In choosing to field her own Knesset slate, “Hatnua” (“The Movement”), Tzipi Livni acted disloyally and demonstrated her failure to accept the results of the primary election that ousted her from the Kadima party’s leadership in March, current Kadima chair Shaul Mofaz said on Wednesday.
However, despite his criticism, Mofaz chose not to rule out the possibility that centrist Israeli parties would form a new alliance to take on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likud-Yisrael Beytenu, with next week’s deadline for registering Knesset lists looming.
“After she lost the primary elections, she could have been expected to stay and help solidify Kadima’s standing as Israel’s leading centrist party,” Mofaz said in a speech to high-school students in Ramat Gan. “In my opinion, staying the course is more important than being No. 2 or No. 1. Unfortunately, Tzipi refused to accept the choice of the majority and be No. 2.
“Her departure and the establishment of the new party are opposed to the path I believe in — the path of unity. In unity, there is far more strength,” he added.
Livni’s choice to establish her own party has drawn the ire of left-leaning politicians who were seeking her cooperation, including Labor Party chairwoman Shelly Yachimovich, who had appealed to Livni to join forces with her.
“Creating another centrist party is a mistake,” Labor’s chairwoman said. “We must unify our ranks in order to be a strong force that will topple Netanyahu.”
A poll published in Haaretz on Wednesday predicted that “The Movement” would win seven seats in the next Knesset at the expense of Labor hopefuls and the political newcomers who make up former TV anchorman Yair Lapid’s new Yesh Atid party.