First jab: "No system of government has ever forced a leader, if he is indeed a leader and not a politician, to buy his rule with such an outrageous price and use taxpayers' money to pay so much for such little support; and all this whilst Israel is facing such a profound financial and social crisis," new Opposition Leader Tzipi Livni said during the induction ceremony of Benjamin Netanyahu's government at the Knesset Tuesday afternoon.
The Kadima chairwoman slammed the "enormous" size of the new cabinet, which is comprised of 30 ministers and seven deputy ministers, who, according to her, "are in charge of nothing."
'Ministers in charge of nothing.' Livni during ceremony (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
"A big and lavish cabinet is wrong at a time of economic constraints," said Livni, "the public will have to carry the enormous weight of a bloated cabinet.
"We have to change the system of government. Kadima will work so that the next elections will be held in a different manner," she said.
In her speech Livni pledged that Kadima "will continue to be alternative to government," adding "if we had joined the government, we would have buried hope."
Livni went on to assail Labor Chairman Ehud Barak's decision to join the government, saying "Labor has no interest in substance or values and is interested only in cabinet seats. Netanyahu had the option of establishing true unity with Kadima, but you (Netanyahu) have made your choice. The results of this can be seen today.
"The Labor chairman made his political fortune by raising funds through non-profit organizations and his private capital through his political ties, but there will always be those who will protect him be remaining silent," she said.
Barak's office said in response that the "embarrassing comments Livni made about Defense Minister Barak prove she has lost control over the style and content of her statements. Livni should examine the integrity of some of her fellow Kadima members before preaching morality to others."