Photos: Ohad Zwigenberg, Ofer Amram, Haim Zach, Ido Erez
Photo: Gil Yohanan
Future Likud MK? Shamalov Berkovich
Photo: Gil Yohanan
Future Labor MK? Molla
Photo: Gil Yohanan
Return to Raanana? Bielski
Photo: Gil Yohanan
Kadima MKs mull quitting the party
As Kadima lags in polls, many MKs are considering jumping ship; some are seeking Labor, Likud membership while others are thinking of retirement
Kadima, Israel's largest political party, has been lagging behind in recent polls, and according to forecasts is expected to introduce less than a third of its 28 members into the 19th Knesset. In light of such political instability, many Kadima members have been thinking of joining other parties, and some are even considering resigning from politics altogether.


"We established a party with certain principles, but things are only deteriorating," one Knesset member said.


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At least four Kadima MKs, including Nino Abesadze, Orit Zuaretz and Shlomo Molla have been looking into joining the Labor Party, in case Ehud Olmert and Tzipi Livni do not go back to politics. Molla is known to have had a meeting with Labor Secretary-General Hilik Bar on Wednesday.


Kadima MKs who are more affiliated with the Right have expressed interest in joining Likud and other right-wing parties. Arie Bibi has been in contact with Likud and has announced that he has no intention of staying in Kadima, regardless of the party's future. Yulia Shamalov Berkovich is also likely to leave the party, as is Otniel Schnelle, who has met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to see whether joining Likud is possible.


Other Kadima members of Knesset are considering resigning political life, including Robert Tibayev and Zeev Bielski, who was reported to have been contemplating a return to his previous position as the mayor of Raanana.


Many in the party that was founded in 2005 by former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said that the party has been infected with uncertainty and unease. "Things in Kadima aren’t good," one MK said. "It's clear that everyone who wants to stay in the next Knesset needs to find an alternative."



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