Livni calls for national unity gov't

At Kadima meeting, foreign minister says if she became PM, she'd invite Netanyahu, Barak to join.

livni good 224 88  ap (photo credit: AP)
livni good 224 88 ap
(photo credit: AP)
Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni called on Tuesday night for the establishment of a national unity government, saying it was the right thing to do for Israel at this troubled time. Speaking at a Kadima meeting in Hadera, Livni said: "We're not in a simple situation, and a national unity is the best thing to do. I say that wholeheartedly. Anyone who's interested can join." Livni said if she became Kadima leader, she would invite the Likud's Binyamin Netanyahu and Labor's Ehud Barak to join in a unity government. Meanwhile, a day after Prime Minister Ehud Olmert called Livni a "backstabbing liar" and Livni indirectly called upon Olmert to resign, MKs and officials in Kadima accused both of them of harming the party. New coalition chairman Yoel Hasson, who at 35 is the Knesset's second-youngest MK, played the role of kindergarten teacher, scolding both Olmert and Livni. While officials expressed interest in helping reconcile the two, sources close to both said it was not worth trying. "The battle of words between Olmert and Livni adds no dignity to Kadima and certainly not to either one of them," Hasson said. "Such unnecessary mutual recriminations serve the other parties that don't want to see Kadima keep the political system stable." Sources close to Livni's competition in the Kadima race expressed hope that the fighting between her and Olmert would harm her politically, but others said any criticism from Olmert could only help her. "Getting attacked by this prime minister is a badge of pride," said Kadima MK Ze'ev Elkin, who supports Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz in the Kadima leadership race. "As someone who has been attacked by the prime minister and his staff, I advise her to see it as a compliment." Another source close to Mofaz expressed confidence that the transportation minister would be the one to gain from the Olmert-Livni fighting. "There's a saying in Hebrew that if two argue, the third wins - and Mofaz is going to win," the source said.