The closing event of the Sderot Conference, which was meant to bring together the leaders of the three largest parties on Wednesday evening, was cancelled Wednesday morning when it emerged that none of the prime ministerial hopefuls would be attending. Organizers said Likud leader Binyamin Netanyahu and Labor chairman Ehud Barak had cancelled their participation at the last minute, while Kadima leader Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni never confirmed the invitation sent to her. The conference program lists all three as being scheduled to appear on a panel, hosted by journalist Dan Margalit, on "The State of the Nation." Near Livni's name is the word "invited," indicating her participation had not been confirmed. But Livni's spokesman, Gil Messing, insisted that Livni had rejected the invitation three weeks ago due to a previous commitment. "Livni was scheduled to dine Wednesday evening with visiting President of Italy, Giorgio Napolitano, which has been cancelled in the meantime. [The non-appearance] had nothing to do with ideological reasons, as was hinted. "On top of that, Uzi [conference president Uzi Dayan] spoke to Livni at the rally in memory of [former prime minister Yitzhak] Rabin and asked her again to attend the conference. She said that she doesn't put together her schedule. "I don't know what Uzi was trying to achieve by publishing a schedule in which Livni is listed as a participant, but it doesn't smell honest," Mesing concluded. Dayan, who is seeking a spot on the Likud Knesset list, was also accused by Barak's circle of trying to embarrass the Labor Party leader. "Despite the rumors that are being spread by political groups, Defense Minister and Labor Party Chairman Ehud Barak never confirmed his participation and therefore could not have cancelled it," a statement from Barak's office read. "We are sorry that the organizer of the conference, Uzi Dayan, who is running for Knesset with the Likud, continues, as he did in the past, to use the Sderot Conference for his own political needs. This is inappropriate," the statement continued. "It is important to stick to basic codes of decency also during an election campaign." Netanyahu's spokesman, meanwhile, also said that he had never confirmed his attendance, but had told Dayan that he would only participate if his schedule allowed it. Dayan's spokesman failed to respond to Jerusalem Post queries on the matter. The Sderot Conference on Society is an annual conference that examines major issues on the public agenda, from the economy and security to social issues. The conference is held at Sapir College in Sderot.