Mofaz sends out anti-Livni speech... but then scraps it

Kadima leadership candidate Shaul Mofaz wrote a speech for Thursday's Kadima council meeting in which he fiercely attacked current party head Tzipi Livni, but he chose not to deliver it. In the speech, which was sent to reporters and published by news Web sites a full half hour before he spoke at the event, he compared Livni to vain celebrities, taunted her for temporarily transforming into a feminist ahead of February's election, and mockingly suggested that the Kadima council start voting by text message. "If this is all we have to offer, let's replace [Kadima council chairman] Haim Ramon with [reality show host] Tzvika Hadar and [faction chairwoman] Dalia Itzik with [transgendered singer] Dana International," Mofaz wrote in the undelivered speech. A political opponent of Mofaz informed him of what had been published online before he ascended the stage at the party's Petah Tikva headquarters, and he then delivered a speech that was critical of Livni in a much more respectful manner. In the speech he delivered, he called for moving up the Kadima chairmanship primary. "We need to set a date for a leadership race in order to differentiate ourselves and present a real alternative," Mofaz said. "It is wrong to choose Kadima's chairman just two months before a general election. When all other parties have their candidate, Kadima will be immersed in internal primaries." Mofaz called on Livni to express clear positions on diplomatic and socioeconomic issues. A day after Labor changed its constitution, he called Kadima's anti-democratic and said it would prevent his party from winning the next general election. Sources close to Livni mocked Mofaz for "chickening out" and not delivering the original speech. They noted that Mofaz had voted for the constitution he was criticizing and that it had allowed Livni to reserve the second slot on Kadima's list for him. Reporters who spoke to Mofaz after the event said he claimed he had not seen the version of the speech that his spokespeople had sent to reporters, and that he did not believe he had censored his speech. In her address, Livni did not respond to Mofaz and instead attacked Labor and made reference to the rebellion going on in the party. "Kadima is a party where all its members want to be there by choice, a party that cares about content and not cabinet seats," she said.