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Posted by sonny 03/18/2009 @ 01:09

Tags : kadima, knesset, israel, middle east, world

News headlines
Kadima forms 'shadow government' - Jerusalem Post
By GIL HOFFMAN Kadima leader Tzipi Livni finally formed a "government" on Monday, seven months after failing to build a real coalition when she had the opportunity to do so in October. Photo: AP This time what she formed was a "shadow government,"...
Netanyahu takes flak for support of anti-Israel UNESCO appointment - Ha'aretz
By Barak Ravid Kadima yesterday slammed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's agreement to lift Israel's opposition to the appointment of an extreme anti-Israel Egyptian official as secretary-general of UNESCO. MK Yohanan Plesner (Kadima) said that,...
Kadima MK initiates bill for choosing one's surgeon or consultant - Jerusalem Post
By JUDY SIEGEL-ITZKOVICH A private member's bill to establish private medical service (SHARAP) in the public hospitals has been initiated by Kadima MK Rachel Adatto and signed by 22 MKs from coalition and opposition parties. Adatto, a gynecologist and...
Livni says sees signs of diplomatic collapse - Ynetnews
Opposition leader Tzipi Livni harshly criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's policy during a Kadima faction meeting. "Instead of Bibi engaging in survival, he should adopt the right policy. A policy of refusal out of fear and a freeze out of...
Chim Kadima Discusses His Recruitment - CycloneSportsReport.com
By Chris Monter Chim Kadima, a 6-foot-3 junior guard from Milwaukee (WI) Lutheran who decommitted from Iowa State in March, has received serious recruiting attention since re-opening his recruitment. Kadima averaged 16.8 points per game this year....
The long arc of Israeli politics bends toward Kadima - Ha'aretz
Now could be the best time yet to buy stocks in Kadima. The arc of Israeli politics is long, but it may just bend toward Livni. As foreign minister she guided Israel through the renewal of the peace process, and as head of Israel's largest party won...
Mofaz: Kadima must join coalition to advance diplomatic process - Jerusalem Post
By GIL HOFFMAN The Kadima Party will have to join Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's government to ensure its success on the diplomatic front, the party's No. 2 candidate, MK Shaul Mofaz, told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday....
Kadima: Israel worse off after Bibi's US trip - Ynetnews
A talking points memo handed out to Kadima Party members Wednesday was rife with criticism of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's visit to the US. Netanyahu, Obama leave White House meeting with significant gaps on issue of two-state solution....
Chim Kadima Gets Gopher Attention - CycloneSportsReport.com
By Chris Monter Chim Kadima, a 6-foot-3 junior guard from Milwaukee (WI) Lutheran who decommitted from Iowa State in March, has received serious recruiting attention since re-opening his recruitment. Kadima averaged 16.8 points per game this year....
Kadima: Netanyahu's handling of budget proves he's incapable - Jerusalem Post
By GIL HOFFMAN Kadima leader Tzipi Livni called a press conference for Wednesday to respond to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's handling of the 2009 state budget and will convene the Kadima faction to plan efforts to sideline the budget in the...


Shimon Peres, former leader of the Labor Party, formally joined Kadima and before being elected President of Israel was in the second place in the Kadima Knesset list after the Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and before the Foreign and Justice Minister, Tzipi Livni.

Kadima (Hebrew: קדימה‎, lit. Forward) is a centrist political party in Israel founded by like-minded Likud and Labor politicians. It became the largest party in the Knesset after the 2006 elections, winning 29 of the 120 seats. The party is currently headed by Tzipi Livni, and its members include moderates of the political center and center-left who support her diplomatic steps to peace with the Palestinians.

Prior to Kadima's formation, the political tug-of-war between Ariel Sharon and his right-wing supporters, both within the Likud and outside of it, was an on-going subject of speculation in Israeli politics and in the Israeli media. The expectation that Sharon would quit his own party to form a new party composed of his Likud allies and open the door to politicians from other parties to switch to the new party was dubbed the "big bang" (HaMapatz HaGadol) because it would result in a radical realignment of Israel's political landscape.

A number of complex factors contributed to Sharon's decision to split from the Likud. After the official split from the party, Sharon claimed it was a decision made on a single night's thought, but at the press conference announcing the formation of the new party, Sharon adviser and Kadima's new Director General, Avigdor Yitzhaki, accidentally revealed that work on the project had been going on for several months. In the past Sharon had switched between left- and right-wing politics, having been a Mapai member and protege of David Ben-Gurion, he joined Likud in the early 1970s, before leaving the party. After acting as a special advisor to Alignment PM Yitzhak Rabin in the mid 1970s, he established an economically left-wing Shlomtzion party, which later merged with Likud. On becoming Prime Minister in the 2000s, Sharon twice formed unity governments with the Labor Party.

