Daily Israel Report

Kadima Co-Founder: Break Up the Party and Start Again

Avigdor Yitzchaki says Tzipi Livni should not be around.
By Ernie Singer
First Publish: 1/3/2012, 12:16 AM

Avigdor Yitzchaki
Avigdor Yitzchaki
Flash 90

Avigdor Yitzchaki, one of the founders of the Kadima party, expressed support, Monday, for Member of Knesset Meir Sheetrit's attempts to divide the party. Interviewed on Arutz Sheva, the former Knesset member said, "I wish him success."

Referring to the other candidates for the party chair, he said, "Both Mofaz and Dichter were crowned with glory and courage of their military and security service but they are not demonstrating it in politics."

The Director-General of the Prime Minister's Office during Ariel Sharon's tenure as prime minister had harsh criticism for incumbent Tzipi Livni's conduct, saying she "has made very big mistakes. First, when she did not establish a government when the president gave her the opportunity to do so, for lack of basic understanding. Secondly, when she did not join the Netanyahu coalition." He maintained that the number of seats held by Kadima, Likud and Labor could have formed a strong coalition that would have brought in the small parties on favorable terms.

Yitzchaki continued by saying that Livni's third mistake was the thought that she could form a strong opposition at a time when "there is no opposition" because one cannot find one thing in common in opposition parties Kadima, Meretz and the National Union. In addition, he mentioned Livni's political wriggle around the question of holding internal elections for party leadership, which are, in his opinion, the right thing for now, such that she "has brought Kadima to the verge of collapse."

As far as Yitzchaki is concerned, given Livni's refusal to hold primaries, her opponents must form a majority of 15 Knesset members and "take the party away from her." He said that in case of a split where there is a majority, the majority is granted the party's name and mechanism. Such a move would leave Livni at the head of a small and different party. He felt this should have been done some time ago.

Yitzchaki recalled the failed "Shaul Mofaz Law", but felt that since it is clear to Knesset members that Livni will not bring them to any positive place, there is a chance for such a move, if the three candidates to replace her join together. He explained, "To the best of my understanding and familiarity with Kadima members, if the three of them go through with this together, they have a big chance to carry it off and hold primaries in two months.

Yitzchaki believes that presenting such a significant threat of a party split will leave Livni no choice but to accept the holding of internal elections, adding, "The right decision now is primaries, to allow the elected Chairman of the party to prepare the general election and draft serious people." Referring to reports of newly-resigned Teva Pharmaceutical chief Shlomo Yanai's intention to enter politics, Yitzchaki said that he himself does not know what Yannai's political intentions are, but serious people like him who want to enter the ranks of politics should be encouraged to do so.

Referring to the economic collapse of the party and the serious report written about it by the state comptroller, which described a difficult reality of improper and illegal transfers of millions of shekels in party funds,Yitzchaki said he cannot understand it since he's not involved in the party these days, but said, "The problem began with the distribution of funds to candidates and local parties in municipal elections," and recommended examining this issue, who was responsible for handling the party's money in those days and how he or she acted. "I left the party with a very big surplus," he said, adding that Livni alone is not responsible for the financial collapse of the party, but possibly her predecessor, Ehud Olmert.

Yitzchaki summed up his feeling for the party by saying, "This thing has to be destroyed and rebuilt."