadze (Kadima) also refuted rumors that she was part of the move, asserting that she would not be part of a "shady deal" that would strengthen Prime Minister Binyamin 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."

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.

Such a split could help Netanyahu widen his coalition again, pass the 2013 state budget, and avoid early elections.

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