No room for compromise

Kadima, Likud spar over biggest digs in Knesset.

Knesset 224.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Knesset 224.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
In addition to vying for control of the next government, Kadima and Likud are now embroiled in a struggle over the largest conference room in the Knesset. Each party is accorded a conference room in the Knesset according to its number of seats in the parliament. Likud, which has more than doubled in size following last week's general election, from 12 seats to 27, has outgrown its room. Kadima had allowed Likud to use its conference room as a "friendly gesture" last week. But on Monday, as Likud members were preparing to hold their scheduled meeting in the larger room again, Kadima faction chairman Yoel Hasson informed them that the party was refusing to let its rival use the room again. Kadima clarified that it agreed to let Likud use the room last week only because the Central Elections Committee was still active in the Knesset, and out of understanding that space was limited in the building. "We refused to let them use the room again, because it was clear that they were doing it out of spite and in an attempt to create a false reality, according to which they are the ruling party, because they are convening in the biggest room - when Kadima is actually the biggest party in the Knesset, and therefore should be the one to form the next government and to sit in that room," a Kadima spokesman said. Likud was forced to move twice more before eventually holding its faction meeting on Monday. "Kadima has always excelled at small and petty politics," the Likud faction spokeswoman said in response. Knesset spokesman Giora Pordes said in response that Kadima was entitled to decide who can use its room. But he also tried to calm down all sides by promising that all factions would have enough room for all their members. "Each faction receives a room for its meetings and activities in accordance to their size," Pordes said. "When the 17th Knesset was elected we moved the offices of the Central Elections Committee from the fifth floor to another floor and we divided the floor's space according to the number of MKs each party had. I guess we will have to adapt the rooms again so they fit all factions, in accordance to their new sizes. "It shouldn't be too complicated," Pordes added, "the walls are made of plaster."