Likud, Kadima spar over Amona

New commercial attacks Olmert for engineering settlement flare-up.

amona riot gear 248.88 (photo credit: AP)
amona riot gear 248.88
(photo credit: AP)
The Likud unveiled a controversial new election commercial on Wednesday that blames Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert for the violence between police and settlers at the Amona outpost two weeks ago. The ad alleges that the Amona evacuation was intended to be a one-time event to portray Olmert as a leader sparring with the demonized settlers. It shows horses and soldiers alongside Olmert speaking and ends with the slogan "Olmert lacks sensitivity and responsibility. We cannot let him run the country." The head of the Likud's public relations team, MK Gideon Sa'ar, told reporters at a Tel Aviv press conference that his party agreed that illegal outposts had to be evacuated but he questioned Olmert's motives in evacuating one outpost in a confrontational manner while leaving dozens of other outposts intact. "Leaders have to be judged by the results, and Amona has to be considered a failure because more than 200 people were wounded for the removal of eight buildings that the the settlers themselves had volunteered to remove that same morning," Sa'ar said. "If the reason for Amona's evacuation was abiding by the law, why aren't other outposts being removed? Apparently, everything is politics for Ehud Olmert." A Kadima spokesman respond by attacking the Likud, and the Likud countered with an equally strongly-worded reply. "The extreme right of [Moshe] Feiglin, [Binyamin] Netanyahu and Sa'ar has been revealed again," the Kadima spokesman said. "The Likud has become an extreme right-wing party that encourages harming soldiers and policemen and disobeying the law. "Kadima is under pressure and when Kadima is under pressure, they lie," the Likud spokesman said. "Kadima is a left-wing party that will form a leftist coalition with Meretz and the Arabs." Netanyahu responded for the first time to the sentencing of former MK Omri Sharon in an interview with Channel 2. He said that the court's decision was "not a moment of joy, but it is good that there is a system of laws that are being upheld." Following Likud MK Nomi Blumenthal's conviction on Monday for illegally buying votes, Netanyahu released a statement saying that she should be allowed to remain a Likud Knesset candidate because she had appealed the conviction. Netanyahu reversed his strategy on Wednesday when he spoke to Blumenthal and asked her to suspend herself from the Likud's list of candidates. Blumenthal did not respond to the request. "I think everyone needs to be given a chance to prove themselves innocent according to the law, but there is also a matter of good judgment and I think she should suspend herself," Netanyahu said.