Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz of Kadima slammed Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, his main competition in the September 17 party leadership race, on a visit to Kiryat Shmona and the northern border on Wednesday.
Mofaz continued the negative campaigning that he began on Thursday, when he abandoned his strategy of keeping his efforts positive. Since then, he has attacked her at every opportunity.
"Who would you want to make decisions on difficult issues connected to the fate of the State of Israel, especially here in Kiryat Shmona, a town that has been hit by so many missiles?" Mofaz asked local Kadima activists.
"I can do it. She cannot. I will do it, as I have in the past. The voters will have to decide between a leader who can make correct decisions and lead Israel and the region in the proper way, and a weak leader without the experience or the ability to make decisions."
Mofaz recalled coming to Kiryat Shmona as an IDF officer in difficult times and making key decisions. He contrasted this with Livni negotiating UN Security Council Resolution 1701, which ended the Second Lebanon War.
"[Resolution] 1701 did not solve the problem of the strengthening and rearming of Hizbullah in south Lebanon that threatens this city and the entire region," Mofaz said. "Unfortunately, 1701 only further strengthened Hizbullah."
Livni's campaign said in response that "it is unfortunate to see how far Mofaz is willing to stoop due to his [poor political] situation.
"We will not stoop to that level. We will continue to present winning and honest leadership that will help Kadima win."
The foreign minister toured Beersheba on Thursday and held a rally in which her supporter, Finance Minister Ronnie Bar-On, attacked Mofaz.
"Unfortunately, even in our party there are people who play politics at the expense of the budget. He [Mofaz] put himself before the party and harmed the party," Bar-On said.
Livni said, "All the candidates have their pluses. I will never talk about my advantages, nor about the deficiencies of others. In the end, people come to vote and they select the person to rely on, who they know will think properly and act properly, putting the country first, the party second, and themselves last."