Mofaz gets Kadima soldiers working

Kadima leader convenes his faction for a five-hour meeting described as the most serious in nearly six and a half years.

Shaul Mofaz 370 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Shaul Mofaz 370
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Kadima leader Shaul Mofaz began his new job in earnest on Tuesday when he convened his faction for a five-hour meeting participants described as the most serious in the nearly six and a half years the party has existed.
Mofaz announced that the party would hold an ideological convention on May 30. He made each Kadima MK in charge of one issue and said they had to write their contribution to the party platform by a week before the convention.
For instance, Meir Sheetrit will focus on the state budget, Rachel Adatto on health, Shai Hermesh on agriculture, Yohanan Plesner on drafting yeshiva students and Ronnie Bar-On will be in charge of composing the party’s platform on changing the electoral system.
A new academic committee of professors who will advise the party offered the assistance. MKs were asked to work out of the party’s headquarters in Petah Tikva when they are not at the Knesset.
The only MK who was not abroad who did not attend the meeting was former leader Tzipi Livni, who has not yet announced her political future.
“Tzipi never distributed assignments like this,” a Kadima MK said. “There is finally an atmosphere of serious work. Everyone knows what their job is and we finally feel like we matter. We will be judged by the results of our work. That is the way it is supposed to be.”
But other MKs complained that Mofaz was treating his MKs like the soldiers who served under him when he was in the IDF. Unlike the last Kadima faction meeting, MKs were not asked to leave their cellphones at the door but the meeting was described by some as more serious and businesslike than they felt comfortable with.
There were also complaints about a new legislative committee, headed by Bar-On, which will be in charge of ensuring that all the bills the party submitted fit the Kadima ideology. The committee was formed in response to complaints that under Livni there was an atmosphere of “every man for himself” when it came to submitting legislation.
MKs complained that Bar-On would act as a “legislative censor” and that he was a poor choice for the job because he is not on good terms with some MKs.
But the MKs were happy that Mofaz dissolved a party disciplinary committee Livni formed under the leadership of MK Shlomo Molla.
Mofaz also said he would cut the party’s staff by half. Party spokesman Shmuelik Dahan is expected to be one of the MKs who will not keep his job.