MK Shelly Yechimovich
MK Shelly YechimovichIsrael news photo: Flash 90

MK Shelly Yechimovich, head of the Labor party, said Monday that she would welcome defectors from Kadima who want to join her party. She was referring to the left-leaning Kadima MKs who were opposed to joining the Likud-led government earlier in the year.

"There were several Knesset Members from Kadima who said from the outset that they are functioning as an opposition and identify with us and our path," she said. "I would be happy to see those MKs, those connected, honest, true MKs who understood that Kadima has ended its road and understand, and want to be a part of a stable ideological home – the Labor party."

"Those, we would be glad accept into pour ranks, without promises, without jobs, without dividing up the loot, for ideological reasons but not as part of a move that would strengthen the Netanyahu government," she said.

Yechimovich may have been thinking specifically of Kadima MKs Robert Tibayev, Shlomo Molla and Yoel Hasson, who held a meeting in the early afternoon for consultation. There were rumors that they would join the four right-leaning MKs who wanted to split from Kadima, and then split off from the others and go their separate way, leftward.

This idea was what Yechimovich referred to as being "part of a move that would strengthen the Netanyahu government."

Likud reacted to Mofaz's accusation of political foul play Monday by mocking him. "Mofaz has become the chairman of a quarter of a faction. Even those who sat next to him do not believe his slogans, just as they did not believe him when he said 'one does not leave his home' [just before he left Likud for Kadima in 2005 – ed.] they do not believe him when he talks about equality in sharing the burden."

"Everyone remembers what Mofaz may have forgotten," the Likud statement went on, "that he was the one who approved the Tal Law when he voted enthusiastically in favor of it in the government, in 2007."