A few years ago Ariel Sharon (is he still alive?) found himself in a pile of legal trouble. There were imminent charges of corruption about to presented against him and his son Omri. So what did he do? According to those in the know, he decided to shift the focus of attention away from himself. As a favourite target of the left wing press in Israel, there was one tactic he knew would work: he would attack the Israeli right wing and he would do it in as savage a fashion as he could by deciding to dispossess 7000 chalutzim from their homes.
Naturally the press and the intellectual left loved it. In exchange for destroying the lives of 7000 of Israel's most patriotic citizens, the charges against him mysteriously disappeared. Of course, there was the messy matter of the rest of the Likud party not supporting this Michiavellan scheme but Sharon had an answer for that too. He knew there were enough opportunists in both Likud and Avodah to form a new "centrist" party so he bolted to "the center". Hence Kadima was born.
Unfortunately, the party doesn't seem to be doing so well. After Sharon was struck down, Ehud Olmert did manage to successfully make it into the governing party in the next election but let's face it: most people who voted for it did so out of sympathy for Sharon and because they really believed he had fashioned a true centrist party that would not become hostage to either the right or left in Israel. After only a few years, it became very clear that this was the one thing Kadima wasn't. Instead it had become a leftist party indistinguishable in policy from Meretz or Avodah while using former right-wing Likudniks as a fig leaf to maintain the centrist image. It also didn't help that minister after minister kept getting fired for corruption and that Ehud Olmert managed to lose two wars for Israel while tallying up a schmutz count that would make a Mexican politician envious.
Kadima is now hopefully in its final death throes as the house that Arik built slowly starts to tumble down. This might seem as a surprise for some since in the last election Kadima got the largest seat total despite the ongoing crimes of its leaders. However, as time goes on Tzipi Livni, the current leader, has lost her appeal and seems more like a whiny loser than a future prime minister. Given that everyone else in Kadima is there because of ego, not a common vision, this can't be good for their power structure.
"[Prime Minister Binyamin] Netanyahu is trying to break up Kadima and it's a fact," party chairwoman Tzipi Livni told her Number 2, MK Shaul Mofaz, in a charged meeting early Thursday afternoon amid the storm in the party's ranks.
"You, me and all the party's leaders must stand up to this effort and not, even if it's not intentional, help him weaken Kadima."
"I can talk to you about everything," Livni said to Mofaz, "but now there is one mission: keeping Kadima unified and it's incumbent upon everyone to whom Kadima is important."
Mofaz, however, did not seem to be convinced by Livni's appeal and urged the Kadima leader to call primaries.
"Kadima is falling apart," he told reporters after the meeting. "I recommended to [Livni] how to maintain unity in Kadima. I very much hope that for the first time she listens to others. I hope this way we can get to have leadership that knows how to make the right decisions and lead Kadima to where it has to be."
Well of course Kadima is falling apart. Tzipi Livni's desire to be prime minister isn't based on some grand vision of a strong Israel or any grandiose plans for the future but rather simply to do her ego and belief that she is the best qualified person in the country to be prime minister and that there is some kind of cosmic injustice occuring because she isn't. People like that aren't leaders. They're demagogues in waiting and perhaps some in her ranks have already clued into this.