Livni-Mofaz showdown may be delayed

Livni-Mofaz showdown may

Kadima leader Tzipi Livni invited her nemesis, MK Shaul Mofaz, to present his diplomatic plan to the Kadima faction at its weekly meeting on Monday at the insistence of several Kadima lawmakers, but she appeared to backtrack on Sunday. Livni said that alongside Mofaz, she would allow two other former Kadima leadership candidates, MKs Avi Dichter and Meir Sheetrit, to present their plans at the same time, this despite the fact that Dichter and Sheetrit both endorsed the Arab peace initiative, whose details are clear to Kadima legislators. "She obviously only invited Dichter and Sheetrit to speak in an effort to try to put Mofaz in his place," a source close to the former defense minister said. "Next thing you know she will let [the party's MK] Ruhama [Avraham] present a plan, too." Later on Sunday, Livni's spokesman said that Mofaz's presentation might have to be delayed by a week or two, because the Kadima chairwoman will come to the faction meeting late on Monday, due to a speech she is delivering at the Saban Forum. The following week, Mofaz will be in the US, presenting his plan to top think tanks, Jewish leaders, the media, and a senior official in President Barack Obama's administration who deals with the Middle East conflict. He will also speak at a conference at the United Nations. "If it doesn't happen this week, it won't happen at all," a source close to Mofaz said. "It would prove that they are just playing political games and are not being serious." Livni's associates responded that they "had no problem with a diplomatic discussion in the faction" and would set the time together with Mofaz. They said they "had no interest in preventing [the plan] from being discussed." Mofaz presented the plan to Egyptian Ambassador Mohamed Assem Ibrahim on Sunday and last week to the ambassadors of the United States, Turkey, and Russia.