(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimksi [file])
Kadima MK Shaul Mofaz, the party's No. 2 politician, will next week unveil a plan for temporary Palestinian statehood, urge the government to accept it and seek to bring Kadima into the coalition, Mofaz told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday.
Mofaz will reveal the plan in a press conference and then start selling it to his party's institutions as well as the government. He said Thursday he was confident it would be accepted by his party, the cabinet and the international community.
"The government doesn't have its own plan yet, and American pressure will require the government to have a plan that maintains our security interests," Mofaz said. "Implementing the plan requires a national unity government. If the government will accept my plan, I will convene Kadima's institutions to talk about approving entering a government that would implement it."
The plan calls for establishing a Palestinian state with temporary borders within two years, and setting final borders three years later.
Mofaz would seek to reach an internationally brokered interim agreement by the end of this year.
"I don't believe we should try to reach an agreement on all the outstanding issues and only then start implementing it," Mofaz said. "That didn't work in Oslo, Camp David or in Annapolis. I say, let's start working on a Palestinian state with temporary borders now."
Mofaz presented elements of the plan to Kadima's diplomatic committee on Sunday at the party's Petah Tikva headquarters. He surprised MKs who were present by politically positioning himself to the left of Kadima leader Tzipi Livni.
"She thinks we need to agree on everything before implementation," Mofaz said. "I think that if we don't start implementing an interim agreement, there will never be a final deal. I think most of Kadima would agree with my plan and whoever doesn't would be dividing Kadima."
Sources close to Livni responded that "Mofaz has a right to his opinion, but Kadima has a diplomatic platform and he signed onto it." They said that Mofaz was merely trying to push Kadima into the government through any means possible.
MKs loyal to Livni who attended the committee meeting accused him of "giving the Palestinians everything they want for nothing from the beginning."
Another Kadima MK said that Mofaz was engaged in a "transparent political maneuver against Tzipi that is destined to fail." The MK said that if Mofaz tries to sell his plan patiently over time, it will been seen as ideological and sincere, but if he pushes it in order to get headlines, it will "explode in his face."
"He could have done this without undermining Tzipi, but instead he seems to want an intense rivalry like [former Labor Party leadership contenders] Rabin and Peres," the MK said.
Mofaz reiterated that he did not see Livni as prime ministerial material and that she had failed at everything she had done.
"She needs to get experience in key government positions," he said. "She had two opportunities to form a government, and she failed. That's why she can't be prime minister yet, and Kadima voters realize that now."