Last Friday, in my domestic analysis of Bibi’s first 100 days I made a prediction regarding Likud strategy & Kadima. You can read the whole post if it is of interest on the hows & whys, but I chased it with bold statements like these..
[...] Bibi is a masterful political operator. He has pulled the rug out from under Livni, and if Mofaz is smart he will make his move to push for coalition. If Netanyahu is equally smart and he is, I expect it in the next 10-12 weeks as posted above.
Resistance is futile..
Should Kadima resist.. We may see it fracture with Mofaz leaving. The challenge for Bibi is mustering some portfolios for the senior defense Kadima man. The best case scenario for Netanyahu is such a fracture, for now he is surely content to allow Livni to wallow in obscurity otherwise, as the coalition play would be a pressure gambit only. Should he succeed in splitting Kadima (no small feat), the ground is clear for an opposition-less path for years ahead & a Likud power reign of the right.
In the wake of the State Budget’s approval Wednesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s close associates are setting their sights on the next target: Facilitating a split within the ranks of their main rival, Kadima.
The PM’s associates told Ynet that the so-called “Shaul Mofaz Bill,” which would allow 25% of the members of one Knesset faction to split and join another, is meant to prompt a Kadima split. “Should the Mofaz bill be passed, it will mark a significant strategic victory,” a senior official in Netanyahu’s office said.
The PM’s associates are claiming that at this time already, seven Kadima Knesset members will agree to leave their party and join Netanyahu’s coalition, even if Mofaz himself decides to shun the move for the time being. The prime minister’s associates said that in the near future they will be exerting intense pressure in a bid to approve the Mofaz Bill, in an effort to undermine the opposition. [...]
Approach to Danger
Livni, you are approaching the danger zone. It is no wonder that all of a sudden Livni’s tune is changing. Now we hear gems along the lines of ‘if Israel Beitenu leaves the coalition due to possible investigations of party head Avigdor Lieberman, Kadima would have no problem joining the coalition’.. More comedy gold.
Please don’t tell anyone that this ‘supposed aversion’ to Lieberman’s party is obviously the reason Livni spent the bulk of her own coalition efforts courting him, including such an invitation in her Victory Speech! to the nation on election night.
Oy! It’s not nice to laugh at your former party’s misfortunes, but I can’t help it. For a year+ I was posting post after post on Livni’s political fortunes, her handlers tall tales, and the fact that Bibi would eat her for breakfast. So far in my latest game of pick the political future I have scored big, with the Kadima implosion strategy now tabled as the next target for the Likud. We shall see if 11 weeks is enough time for me to sink a double bogey.. and watch Kadima split open like a melon.
Gil Hoffman at JPOST in a great article about Israel Beitenu’s legal woes and the possible fallout, mentions Mofaz as a dark horse for the Foreign Ministry should Avigdor Lieberman resign. But there’s the rub. Not enough English for Shaul in my opinion to make the position truly effective. What or how does Bibi shuffle the deck to make a tantalizing spot open for Mofaz to entice a full bail & bring a 1/3 of Kadima with him? The way the Kadima party& Livni treated him in the primary, it is difficult but doable as he & Livni seriously dislike each other. Will Mofaz try to oust Livni and take the party? Will he move to Israel Beitenu or more likely Likud?
No matter what there are fun times ahead for us Tea Leave readers everywhere.