Likud: Olmert's interview will hurt him

A Post poll taken by Smith Research shows Kadima falls to 34-35 seats.

olmert 298 88 aj (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
olmert 298 88 aj
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's statements to The Jerusalem Post about deciding Israel's borders by 2010 and accusing Likud chairman Binyamin Netanyahu of inciting to harm him will expedite Kadima's downfall in the polls, Likud leaders claimed Thursday. In a Post poll taken by Smith Research after the interview was published on Thursday, Kadima fell to 34-35 seats - two seats down on last week, Likud rose half a mandate to between 17 and 18 and Labor climbed 1-2 mandates to 18. It was the fifth straight week that Kadima fell in the polls. Olmert told the Post in a lengthy interview that "it's important that Kadima get enough votes to bring stability to the political system for the first time in way too long." But the Likud said that the more Olmert moves to the Left, the more Likud will rise at Kadima's expense. "The weakening of Kadima and the strengthening of the Likud will continue the more Kadima moves to the Left," said MK Gilad Erdan, who heads the Likud's response team. "Olmert's comments show once again how irresponsible he is for being willing to give land to Hamas. No matter where he would draw the border, it will just be a starting point for negotiations that will force Israel to give up strategic areas, making peace impossible." Erdan said that Olmert had adopted the strategy of the Left of "accusing the Right of incitement every time they fall in the polls and get desperate." He called Olmert "hypocritical" for "talking about incitement when he is attacking Netanyahu in a fascist way." Netanyahu slammed Olmert for being overconfident after Olmert said in a Rishon Lezion speech that "the question of who will win this election has already been decided" and "[Kadima] will be the governing party, I promise you." "I would advise Olmert to wait for the election results," Netanyahu said at a memorial for Yosef Trumpeldor in Tel Hai. "He will find the results very interesting. All the polls indicate that the Likud is rising and Kadima is falling." National Union-National Religious Party MK Arye Eldad also attacked Olmert, accusing him of being disconnected from reality. "Olmert is the head of a Left that is irresponsibly disregarding the rise of Hamas," Eldad said. "He should know that Israel cannot survive if it evacuates settlements in the West Bank and allows Iran to open a branch there under the guise of Hamas. Instead of admitting the blame for leaving thousands of Jews from Gush Katif homeless and jobless, they have become addicted to the illusion that we can draw our own border." Kadima strategist Lior Chorev responded, "Netanyahu, the Likud and the extreme Right are proposing a path of endless war and living by the sword for all eternity, while Kadima proposes taking its fate into its own hands to allow Israel's citizens to live normal lives in security."