Livni vows to fight against corrupt politics

Kadima MK Robert Tibayev says split will happen; MK Abesadze complains she was forced into "a Bolshevik coalition."

Tzipi Livni at anti-unity government protest 370 (photo credit: Ben Hartman)
Tzipi Livni at anti-unity government protest 370
(photo credit: Ben Hartman)
Former Kadima leader Tzipi Livni vowed over the weekend to take action against the dirty politics she believes were exemplified by the deal that brought Kadima into Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s coalition last week.
Livni quit the Knesset two weeks ago but vowed to remain in public life, leaving open the option of forming a new party or joining an existing one ahead of the next election. She remained in touch with the MKs who backed her unsuccessful reelection bid for the Kadima leadership and continues to update her supporters on Facebook and Twitter.
“After this week in politics, there are those who will say that this is how politics go and there is nothing to do about it,” Livni posted on Twitter. “I hope that the majority will say ‘Enough!’ It is no longer a matter of the Left or the Right, but a matter of the values that we will fight for.”
Kadima faction head Dalia Itzik, who was neutral in the Kadima leadership race, defended new Kadima leader Shaul Mofaz and criticized Livni in an interview Saturday night with Channel 2’s Meet the Press program.
“The influence that Livni had on politics was amazing,” Itzik said sarcastically.
“No party enabled Netanyahu to do whatever he wanted more than Kadima, in part because we did not join the government. I told Tzipi Livni many times that I support national-unity governments, but I did not have enough power and she made her decisions alone.”
Livni denied encouraging her loyalists in the Kadima faction to break off and form a new party. MKs in the faction said that recently fired Kadima council chairman Haim Ramon was encouraging a split.
Seven MKs are needed by law to break off to enable a split.
But Likud officials said they were in touch with Kadima MKs about repealing the law or upgrading the minimum MKs needed to 10.
Robert Tibayev became the first Kadima MK to say openly that he believes his party will split. Tibayev, who is the only Kadima MK who did not vote to join the coalition, told the Walla News website that he was not interested in being “a frame for an ugly picture” or a “dummy” used by the coalition.
“Yes, Kadima is on the way to split,” Tibayev said. “There are [MKs] in Mofaz’s camp who told me that they do not see Kadima continuing and gave me signs that we are on the way to a split. I get a lot of calls from activists who want to leave the party. I tell them not to, that the party and the ideas do not belong to anyone and that we cannot let anyone steal the party.”
Other MKs who are said to be considering leaving Kadima include Shlomo Molla, Orit Zuaretz, Nino Abesadze and Majallie Whbee. But Molla said they will wait to see if the coalition succeeds in finding an alternative to the Tal Law that would require army service for haredim (ultra-Orthodox) before taking action.
“If no alternative to the Tal Law is found and Mofaz tries to keep us in the coalition, there will be many more than seven MKs and as many as 20 who want to leave,” a Kadima MK said.
Abesadze complained at a Peace Now rally on Friday that she was forced into what she called “a Bolshevik coalition” against her will. Zuaretz on Saturday equated the coalition deal with human trafficking.
“I just came back from an international conference where I represented Israel’s struggle against the trafficking of women,” Zuaretz wrote on her Facebook page, “Meanwhile, there seems to be human trafficking going on here, in front of the public eye. Twenty-eight MKs and 90,000 Kadima members were auctioned to Netanyahu.”