Lapid says he doesn't want 'failed' Livni in party

In response to Facebook queries, Lapid says he wants no senior politicians in his party.

Yair Lapid speaks at a business conference in Eilat 390 (photo credit: Ezra Levi)
Yair Lapid speaks at a business conference in Eilat 390
(photo credit: Ezra Levi)
Yair Lapid said Thursday that he will not invite ousted Kadima leader Tzipi Livni to join his yet-to-be-formed political party.
Responding to his Facebook followers’ calls for him to add Livni to his party’s list, the former Channel 2 news anchor said he has not spoken to Livni for many months.
“As I’ve explained in the past, no senior politician will be in my party,” he wrote. “In the entire world, when politicians fail, they are replaced with new people who have new ideas.”
But Lapid later clarified that he did not intend to call Livni a failure. He wished her well and called her a fair and proper person.
“I do not dare judge whether she failed or succeeded, because that is for Kadima voters to decide,” he wrote.
One of the people who asked Lapid to consider taking Livni was Haim Messing, father of Livni’s spokesman, Gil Messing.
But sources close to Livni said no one had turned to him on Livni’s behalf and she never intended to seek a place in his party.
Livni herself broke her silence on Thursday. She declined to answer questions from reporters outside her Tel Aviv home about her political future but she did give a short statement.
“You see I am alive and well and stronger,” she said. “I am getting calls from the world. The most emotional are from good Israelis who really wanted me to win, who strengthen me and I hope I strengthen them.”
While most MKs in Kadima have called upon her to remain in politics and the party, her critics in the faction have started speaking more openly about their hope that she not return.
“She doesn’t like it here [in Kadima],” MK Yulia Shamolov- Berkovich said. “She should reach conclusions [about not staying in the party].”
New Kadima leader Shaul Mofaz said that despite his criticism of Livni, he hopes she will stay in the party, though he added “everyone has a replacement.”
“Her place is in Kadima,” he said. “She needs to continue serving Israel in Kadima.”