Rather Die Together Than Campaign Together

If Shinui were truly a party of the entire middle class, its Knesset members would not be almost exclusively lawyers, plus an accountant or two. The profession of psychology would also be represented. And if Shinui had a few senior psychologists, then perhaps they could explain the party's collective suicide pact.

Both factions know they are conjoined twins who cannot survive if divided, but they hate each other so much that they would rather die together than campaign together.

Instead of figuring out how to gain voters, in the past few days Shinui officials have been figuring out how to divide the money. Their war chest is impressive at nearly NIS 10 million. The party departers will get between NIS 2.5 million and NIS 3.5 million. The 14 MKs will also receive NIS 8.5 million in campaign funds, NIS 6.5 million of which will go to those who are leaving.

Shinui's MKs intend to take all that money and bury it in two parties whose chances of passing the minimum vote threshold for Knesset entry are negligible.

What would these same MKs say if this disgraceful scene of dividing up state election funds were taking place in another party, such as Shas for instance? They would be talking about the robbery of the public purse, about corruption, about lawlessness.

The question is if anyone in or close to the two factions will be profiting from this money - a sort of retirement bonus.

The splitting of Shinui into one faction headed by Ron Levinthal and another headed by MK Avraham Poraz may not even be the final one. It has been bruited about that party right-wingers, MKs Eliezer Sandberg and Hemi Doron, might attach themselves to one of the parties on the right. Poraz's 11 MKs have agreed not to force anyone to stay in the party.