Kadima up to 100,000 members

Nearly 20,000 members joined the party as a discounted membership drive ended on New Year's Eve.

Kadima  (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Kadima reached 100,000 members on Friday, the last day people could join the party without having to pay a membership fee, the Kadima activist website Yalla Kadima reported Saturday night.
The Kadima council decided 10 days ago to end a practice whereby members only had to pay a one-time registration fee of NIS 50. Anyone who joined by Friday’s December 31 deadline was grandfathered into the old rule, but whoever joins from January 1 onward will have to pay an annual membership fee.
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Some 20,000 new members joined the party in the last days of the old rule.
Activists loyal to Kadima leader Tzipi Livni and her rival, Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman Shaul Mofaz, both claimed victory in the membership drive.
Sources close to Mofaz claimed they signed up 8,000 members, but pro-Livni activists denied that number.
Members have to be in the party for 13 months before they are allowed to vote for the leadership of the party and its Knesset slate.
The only former Kadima leadership candidate who did not make an effort to submit forms ahead of Friday’s deadline was MK Meir Sheetrit, who advocated requiring all Kadima members to pay an obligatory membership fee and opposed grandfathering in veteran members.
Sheetrit said he still hoped to change the decision in a future Kadima council meeting.
He said he stood by a quote he gave to Haaretz last weekend in which he complained that Kadima, whose founders said they formed it in order to clean up Israeli politics, was now “more corrupt than the Likud.”