The primary elections for leadership of Kadima four days from now are not very important. In any case this party is doomed. In the first place it was superfluous and fraudulent, received votes that didn't belong to it, and now it is determined to shrink and disappear.
Like any fish, this eel should have stunk from the head. But in the case of Kadima, it actually stank from the tail. Tzipi Livni is now paying the price for her agreement to drag tailgaters behind her.
About three years ago, she came to my house to talk about education. Even then I tried to convince her to get rid of the excess baggage she was carrying. If you don't get rid of it, I warned, don't throw it off the deck, it will drown you too. That's not how to construct an alternative, with all those characters who are more Likud than Likud, more like Yisrael Beiteinu. And it's impossible to breathe new hope into it with all the old has-beens.
Next Tuesday will be Livni's judgment day, after which she will probably find time to do a reckoning: How did it happen to her? How did the largest faction in the Knesset fall into the abyss? Because on Tuesday the accepted Israeli tradition will be fulfilled in Livni's case: He who fails must vacate his seat and go home honorably.
That's the rule, and there's no reason why she should be an exception to the iron rule. That's been the custom here throughout the years, and that's what's liable to happen this time too. There's no second chance for those who miss opportunities. Not in Israel.
Menachem Begin, for example, didn't fall many times before he arose as king of the phoenixes. And Shimon Peres, the public's darling, was never known as a serial loser. And Ariel Sharon did not shake off the ashes of the first Lebanon War, was not ejected from the defense minister's seat in order to seize the loftier seat. And Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has never known the taste of failure, not when he was thrown down the stairs like a dead horse being led to a donkey's burial. And Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who goes from one success to another, is not remembered as the prime minister who was the greatest failure in Israel's history. They all made peace and war with a similar degree of success. And they were all borne on the wind - they were blown out of sight - and where are they today?
And now Tzipora will also be blown away as is the practice in our holy land, and Shaul will replace her as a promise at dawn. The results of the Kadima primaries will be sent to Switzerland in order to ascertain: Is this the same Mofaz, head and shoulders above all the chiefs of staff and defense ministers who preceded him, and those who succeeded him? Is this the same Mofaz who jumped on Ariel Sharon's refugee bandwagon at the last moment? Is this the former transportation minister during whose time the subway got on track? During whose term the skies were opened and the ranking of flight safety soared to equal that of Zambia?
Still, there's a difference between all these success stories and Livni the loser. She at least meant well, but good intentions get you only to the grocery store. Unfortunately, she tried to retain her naivete. Not to sell her soul for a pair of big shoes, which immediately begin to hurt, and in any case prevent you from marching forward. Suddenly a woman arises, insists on remaining faithful to her electorate, and refuses to pay ultranationalist-extortionate blackmail.
For that she was treated with great contempt. Tzipi the loser was unable to form a government. And she is also mocked by all those who, had she accepted the situation and paid the price, would have judged her with scathing words. That is what will be done to any man and woman who sticks to their principles, for whose sake they enter politics and go out to battle.
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