Olmert bashes Tzipi Livni at Kadima event

Former prime minister says Livni "lost trust" of Kadima members when she headed faction, failed as leader of opposition.

Olmert and Livni 370 (photo credit: REUTERS)
Olmert and Livni 370
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Former prime minister Ehud Olmert attacked his successor at the helm of Kadima, Tzipi Livni, at a parlor meeting over the weekend with current Kadima leader Shaul Mofaz.
Speaking at the Tel Aviv home of former Shinui MK Eti Livni, Olmert called upon voters to ask themselves whether it was more important to them to give The Tzipi Livni party a 10th seat in the Knesset or to enable Kadima to pass the electoral threshold.
“She lost the party leadership by a huge margin, because when she headed the party its members lost trust in her,” Olmert said.
“That is the truth. She did not succeed as head of the opposition.”
The Tzipi Livni Party responded that what mattered to both Livni and Olmert was defeating Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, no matter what Olmert said at the parlor meeting.
Olmert also criticized Netanyahu at the meeting, saying he feared for the country’s future. He said a senior European official told him that European leaders were refraining from criticizing the Israeli government because they do not want to help Netanyahu, but the official told him that after the January 22 election, “we will talk, and you will hear us and the Americans too.”
Livni also blasted Netanyahu on Sunday, at the launch of her party’s campaign in Tel Aviv.
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The Tzipi Livni Party’s latest campaign slogan is “The hope will win over the fear,” which, following its Shepherd Fairey-esque blue-andwhite portrait of Livni, marks the second time the party is paying homage to US President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign.
“Four years of Netanyahu, and all we have is fear. No one has the right to take away our hope – not the prime minister, not anyone,” Livni stated. “When there is fear, no one makes demands from the prime minister. Without hope, there are no more protests.”
Livni made references to “Hatikva” lyrics, saying that “the hope to be a free nation in our land is not just an anthem; it’s real.”
Asked on Army Radio earlier Sunday whether she would leave politics if she fared poorly in the election, Livni said those who say otherwise were scared by her political comeback.
“I returned with a deep understanding that I may have to pay a personal price of starting from a different [lower] level but I have to keep struggling,” she said.
“I came back to fight and I will do it from any place, from the Knesset or the cabinet.”
Campaign manager Shmulik Cohen, meanwhile, said the party does not plan to use negative messages.
However, a video produced by The Tzipi Livni Party that was shown at the launch event featured Netanyahu and former foreign minister Avigdor Liberman saying they will not negotiate with Hamas, contrasted with newspaper headlines of a cease-fire following Operation Pillar of Defense, while ominous music played in the background.
Outside The Tzipi Livni Party event, Meretz activists protested, humming the Darth Vader theme song from Star Wars and holding signs saying “Tzipi, commit that you will not sit with Bibi [Netanyahu].”
The demonstration followed a call by Meretz leader Zehava Gal-On for Livni, Labor leader Shelly Yacimovich and Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid to commit to staying out of a Netanyahu-led coalition and block him from forming a government.
“Today, Meretz is signing a contract with the public, that it will not sell its votes to the Right,” Gal-On said at a press conference in Tel Aviv Sunday morning.
“Meretz commits that whoever votes for us, his vote will be used to fight the racist Likud Beytenu government.”