Fierce criticism of the incumbent Prime Minister has marked the beginning of serious campaigning in Israel’s general election. According to reports in newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth, the Kadima Party’s campaign manager, Moti Morel, has called Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a “scoundrel”. Morel managed Netanyahu’s campaign in 1996 and has been described by Kadima leader Shaul Mofaz as a safe pair of hands.
Speaking at a press conference, Mofaz warned voters that the recently-announced alliance between Netanyahu and Avigdor Lieberman “is dangerous for Israel”. The Prime Minister, he claimed, is “obsessed” with Iran. “We [Israelis] must not let Netanyahu realise his obsession,” he insisted. “It is our duty to replace Netanyahu and Lieberman.”
Mofaz argued that the current coalition government led by Netanyahu is not interested in the security and social needs of Israelis. A government has several duties, he said, including the resumption of peace negotiations, the prevention of the establishment of a bi-national state, changing the system of governance and introducing a social budget, “but all Netanyahu has done is focus on bombing Iran”.
The Kadima leader mocked the unity between the Prime Minster and Foreign Minister Lieberman: “Last week the irresponsible man [Netanyahu] joined forces with an unstable man who has a messianic outlook, who threatened to bomb the Aswan Dam.”
Pointing out that in war there are no winners, Mofaz said that the only question is, who loses most? He continued: “Netanyahu addressed the UN and promised us Israelis a nuclear spring. Former head of Mossad Meir Dagan fears an attack on Iran; Yuval Diskin, the former head of internal security fears it; and former Chief of the General Staff Gabi Ashkenazi fears it; every citizen fears it. In the past Israel dealt with threats in a reasonable manner. But here there is no responsibility and no logic, only one obsession.”