Kadima thrashes PM on 'first 100 days'

Sheetrit calls on Steinitz to resign; Livni says PM adopted 2-state solution only to fix ties with US.

Livni shoot myself in the head 248.88 (photo credit: AP)
Livni shoot myself in the head 248.88
(photo credit: AP)
Under the moniker "100 days, zero achievements," Kadima convened a press conference Wednesday to assess the performance of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's government, in a political custom adopted from the United States. Livni told Army Radio earlier that Netanyahu bends under pressure and has no diplomatic vision. "[Netanyahu] did not undergo an ideological shift like [former prime minister] Ariel Sharon, but he understood words can be taken back and you can zigzag in order to put relations with the US back on track," Livni told a reporter. In 2005, Sharon left the Likud party to establish Kadima, primarily because his new policies - especially the disengagement from the Gaza Strip - were staunchly opposed by most Likud MKs. Livni criticized Netanyahu's embrace of the two-state solution, saying she believed the move was made for the sole purpose of improving relations with the US: "I didn't just say these words, I worked to implement them. We were attacked by the guys in Likud for it and now they, for their own reasons, out of a need to normalize relations with the United States and not out of faith, adopt this as a slogan," she said. Kadima prepared a special dossier numbering "all the failures of Netanyahu's bloated government" in political issues, social issues and economic issues. The dossier contained a list of Netanyahu's campaign promises and a list of what Kadima defines as his current breach thereof. "Bibi can be squeezed, folded and pressed and he did not come prepared to govern," Kadima faction chair Dalia Itzik said in the press conference. "It is the same Bibi [we've seen in his first term], he cannot change, and in his speech in Bar Ilan University we saw a frightened and sweaty Bibi." "We will see yet more zigzags and bends from Netanyahu in the months ahead. How much time will we need later to mend the damages he will have made? What achievement can his government be said to have made? He has not kept a single promise. He has established the world's largest government, and today we have new proof that we shouldn't have even considered entering the coalition he heads, otherwise we would have become part of this farce," Itzik lashed out. MK Meir Sheetrit attacked the government's economic policy. "I am today the most veteran member of Knesset and I can attest that the Netanyahu government's budget is the worst since 1981," Sheetrit said. "It was formulated in a slapdash and unserious manner. Netanyahu effaced Finance Minister Dr. Yuval Steinitz, and Steinitz must come forward and resign." Mk Yoel Hasson asked "where are Netanyahu's big stars? What happened to them? They took a nosedive to meaningless positions. Where is [Intelligence Affairs Minister] Dan Meridor? What is he doing? This is a folded government, a government that folds more by the day. It is lucky there's an opposition in Israel." MK Nachman Shai, who on Wednesday issued a statement suggesting the government "had no eggs [eggs in Hebrew being a euphemism for testicles]," claimed the government "caused huge damage in [Israel's foreign] relations. Europe froze a planned upgrade in relations with us," he said. "[Foreign Minister Avigdor] Lieberman is horrible, he's a persona non grata." In April, Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolalek, then president of the European Union, met with President Shimon Peres in Jerusalem, and reiterated his country's commitment to strengthening ties between Israel and the European Union. "We will work so that the voices in Europe calling to slow down or freeze the promotion of relations with Israel won't get what they're after," Topolanek told Peres. Asked on a contentious issue in Kadima, party No. 2 Shaul Mofaz's wish to join the coalition, Itzik said "if circumstances change and Netanyahu won't be Netanyauh, maybe there'll be a democratic discussion in Kadima. But now this is a bad government and there's no reason to join it."