The End of Kadima

Following the election of Shelly Yachimovich as the new head of the Labor Party most polls show Kadima dropping significantly in the next elections. If so, one can only hope that this spells the beginning of the end for Kadima, a party that epitomizes many of the things that are wrong in Israel.

For starters its current leader Tzipi Livni has spent most of the last two and a half years doing nothing other than attacking Prime Minister Netanyahu. It doesn’t matter what the subject is or what the stakes are for Israel, Livni simply cannot show any public support for Netanyahu. However, for someone who aspires to be the head of the country, her unrelenting attacks, even during times when it is clear that her temporary backing would be for the good of the country, clearly demonstrates the irresponsible behavior of this party and its leader.

Even a few days ago when Netanyahu went to the UN to fight a diplomatic battle for Israel, Livni, rather than showing responsibility and closing ranks for the good of the country, couldn’t resist another opportunity to publicly flail Netanyahu and thus penned an article in which she blamed Netanyahu for Israel’s diplomatic isolation. She even contrasted Kadima’s “path of hope” to Netanyahu’s “path of despair…..that weakens and isolates Israel”. Never mind the usual inflexible position of Abbas and the Palestinians, the increasingly aggressive behavior of Turkey, the ongoing threat of extinction from Iran, the growing instability in Egypt, Syria and Jordan and the occasional terrorist or missile attack; in Livni’s dream world, if only Netanyahu was serious about peace everything would be fine.

Livni’s article came one day after the previous leader of Kadima, former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, urged Netanyahu in a front page NY Times op-ed to show true leadership and work towards a solution rather than trying to block Abbas’s bid for statehood. Of course Olmert’s idea for a solution is based upon his far-reaching 2008 offer to Abbas which includes, amongst other things, Israel absorbing a small number of Arab refugees on humanitarian grounds and the holy places in Jerusalem being jointly administered with the assistance of Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United States. Apparently Olmert is living in the same dream world as Livni.

Nevertheless, irresponsible behavior by leaders who are totally out of touch with reality is only one of the problems with Kadima, a party that was “born in sin” back in 2005. Following the Gaza Disengagement in August 2005 and faced with growing opposition in his own Likud party, Sharon simply left the Likud and formed Kadima in November 2005. Of course the problem with this was that in the 2003 general elections the victor was the Likud party, not Ariel Sharon. He was the leader of the Likud, and as the leader of the victorious party he was charged with forming a governing coalition, which is exactly what he did. However, when he left the Likud and formed Kadima, the Likud still should have been the ruling party. Nevertheless, with the “powers that be” squarely in his corner and still “protected like an etrog”, Kadima instantly became the ruling party.

One of the “Likud stars” who followed Sharon to Kadima was former general Shaul Mofaz. The irony of course was that just a few days prior to his leaving the Likud, Mofaz had protested against other Likud members who were deserting the party and even had sent a letter to the entire membership of the Likud promising his loyalty to the party. However, once he realized that his chances were slim in the race for the recently vacated Likud leadership, Mofaz quickly demonstrated that doing what one must in order to acquire a good position is much more important than honoring one’s words.

Finally, another well-known Likud MK to follow Sharon was Meir Sheetrit, who commenting on the strength of Kadima during the 2006 election campaign said “We’ve disengaged from all ideologies. That’s what’s unique about Kadima.” In other words, being the ultimate collection of opportunists, Kadima stood for, and still stands for, absolutely nothing. This being the case, it would be in the best interest of Israel if this party would just fade away.

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9 Responses to The End of Kadima

  1. Terry, Eilat - Israel says:

    I just read your post re: Kadima at YNET. Good job considering you probably had to self-censor a bit to get it printed.
    I don’t write comments at YNET anymore due to censorship so I’ll comment here instead.
    Livni is a spoiled child, in blunt terms a self-centred bitch. Her ambition thwarted, she has been throwing a tantrum since. In her mind, she was ”entitled” to become PM, now she is burning with bitterness.
    But I disagree slightly with saying opportunism is the defining characteristic of Livni & her Kadima creeps. Opportunism is a characteristic of ALL our politicians. Our permanant political class is self-centred, self- interested, elitist & undemocratic, greedy, selfish, mediocre, unprincipled, & of course, as you say, opportunistic.
    Kadima does have an ideology – it is the ideology of our adversaries. Livni echos Obama, The New York Times (Tom Friedman et al.), who in turn echo the Arabs.
    Livni’s talking points only mimic the White House talking points. The ”blame Netanyahu” campaign just fits in with her personal defeat by Netanyahu. But she was no different before, look at her relationship with Condoleeza Rice.
    Sadly, in our rather Bolshevik political system, political parties are only the vehicule for a Party Leader. For Kadima, that strongman was Sharon. Many predicted that without Sharon, Kadima would self-destruct – and they were right.


    • Yoel Meltzer says:

      Hi Terry,

      FYI, Ynet printed everything except for the second half of the paragraph where I mentioned that Kadima was “born in sin”.

      Although it’s true that most of our politicians are opportunists, I think relatively speaking Kadima is different and on another level.


    • deborah Lurya says:

      love it- thank you for being honest, it is refreshing!!!

  2. Terry, Eilat - Israel says:

    I won’t split hairs with you, let it be enough that Kadima sinks into political oblivion where it belongs.
    Did you happen to read an article by Daniel Doron in Israel HaYom (English) today re: social justice? If you haven’t, take a look, it’s worth the time.

  3. nosson kohn says:

    I am sincerely grateful to you for expressing EXACTLY how I felt. The truth is that Kadima’s very existence and receiving 29 seats was a shame on Israel. Anyone who promoted the disengagement disaster should be publicly shamed, not given extra rewards. Today, most people around the world with basic common sense understand just how counter productive and self destructive that was. Yet at the time, anyone who did not promote it was defamed and slandered as being a right ring extremist, against peace. How long will the leftists continue to brainwash our country on the path of self destruction???

    • Yoel Meltzer says:

      Nosson shalom,

      Thanks for your comments. How long will it continue? Good question but I hope not much longer!


  4. deborah Lurya says:

    This is good news Yoel- Kadima and labor both have outdone themselves in terms of being negative and harmful to Israel.
    I have shared this with my friends on FB. Shana tova, may you and your family enjoy sweetness and joy throughout the year, and the years to come

    • Yoel Meltzer says:

      Deborah shalom,

      Thanks for sharing the article with your friends on FB.

      Shana tova to you and your family.


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