Analysis: Kadima’s civil war (JERUSALEM POST) By GIL HOFFMAN 03/27/12)
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More than 600,000 Americans lost their lives in the civil war between
the North and the South 150 years ago. But the hardest battle
occurred afterward when the reunited states of America tried to pick
up the pieces and govern together again.
The animosity between Kadima leadership candidates Tzipi Livni and
Shaul Mofaz could rival that of the most committed Union and
The hatred and resentment between the two have only grown since they
last faced off in the 2008 Kadima primary.
In that race, Livni had the support of the overwhelming majority of
the party’s 28 MKs. This time the party is divided nearly in half,
with 14 MKs backing Mofaz, 13 supporting Livni and only faction head
Dalia Itzik declaring neutrality.
The party is split in two, and it will be very difficult for whoever
wins to make it fit together again. A lot will depend on the grace of
Livni has refused to commit to staying in the party – or even
politics – if Mofaz wins. Mofaz has said he would stay. But he said
so in the last race as well, and then appeared to quit politics for a
few days after he lost.
Both of them are saying what their political strategists have been
telling them to say. It is impossible to know what they will really
do in the moment of truth.
There are MKs in both camps whose minds are made up. MKs Avi Dichter,
Yulia Shamolov Berkovich and Otniel Schneller have all said publicly
that they would not stay in a Livni-led party. MKs who back Livni
have said privately that they would not want to take orders from
Mofaz and would follow Livni if she left.
Despite all the emotions involved, the Kadima race failed to generate
too many headlines.
The rocket attacks from Gaza and the potential of war with Iran kept
it on inside pages – on days it was in the newspapers at all.
The race was also downplayed due to the party’s poor standing in the
polls, Livni and Mofaz’s lack of charisma and the absence of real
differences between them on key policy issues.
Perhaps the party will begin to attract more attention on Wednesday
when the results are in – and the real battle begins. (© 1995-2011,
The Jerusalem Post 03/27/12)
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