Kadima blasts Netanyahu for politicking during prisoner exchange talks

Kadima blasts Netanyahu

Kadima officials blasted Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for holding talks with Kadima MKs to try to woo them to Likud amidst the negotiations to bring back kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Schalit. Netanyahu met on Monday and Tuesday with Kadima MKs Otniel Schneller, Ronit Tirosh and Yisrael Hasson and Defense Minister Ehud Barak met with Kadima MK Ya'acov Edri. Tirosh denied visiting the Prime Minister's Office at 8:15 on Monday morning, while Hasson and Edri denied that political matters were discussed in their meetings. Seven MKs are needed to break off from a large faction, according to the so-called Mofaz bill which passed four months ago. "At a time when the public believes that the prime minister and defense minister are devoting every minute to deliberations on the Schalit issue, they apparently thought it was more important for them to engage in cynical and shameful politics," a Kadima official said. "The prime minister and defense minister are behaving like political hacks. Netanyahu is obsessed with the opposition instead of running the country he was elected to lead." Netanyahu further angered Kadima by cancelling a meeting with opposition leader Tzipi Livni that had been set for Tuesday, in which he was expected to brief her about the proposed Schalit deal. The meeting was canceled a few hours before it was to take place. The Prime Minister's Office cited Netanyahu's lack of sleep over the last few days as the reason for the cancellation and said it would instead take place on Thursday. But Kadima officials said Netanyahu found time to exercise in the Knesset gym and "sweat on the treadmill" on Tuesday and noted that the meeting had already been postponed three times. Netanyahu's associates confirmed that he did exercise on Tuesday but said the meeting with Livni was delayed because the prime minister felt the need to meet with representatives of terror victims organizations before final decisions are made on the Schalit deal.