In 2005 the implementation of the unilateral disengagement plan exposed enormous rifts inside the Likud and wider society in Israel. Benjamin Netanyahu capitalised on the split within the Likud by aligning himself with the rejectionist faction. While Sharon's popularity grew among the Israeli populace at large, it declined inside the Likud party structure. Netanyahu resigned as finance minister on 7 August 2005, saying the government's implementation of the disengagement plan endangered the safety of Israeli citizens. Sharon was then unable to get approval from the Likud Central Committee for his key ally Ehud Olmert to that position, which was a source of frustration and personal humiliation.

The final stroke was the unexpected ousting of Sharon's ally Shimon Peres, as leader of the Labor Party by the election of left-wing Histadrut union leader Amir Peretz in an internal ballot on 8 November 2005. Peretz demanded that all Labor Party ministers resign from the unity government and called for dissolution of the Knesset and for new elections in early March 2006, overriding the previously anticipated election date in November 2006. When all the Labor ministers had resigned, Sharon lost his safety net of supporters from the party for the implementation of his political agenda, which included continuing negotiations with the Palestinian Authority for "permanent borders" and a hoped-for final resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

The party was founded by Sharon after he formally left Likud on 21 November 2005 to establish a new party which would grant him the freedom to carry out his policy of unilateral disengagement plan - removing Israeli settlements from Palestinian territory and fixing Israel's borders with a prospective Palestinian state.

The name Kadima, which means "Forward" or "Onward", emerged within the first days of the split and was favored by Sharon. However, it was not immediately adopted, and the party was initially named "National Responsibility" (Hebrew: אחריות לאומית, Ahrayaut Leumit), which was proposed by Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and enthusiastically endorsed by Reuven Adler, Sharon's close confidante and strategy adviser. Although "National Responsibility" was regarded as provisional, subsequent tests conducted with focus groups proved it much more popular than Kadima. "National Responsibility" seemed certain to become permanent. Surprisingly, however, it was announced on 24 November 2005 that the party had finally registered under the name Kadima. The title Kadima has symbolic meaning for many Israelis because it is associated with the battle-charge of army officers, suggesting that Sharon may be attempting to highlight his military accomplishments ahead of the March 2006 elections. A common Hebrew word, however, the term Kadima has been ubiquitous in Israeli political rhetoric and is likely not indicative of any specific ideological bias, indeed, it had been used as a name before by early Zionist leader Nathan Birnbaum. Nevertheless, the decision to name the party Kadima was criticised by Shinui leader Yosef Lapid, who remarked that it was too similar to Benito Mussolini's newspaper Avanti (Italian for "Forward").

According to Sharon supporters, on the first day after its founding, Kadima already had nearly 150 members, most of whom were defectors from Likud. Several Knesset members from Labour, Likud, and other parties immediately joined the new party, including cabinet ministers Ehud Olmert, Tzipi Livni, Meir Sheetrit, Gideon Ezra and Avraham Hirschson. Deputy ministers Ruhama Avraham, Majalli Wahabi, Eli Aflalo, Marina Solodkin, Ze'ev Boim and Yaakov Edri also joined the party, along with Likud MKs Roni Bar-On and Omri Sharon. Former Histadrut chairman Haim Ramon of Labour decided to join the party shortly thereafter.

On 30 November 2005, Shimon Peres quit Labour after more than 60 years with the party, and announced he would help Sharon pursue peace with the Palestinians. In the immediate aftermath of the illnesses of Ariel Sharon, there was speculation that Peres might be chosen to take over as leader of Kadima. One poll suggested the party would win 42 seats in the March 2006 elections with Peres as leader compared to 40 if it were led by Ehud Olmert. Most senior Kadima leaders, however, were former members of Likud and indicated their support for (former Likud) Olmert as Sharon's successor.

The ramifications of Sharon's close identification with Kadima moved the party in an unexpected direction due to his mounting medical problems, which began only a few weeks after Kadima was formed. First, Sharon was hospitalized on 18 December 2005 after reportedly suffering a minor stroke. This introduced a serious element of uncertainty for Sharon's and Kadima's supporters.

During his hospital stay, Sharon was also diagnosed with a minor hole in his heart and was scheduled to undergo a cardiac catheterization to fill the hole in his atrial septum on January 5, 2006. However, on 4 January 2006, 22:50 Israel Time (GMT +0200) Sharon suffered a massive hemorrhagic stroke, and was evacuated to Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital in Jerusalem to undergo brain surgery.

Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert succeeded him as Prime Ministerial candidate. Without Sharon, there was uncertainty about the future of the party. Nevertheless, three polls taken shortly after Sharon's illness showed that Kadima continued to lead its rivals by large margins.. Later polls showed Kadima strengthening its power base further, particularly amongst left wing voters who had opposed Sharon in the past.

On 16 January 2006, party members chose Ehud Olmert as acting chairman for the March elections. Kadima won 29 seats, and was asked to form a government by president Moshe Katsav. Olmert formed a coalition with Labor, Shas and Gil, the government being sworn in on 4 May. Yisrael Beiteinu joined the coalition in October 2006, but left again in January 2008 in protest at negotiations with the Palestinian Authority.

Olmert resigned as party leader in 2008, resulting in a leadership election, held on 17 September. The vote was won by Tzipi Livni, who beat Shaul Mofaz, Meir Sheetrit and Avi Dichter. Following her victory, Livni failed to form a coalition government, resulting in early elections in February 2009. In the elections Kadima remained the largest party in the Knesset, winning 28 seats, one more than Likud. However, Likud's Netanyahu was asked to form a government by President Peres following talks with delegations from all parties represented in the Knesset.

In the early stages, the policies of Kadima directly reflected the views of Ariel Sharon and his stated policies.

Early statements from the Sharon camp reported by the Israeli media claimed that they were setting up a truly "centrist" and "liberal" party. It would appear that Sharon hoped to attract members of the Knesset from other parties and well-known politicians regardless of their prior beliefs provided they accepted Sharon's leadership and are willing to implement a "moderate" political agenda. It is known that Sharon believed strongly in the road map for peace and had a close alliance with then US President George W. Bush.

On the domestic front, Sharon had shown a tendency to agree with his past political partner, the pro-secular and outspokenly anti-religious Shinui party (his allies in the 2003 government), which sought to promote a secular civil agenda as opposed to the strong influence of Israel's Orthodox and Haredi parties. One of the Haredi parties, United Torah Judaism, joined Sharon's last coalition at the same time as the Labour Party, after Shinui had left Sharon's original governing coalition. In the past, Shinui had also called itself a "centrist" party because it rejected both Labour's socialism (its economic policies were free-market) and the Likud's opposition to a Palestinian state (however, from an international context, Shinui may have actually been on the centre-right).

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni reportedly told Israel Army Radio that Kadima intended to help foster the desire for a separate Palestinian state, a move which was applauded by leftist Yossi Beilin.

Sharon was one of the prime architects pushing for the construction of the Israeli West Bank barrier that has been criticized by left-wing and right-wing Israeli politicians, but was a cornerstone of Sharon's determination to establish Israel's final borders, which he saw himself as uniquely suited to do in the so-called "Final Status" negotiations.

In a 22 November 2005 press conference, Sharon also mentioned that he favored withdrawing from untenable Israeli settlements in the West Bank, although he declined to give an actual timeline or specifics for the proposed action.

There has been some debate over where Kadima lies on the political spectrum. Many in the Western media use the terms "centrist", (in that it is positioned between the Labor Party and Likud). Over the last thirty years, Israel has seen a movement by both the right and the left towards the center. With the arrival of Kadima, the political centre has shifted more to the center. Founder Ariel Sharon was for most of his life on the right of Israeli politics and most of its elected membership are former Likud party members, but it also has a number of notable ex-Labour MK's. The previous government of Ehud Olmert was considered center-leftist, collaborating with the Labor and two sector-socialist parties, Gil and Shas. Following the recent 2009 elections, with its subsequent political negotiations for a centerist coalition with the Likud and the Labor, it is suggested that the ideological differences of the center-left and center-right in Israel are fairly minor.

Kadima is considered to be a part of the left-wing bloc in the Knesset, and as of the 2009 elections, leading it. During the elections, Kadima successfully attracted left-of-center voters, to the dismay of Labor and Meretz leaders, who discouraged their supporters from doing so. It would be naturally allied with the left-of-center Labor and Meretz parties, although neither recommended Livni as prime minister to Peres as initially anticipated after the 2009 elections, mainly due to Livni's courting of Avigdor Lieberman (who heads the third largest party) to join a coalition. According to political commentator Aluf Benn, Kadima has little ideological differences with the Labor Party.

A photograph of Pope Benedict XVI emblazoned with a superimposed Nazi swastika appeared on Monday, October 20, 2008, on an Israeli website run by self-proclaimed supporters of the governing Kadima party.

It was later removed, and replaced with a picture of a smiling Benedict overlooking a crowd-filled St. Peter's Square in the Vatican, after what "the Yalla Kadima" site said was a request from Kadima's leader, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni.

