During my military service a joke went around relating to the huge waste in human resources under contract in the army. A storekeeping officer walks past a locked door of a military depot and hears voices coming from inside it. “Who’s there?” shouts the officer. “Moshe.” A voice answers. “What are you doing in there, Moshe?” asks the officer from behind the door. “Nothing…” Answers Moshe. “Who else is there?” Asks the officer again. “Chaim.” answers another voice. “And what are YOU doing in there, Chaim?”asks him the officer. “Helping Moshe.” answers Chaim.
This sad joke brings me to the present day Kadima party. Who’s there? What are they doing? Only God knows. This Tuesday we will face a dramatic and significant event in the history of Israeli democracy. Shaul Mofaz, the one from “You do not abandon your home”, a chief of staff and defence minister in the years leading to the Lebanon fiasco, and the abandoner of the Philadelphi route, will try for the umpteenth time to depose from the leadership of this pathetic and superfluous party Tzipi Likvni, the one from UN resolution 1701 who, luckily for us, did not manage to carry out together with her prime minister Olmert their plans for a ‘disengagement’ from the West Bank.
The Israeli Knesset has a few parties, on the right and on the left, which, although I do not agree with their world views, I respect the fervour and the belief of their members in the just cause of their way. If need be, I am happy to enter a rational discussion with them on matters central to the existence of the state of Israel and first and foremost – its national security. These parties, not surprisingly, are close to the fringes of the political map. As you move, from either the left or the right, towards the centre, you find less fervour, less belief, more complacency, more extra fat and more cynicism. And then you get to Kadima. A party devoid of any vision or way, which was born in sin and unites within it an odd collection of convicted criminals, former ministers and chiefs of security that when I think of the responsibilities entrusted to them until recently, I have shivers running down my spine, and that the glue holding them together is sheer lust for power and a nervous sitting on the opposition benches where they were left nearly on their own, whilst expecting a miracle that will return them to the delights of power to which they were destined from the beginning as a result of some divine decree.
Kadima is not, and will not be, an alternative to Israel’s ruling party. Under the leadership of Tzipi Livni it will remain on the opposition benches until the next elections when it will be returned to its natural size. Under the leadership of Shaul Mofaz it will be dwarfed even further and will join as a negligible partner, in any way it will find, a coalition that already has too many partners, and a government that already has too many ministers. Do us a favour, the guys from Kadima – stay home on Tuesday.