Tzachi Hanegbi
Tzachi HanegbiIsrael news photo: Flash 90

Tzachi Hanegbi of Kadima, a former minister, announced several days ago that he plans to return to his first political home – Likud. In an event Thursday night, he started to gather disgruntled Kadima members in an attempt to bring as many party members as possible back to Likud with him.

Hanegbi addressed those at the event and explained his disapproval for current Kadima head MK Shaul Mofaz, and his disagreement with Mofaz’s decision to leave the coalition.

Mofaz’s hasty exit from the coalition just weeks after joining upset many of his own MKs. He made the decision to leave without consulting with many senior party members, among them Hanegbi.

Hanegbi’s impending departure from the party and his encouragement to others to join him, have infuriated Kadima activists. The Kadima supporters’ website Yallah Kadima blasted Hanegbi this week.

Describing Hanegbi, the site said, “He had the aura of a future leader… Others saw him as a threat, a deceptive politician and nothing more, someone willing to dirty his hands with political tricks who had no real message. It turns out the latter were correct.”

“For Hanegbi, power is the goal, not a means,” the site continued. His plan to leave Kadima reflects nothing but fear for his seat in Knesset, the writer accused, “an attempt to leave a party that is doing badly in the polls for one that is doing better in the polls.”

The conference he held was described as “a meeting where shame was missing, where values were missing.”

Much of the criticism against Hanegbi could be seen as ironic coming from Kadima, which was founded by Likud members – among them Hanegbi – using the same “political tricks” that Hanegbi is using today, including meetings aimed at urging party members to leave.