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Kadima leadership election, 2008

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An election for the leadership of Kadima was held on 17 September 2008 as a concession to Kadima's coalition partner, Labour, which had threatened to bring down the government if Prime Minister Ehud Olmert didn't stand aside following police investigations into alleged corruption during his terms as minister and as mayor of Jerusalem.

As Kadima remains the largest party in the Knesset and the coalition, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, the designated new leader after balloting, had the chance to form a government without a need for elections. Had she become successful, she would have become the next Prime Minister, and the first woman to hold that position since Golda Meir in 1974.

Announced candidates were Livni, Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter, Transport Minister Shaul Mofaz and Minister of the Interior Meir Sheetrit. Current leader and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was considered unlikely to run due to public pressure under many ongoing corruption investigations, and stated in an announcement on 30 July 2008 that he would indeed resign once his party had chosen his successor as party leader. Nominations closed on 24 August 2008. Livni was widely considered to be the frontrunner, and she would likely improve Kadima's prospects in the next elections..

Exit polls released after the poll indicated a double-digit victory for Livni. The actual vote count turned out much closer, amid very low turnout, with Shaul Mofaz coming within a few hundred votes of winning an unexpected victory over Livni. Supporters of Mofaz called for a recount but Mofaz rejected any legal challenge of the declared result and called Livni to congratulate her on her victory, as did Sheetrit and Dichter.

After Mofaz's loss, he announced that he would be taking a break from politics and leaving the government and Knesset. However, he would remain a member of Kadima. Soon after however, he announced his return and will be vying for the 2nd place in Kadima's Knesset list for the 2009 elections.

After her election, Tzipi Livni failed to form a government, for only the second time in Israeli history. General elections were announced for February 10, 2009.

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Beit Kadima

Beit Kadima today

Beit Kadima (lit. Kadima House) is a residential building complex in Jerusalem, Israel located on the west side of Kiryat Shmuel. The British Mandatory authorities built it in 1945 to house the families of British officers. In the end, it was used by UNSCOP Commission, whose members lived there while drafting the UN Partition Plan prior to the establishment of the state.

The building was designed by architect Otto Hoffman and constructed by an Egyptian housing company. Hoffman's design included 21 apartments along with parking garages and storage space. It was built in the International Style along with traditional Jerusalem motifs such as half arcs over the entrances and outside staircases. The building stood empty for several years until the British authorities chose the secluded compound to house the members of the UNSCOP Commission, who were sent by the UN to determine the future status of the land of Israel. For several weeks the Commission members lived in Beit Kadima and drafted the recommendation which led to the decision on partition of Palestine and the establishment of the State of Israel.

Shortly after the UN decision on November 29, 1947, violence erupted in region and the compound became a refuge for Jewish families living in the predominantly Arab neighborhood of Katamon. The building served as a Haganah military post during Israel's War of Independence.

Today some of the original families still live in the compound, which retains its elegant character.

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Cabinet of Israel

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The Cabinet of Israel is a formal body composed of government officials chosen and led by a Prime Minister. Its composition must be approved by a vote in the Knesset. The Prime Minister is able to remove members of the Cabinet, but to satisfy Israeli law he must do this in writing and new appointees must again be approved by the Knesset. Most Ministers are heads of government departments.

Following a general election in March, 2006, the Prime Minister and leader of the Kadima party, Ehud Olmert, formed the 31st government. His coalition government initially included three other parties; the Labour party, the Sephardic Shas party, and Gil, the pensioner's party. His proposed list of Ministers was put before the Knesset and approved on 4 May 2006. The cabinet had 25 members and the parties were represented as follows: Kadima with 12 Ministers, Labour with 7, Shas with 4 and Gil with 2.

The nationalist party Yisrael Beiteinu joined the coalition in November 2006, resulting in a slight reshuffle; along with other changes, this left the distribution of ministers as follows: Kadima with 11, Labour with 6, Shas with 4, Gil with 2 and Yisrael Beiteinu with 2, alongside one independent non-MK, Daniel Friedmann. There is also one Deputy Minster (of Defense). In September 2007 another Labour minister was added to the cabinet. Yisrael Beiteinu left the coalition on 16 January 2008 in protest at peace talks with the Palestinian National Authority. Another Kadima MK (Eli Aflalo) was added to the cabinet on 14 July 2008.

The body discussed in this article is referred to in Israeli official documents as the Government of Israel. This is in accordance to the normal translation of its Hebrew name, (Hebrew: ממשלה‎, memshala). In Israel, the term cabinet (Hebrew: קבינט‎) is generally used for the Politics and Security Cabinet (Hebrew: הקבינט המדיני-ביטחוני‎), an unofficial group of cabinet members that decides on defense and foreign policy issues.

1 No party affiliation as Friedmann is not a member of the Knesset.

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Source : Wikipedia