Netanyahu’s attempt to split Kadima falters
JERUSALEM PRIME Minister Benjamin Netanyahu launched a botched attempt to fragment Israel’s main opposition party on Monday by wooing some of its lawmakers to rejoin his governing coalition just days after the bloc bolted his coalition.
But the manoeuvre failed after he managed to win over only four Kadima Party lawmakers, leaving him with a relatively fragile majority that could be hard-pressed to survive challenges like a contentious court-ordered reform of the military draft and the 2013 budget.
Kadima Chairman Shaul Mofaz asked parliament’s permission to expel the four would-be defectors from the party’s parliamentary faction.
“Anyone who wants to receive political bribery — junior positions in a bloated government — and sell out his values” should leave, he fumed.
Netanyahu, who had tried unsuccessfully in the past to split Kadima, needed to recruit at least seven defectors, the minimum number required under Israeli law to split from an existing party to create a new parliamentary faction.
In a day filled with political drama, Netanyahu looked wellpositioned early Monday to shore up his government, which now commands just 66 of parliament’s 120 seats after Kadima pulled its 28 lawmakers out of the coalition last week.
Mofaz spokesman Imri Mazor said six lawmakers had agreed to team up with Netanyahu, though two apparently had not reached an agreement.