Beyond the Cusp

October 15, 2012

Kadima’s Actions on Election Confusion or Grandstanding?

With the next Israeli elections tentatively scheduled for January 24 of next year, we enter the season where the political parties often take steps just to make the news cycle that just end up leaving most people scratching their heads asking, “What were you thinking?” The first off the mark this cycle appears to be Kadima. First there was talk of maybe bringing Ehud Olmert back to lead the ticket as he poles as the most likely politician to save Kadima from a near death election. Then some suggested bringing Tzipi Livni back as well and returning to their presumed dream team. Then they were going to try to hold yet another primary and find new leadership and finally they decided to instead appoint a committee to select its list for the next Knesset which is very likely to simply go with what they currently chose just a few months back. But this confusing run around the entire gamut of options only to return to pretty much where you started and decide that this was your best hope was far from the strangest actions taken by Kadima members.

In a move that is reminiscent of some of the odd decisions made by Livni when all she ever did was take the opposite side of anything that Prime Minister Netanyahu decided to pursue, there was an interesting display by some Kadima Ministers today. Ms. Livni took the meaning of opposition to heart and possibly a bit too literally and earned the moniker here of Ms. Just Say No. She would even oppose a position she had previously fought for should Prime Minister Netanyahu decide to take the identical actions. It was astonishing and got to be tediously predictable after a while. But a group of four Kadima Ministers of the Knesset, Orit Zuarets, Shlomo Molla, Akram Hasson and Nino Abesadze, took a little trip to the Muqata in Nablus for a meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Palestine Liberation Organization Secretary General Yasser Abed Rabo. It has been reported that all attempts to verify if this meeting was approved by the Israeli Government or the Prime Minister’s Office went unanswered and remains unknown.

Speaking for the group, MK Orit Zuarets stated that the trip was important, “especially now” with the announcement of the coming elections and the situation where the peace talks appear to have completely deadlocked. He stressed that at this time it was “important to highlight that we must not ignore the conflict between us and the Palestinians.” This trip which I would bet was not made with any previously sought permission or even informing the Prime Minister or anyone in the ruling coalition was more likely done in order to garner the top of the news cycle. Such antics begin to look appealing and necessary when your Party is facing elections where polling has indicated you will go from your current twenty-eight seats in the Knesset to very likely eight or less. This will leave most of those currently serving in the Knesset from Kadima out in the cold unless something drastic and epic occurs to change things. With this as their opening volley in what will likely be a string of desperate acts to hopefully stave off irrelevance, Kadima members are likely to be even more amusing than even those joining Yair Lapid in his jump into politics from news casting on Israeli television with his forming the Yesh Atid Party. And, of course, there is always Ehud Barak and his guarantee of misadventures. This is going to be a great follow-up of the United States Presidential Elections in November. That should be just about when the Israeli campaign hits high gear. I wonder if we will see American political advisors assisting those opposing Prime Minister Netanyahu as we saw the last time he was running for reelection as Prime Minister.

Beyond the Cusp

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