Kadima is launching a PR blitz on Wednesday to improve the image of its chairman, Shaul Mofaz, whose party is flagging in opinion polls and has been criticized for its brief two-month stay in the governing coalition.
The campaign, based on bus posters, will depict Mofaz as the leader of the struggle to draft ultra-Orthodox men into the Israel Defense Forces. It will cast doubt on Prime Minister Netanyahu's intention to do anything about Haredi draft exemptions.
The campaign will center around two slogans - "We salute you Mofaz" and a rhyming Hebrew phrase blasting Netanyahu and praising Kadima for moving forward on the draft issue. Kadima politicians said on Tuesday that the campaign's timing was no accident.
"In another week, the Tal Law [on draft exemptions] will expire, and Netanyahu won't mobilize a majority for his loophole-filled new proposal," said a Kadima politician.
"Kadima will oppose Netanyahu's proposal, which favors Orthodox draft dodgers at the expense of middle-class Israelis who do their duty, contribute to the state and pay taxes. Kadima supports the demands of the country's Zionist majority in favor of equal sharing of the military-service burden."
Kadima members said only 20 percent of the posters relate to Mofaz; the rest feature anti-Netanyahu slogans. The campaign will cost Kadima NIS 300,000.
On Wednesday, the Knesset adjourns for summer recess, without legislating an alternative to the Tal Law. Political sources say a new conscription law will be legislated in another few months at the earliest.
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