Sisterhood Blog

Kadima Without Livni

By Elana Sztokman

  • Print
  • Share Share
getty images
Kadima’s Tzipi Livni

Tzipi Livni, the incumbent Kadima chair who lost Tuesday’s party primary to former Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz, is not your typical Israeli politician. She’s just not slimy enough. When she speaks, she seems to be telling you what she actually believes. In a profile of her in Yediot Aharonot last year, the worst thing people said about her was that she wasn’t friendly enough and sometimes closed her door so as not to be interrupted. So either she is too aloof or too protective of her privacy. Either way, she didn’t play the game right. Actually, that’s probably why she lost. She does not have the callousness required to win in Israeli politics.

Shaul Mofaz, on the other hand, we have a glut of guys like him in Israeli politics — men who think that they have everything coming to them because they know how to lead troops to war. What this has to do with actually running an actual country eludes me, unless you count the demands for an inflated ego and a big car, which seem to be common to both jobs.

The overabundance of generals leading our fragile nation explains a lot about the situation we are in vis à vis our neighbors as well as vis à vis ourselves: Everything is viewed as a war.

Whether talking about security, environmental issues or social justice, the general — or former general — always sees the other person as an adversary to be out-maneuvered, out-manipulated and ultimately beaten. It explains why despite months of intense and broadly supported social justice protests, little has changed. In fact, electricity prices went up 26% in the past 12 months.

Livni recently gave an intimate and very tired interview to the weekend magazine of Yediot. She described then her sense of weariness in the face of what she called “evil” that she has experienced in Israeli politics. She said then that she was looking forward to “the day after,” the day when she could walk away from politics. It was a sad interview, as if she knew then that she was getting ready to leave.

I understand why she felt that way. But the problem is that she has left some really great Kadima legislators hanging. Kadima MK Orit Zuaretz has done more for women than any other legislator in this Knesset. She was behind a recent bill that rendered illegal the solicitation of a prostitute. In fact, Kadima has the highest proportion of women in the top ranks, and these women have been the most outspoken, sophisticated and legislatively active on women’s issues.

With Mofaz at the helm, a man who thus far has not shown that he has the slightest clue about issues of equality and social justice, it is not clear what is going to happen to the great women of Kadima. Especially because it’s hard to see Israelis running to the ballot to vote for Mofaz for potential prime minister. I certainly won’t be.

Kadima without Livni just isn’t Kadima.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Israeli Politics, Kadima, Shaul Mofaz, Tzipi Livni

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • Is pot kosher for Passover. The rabbis say no, especially for Ashkenazi Jews. And it doesn't matter if its the unofficial Pot Day of April 20.
  • A Ukrainian rabbi says he thinks the leaflets ordering Jews in restive Donetsk to 'register' were a hoax. But the disturbing story still won't die.
  • Some snacks to help you get through the second half of Passover.
  • You wouldn't think that a Soviet-Jewish immigrant would find much in common with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But the famed novelist once helped one man find his first love. http://jd.fo/f3JiS
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.