Nov 25, 2008

Should Likud take back former Likudniks from Kadima?

When Ariel Sharon split the Likud and formed Kadima, taking many Likud members with him, he upset a lot of people who stayed with the Likud. He put the Likud through some very difficult times.
A lot of people, myself included, thought when the day would come that Kadima would fall and all those former Likudniks would come crawling back, we should not accept them. Make them pay for what they did. perhaps it was immature, but what they did really destroyed the Likud, and that was the general feeling. I felt it, and I heard it from a lot of people in the Likud.

Now that day has come. Kadima is coming apart. Aside from the natural level of support declining, we have started to see members of Kadima leaving, and now try returning to the Likud. MK Zev Elkin is the first, but now that he has, it is likely some others will as well.

I now remember something I heard from Benjamin Netanyahu a few months ago. I was at a meeting at which he was speaking. Someone asked him about Kadima people being allowed back into the Likud.

his response was form a different perspective. We were looking at it with a tinge of revenge and retribution, thinking their careers should be ruined for what they did. he portrayed it differently. he said, and I don't remember hsi exact words so i am not quoting him, that we want kadima to fail and we want to attract them back. how else can we get all those supporters back?

So, yes, the Likud has regrown without them. Yes, Bibi has done a fantastic job of rehabilitating the Likud, bringing in new people and supercharging the level of support to numbers nearly as high as they have ever been.

But still, Bibi's response rings with a touch of truth to it. Every Kadima member (at least the ones with some level of integrity) who leaves and comes back to Likud, while he is still an opportunist (like all politicians), should be welcomed because it increases the growth of the Likud, and speeds up the demise of Kadima.


  1. The Likud absolutely should not accept any Kadima members, and not of out retribution, but in principle. Kadima is a party that lacks all ideology, who only goal is cheap populism and political victory at the expense of all else. Kadima is the party that stood behind Olmert, the party who counted Peres as a member. If the Likud is to stand for anything, it should be in opposition to this.

    The Likud shouldn't accept people who were willing to sacrifice beliefs and ideology in favor of joining the "cool crowd." It's not revenge - but that if the Likud accepts these people, then the Likud - is just another Kadima.

  2. Interesting dilemma, Rafi. I can see a distinction between Elkin and Shaul Mofaz in this: Mofaz openly and brazenly - and comically! - betrayed the Likud, transparently for the sake of power (he only quit when polls showed him trailing Feiglin!). By contrast I think Elkin was naive and duped into joining Kadima. I can't find any good metric to define a hard and fast rule, though, and it's difficult to cherry pick and say "Elkin can get a free pass, but Mofaz can't".

    On the whole, and on reflection, I think the logic is good. Let the Kadima people desert like rats off a sinking ship, and let them come into the Likud and compete with everyone else. If the Likud voters punish them, as they should, then Shalom Al Yisrael.

  3. The likud should not accept any kadima members. I remember when kadima was forming, I though to myself, here go all of the fakers. The ones that are willing to change their ideology on a whim. The ones that are the most dangerous to the Jewish people. Let them board this boat called kadima; when it sinks they will go down with it, and at least the kenesset will be free from some potentially dangerous political figures.


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