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MK Shamalov: I'll Leave Kadima if Livni Wins

Nonconformist Kadima MK mocks "women's exclusion" campaign, says children and fathers are the ones suffering unfair treatment.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 1/18/2012, 7:49 PM

Yulia Shamalov-Berkovich
Yulia Shamalov-Berkovich
Knesset Photo

MK Yulia Shamalov-Berkovich of Kadima said Tuesday she intends to leave the party if the current chair, Tzipi Livni, wins the party primaries on March 27.

"I am in Kadima and I want it to be my political home, on the condition that it will go back to being the party I came to. I came to a party with Arik Sharon. I came to a center-right party. I found myself in an almost-leftist party. And I am telling you here: if Tzipi Livni wins – I will not be in Kadima. I do not want to be in Kadima if Tzipi Livni wins because nothing will change."

Speaking at the second annual conference of the Family Lobby ("The Familists"), Shamalov-Berkovich mocked the current "exclusion of women" campaign that is the central plank on Livni's current platform.

"Suddenly we have turned into a benighted country," she said sarcastically. "There is 'exclusion of women' in Israel.' What? What exclusion of women? The president of the Supreme Court is a woman. Two party chairs are women. Another party chair is apparently going to be a woman… 27 female IAF pilots are set to receive their wings. What are you talking about? We have turned into an Islamist country in the world's eyes."

Shamalov said later that the "third party chair" she had referred to was MK Zehava Galon, who is poised to be the head of Meretz. She added that Galon "specialized in legislation that separates children from their fathers."

"The same hareidim from Shas and Aguda also suffer from Neturei Karta and the Sikrikim [extremist streams – ed.]… So you come out with the exclusion of women campaign? I said at the Kadima faction – there is no exclusion of women. But there is exclusion of men in Israel. And they looked at me as if I was crazy. They asked: 'How can we talk about that now? Everyone is talking about exclusion of women'… Now, how many hareidi women turned to Tzipi Livni for help about having to ride the rear part of the bus? I want to see one such letter. Nobody asked them."