Kadima Knesset List to be Unveiled Tuesday Evening

The Kadima Party is to announce its list of Knesset candidates at a closed-to-the-public gathering tonight in Jerusalem. Political opponents say it's a hodge-podge list of Olmert's cronies.

Hillel Fendel, | updated: 14:05

The precise order was to be determined by Ariel Sharon, but Ehud Olmert took over this job when Sharon fell into a coma. Many of the names on the list are not well-known to the public, yet will become Knesset Members by virtue of their having been chosen by Sharon or Olmert.

The list contains Cabinet ministers, deputy ministers, one MK, three former MKs, and a host of others. The order of their placement is to be announced tonight.

Among the names are:
* Ministers Olmert, Edry, Boim, Bar-on, Hirschsohn, Ezra, Livny and Sheetrit - all of whom split off from the Likud together with Ariel Sharon;

* Ministers Tzachi HaNegbi and Sha'ul Mofaz - who swore allegiance to the Likud at first, but then abruptly quit and joined Kadima;

* Deputy Ministers Ruchama Avraham, Eli Aflalo, Majali Wahabe and Marina Solodkin - all of whom split off from the Likud together with Ariel Sharon;

* MK David Tal - who left Labor/One Nation to join Kadima;

* Shimon Peres, Chaim Ramon, and Dalia Itzik - all of whom were Cabinet ministers of the Labor Party up until three months ago. They resigned from the government at the behest of newly-elected Labor Chairman Amir Peretz, then proceeded to join Kadima. They were forced to resign from the government because of a legal complexity that would otherwise not have allowed them to run for the upcoming Knesset.

* Ze'ev Elkin (slot #17), Prof. Menachem Ben-Sasson (20), Shlomo Breznitz (21), Amira Dotan (28), Yoel Hasson (29), and many others.

The names from slot 30 and downwards are virtually unknown to the public at large, except possibly for #46, Shmulik Rifman - former Labor Party member and head of the Ramat HaNegev Regional Council.

Labor Party Chairman and Prime Ministerial candidate Amir Peretz called Kadima a "casino party." He told Tel Aviv University students today, "In the Labor Party, the candidates had to run from place to place around the whole country to present their views and get elected to the Knesset list [in the party primaries], while in Kadima, there was an auction of CV's of people with the right connections."

Kadima sources say the list represents many different sectors, including women (11 of them), young (5), security (6), academia (8), new immigrants (6), Yesha (2), and farming communities (4).

Labor MK Ophir Pines said that the Kadima list has turned Israeli politics decades back in time. "It seems that the only criterion for Knesset membership on behalf of Kadima is having an acquaintance with Olmert," he said. "From kindergarten through school, university and his first steps in politics, Olmert has gathered together all his old friends and put them on the Kadima list."

MK Gilad Erdan (Likud) had similar criticism: "The list looks like a summary of Olmert's life. He has included a friend of his from kindergarten, the son of his first political patron [Tamir, son of Shmuel Tamir], a university lecturer of his, the son of his accountant, and friends from the Jerusalem Municipality [which Olmert headed as Mayor for ten years until 2003]."

MK Tzvi Hendel (National Union) said, "I'm sure that Olmert will ask public forgiveness from his kindergarten teacher Shoshana for not having found a place for her on his Knesset list, despite her having accompanied him in a critical period in his life. We see that there is no limit on the absurdity and shame."

Olmert formulated the list based on Ariel Sharon's original rough-copy, as well as in consultation with some political allies and aides. He met some of the candidates only once, and with some of them he spoke only by telephone. At one point, he phoned Yoram Karashi, a brother of his office manager Shula Zaken, and asked him to join the list on a spot with realistic chances to be elected to the Knesset. Karashi turned down the offer because of what were reported as his "personal business affairs."

Two former MKs from Labor - Effie Oshaya (a member of the 14th and 15th Knessets) and Rafi Elul (13th and 14th) - announced today that they are joining Kadima. They might have missed the train, however; it is not clear whether they will be placed in realistic slots on the Kadima list of candidates.

Attorney Yosef Tamir is also on the list. He is the son of Olmert's original political patron, former Justice Minister and MK Shmuel Tamir.

Another late entry is Anastasia Michaeli, the newscaster of the Israel Broadcasting Authority's Russian-language television channel.

The top five on the list are apparently as follows: Olmert, Peres, Livny, Sheetrit and former GSS head Avi Dichter. Next in line are Solodkin, Ramon, Mofaz, HaNegbi and Hirschsohn.

Number 11 is Prof. Uriel Reichman, the founder of the Shinui Party who is apparently slated to become the Education Minister if Olmert forms the next government. Following Reichman on the list are Ezra, Bar-on, Itzik, Boim and Edry.

Number 16 is newcomer Ze'ev Elkin, a history professor at the Yaakov Herzog College in Ein Tzurim.

Number 20 is Prof. Menachem Ben-Sasson, Rector of Hebrew University since 1997, where he received his PhD and has served as Professor.

Number 35 is Dr. Rachel Adato-Levy, a gynecologist, a member of the senior management of Hadassah Ein Karem Hospital and Shaarei Zedek Medical Center, and head of National Council for Women's Health.

A series of mayors have left Labor and joined Kadima. They include the mayors of Haifa (Yonah Yahav), Carmiel (Adi Eldar), Rosh HaAyin, Nazareth Illit, Ganei Tikvah, Maaleh Yosef and Yesod HaMaalah.

The list will be presented this evening at 6 PM at Binyanei HaUmah Convention Center in the capital. The candidates and their spouses have been invited, as well as members of the press, leading Kadima activists and guests.


More Arutz Sheva videos:


top