Sheetrit: Mofaz's failure to quit is 'pathetic'

Kadima MK slams vice premier for not pulling faction from gov't, saying PM has made clear won't passing universal service bill.

Meir Sheetrit (photo credit: Miiam Alster)
Meir Sheetrit
(photo credit: Miiam Alster)
Kadima MK Meir Sheetrit referred to as "pathetic," party leader Shaul Mofaz's failure to leave the coalition of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in response to the government's refusal to implement Kadima's recommendations on drafting a universal service bill.
Mofaz has threatened to leave the coalition several times since Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu ruled to disband the Keshev Committee, led by Kadima MK Yochanan Plesner last month. The Keshev Committee was implemented to formulate a law by which haredim would be forced to serve in the IDF or perform national service.
Sheetrit told Army Radio on Tuesday that "Mofaz should have quit the Netanyahu government the day he dissolved the Plesner Committee and showed that he has no intention of passing a law on the issue."
The MK added: "The right step as far as Kadima is concerned is to leave the government - the coalition failed in the first test it faced."
He added that he had been against Kadima joining the coalition in the first place. "I thought it was a bad idea, because I believed that the documents signed with Netanyahu were worthless and I said so the night the coalition agreement was signed."
Sources close to Mofaz said Monday that the vice premier will remove his party from Netanyahu’s coalition as early as Tuesday if gaps between Likud and Kadima on how to equalize the burden of IDF service are not bridged.
Lawyers representing Likud and Kadima spoke on the phone multiple times on Monday but did not meet or report any significant progress. The Kadima faction is scheduled to convene on Tuesday at 5 p.m. after Mofaz delayed its regular Monday meeting because he did not want to make a major political announcement during the visit of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
“If nothing happens [to end the conflict with Likud], I believe it is a correct conclusion [that Mofaz would seriously consider quitting on Tuesday],” a source close to Mofaz said. “It is not an ultimatum. It is due to the fact that there is no progress.”
Mofaz’s associates bashed Netanyahu for expressing optimism at Monday’s Likud faction meeting that an agreement with Kadima could soon be reached.
“I don’t know where his optimism comes from,” a Mofaz associate said. “Optimism has to be based on something concrete. No headway has been made.”
At the Likud meeting, Netanyahu denied reports quoting officials in his office saying that when the Knesset returns from its summer recess, the prime minister would initiate an election that would be held at the beginning of 2013.