Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Mofaz Party Platform A Waiting Game

In the 10 days since the last post on this blog, the political platform of newly-elected Kadima party chair MK Shaul Mofaz has not crystallized.  In comments to the Jerusalem Post today, Mofaz both expressed concern over the rise of a bi-national state, and criticized President Obama for allegedly supporting a civilian nuclear program in Iran.

Adding more confusion to his policy platform, MK Mofaz discussed the potential for a military strike on Iran, but also outlined a plan for total withdrawal from the West Bank.  Obviously these are not mutually exclusive positions.  However, the contrast of liberal and conservative positions raises questions as to who in particular Mofaz sees as Kadima's core constituency for the next election.

The answer to this question may not become clear until Prime Minister Netanyahu is either forced into a leadership challenge, or forces other party leaders to take sides.  The latter option is not likely to occur in the short term given that the Prime Minister faces no immediate crisis of confidence.  It is in his interest to wait out MK Mofaz and see whether the new chairman will be political friend or foe.  For his part, MK Mofaz has every incentive to dissemble because it will mitigate the damage his win caused to the party's image on the center left given Tzipi Livni's credibility there.  He is not likely to lay his cards on the table any time soon.

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