Netanyahu Courts Livni as Ugly Kadima Split Looms

Fall of Opposition Party Would Give Likud Stranglehold on Power

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a 90 minute session of talks with former Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni as he tried to court the floundering opposition Kadima Party into his coalition.

Though Kadima won the largest number of seats in this year’s elections, the party was unable to form a coalition government and fell into the opposition. The party formed out of a split in the Likud Party in late 2005, with Ariel Sharon’s faction forming Kadima and Netanyahu’s remaining in control of Likud.

With Sharon out of the political scene the party’s purpose has become increasingly nebulous, and it is hurtling toward a very ugly split, with much of the faction looking to return to Likud.

Kadima MP Solodkin condemned those planning to leave as traitors, while Haim Ramon accused the Likud and Labor Parties of conspiring against them. Likud MPs insisted Kadima was born of a “sinful split” with Likud and it was only justice to see the party crumble.

Though Likud held a strong position pre-Kadima, if it manages to absorb the bulk of the party it will become a virtual monopoly on power in Israel, as the Labor Party, its traditional ally, is splintered and increasingly irrelevant.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of