Ex-Foreign Minister Forms New Party to Oppose Netanyahu
"Calling herself “an answer to the contention that there is no one to vote for,” Tzipi Livni, Israel’s centrist former foreign minister, returned to politics on Tuesday after a six-month hiatus, heading a new party that she described as “an alternative, personal and ideological,” to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu."
"Ms. Livni’s return, under the banner of the Movement Led by Tzipi Livni, immediately shook up the center of Israel’s political spectrum, with eight members of Parliament from the Kadima Party she helped found in 2005 bolting to join her, heralding its likely demise. But in Israel’s coalition system of government, individual parties are less important than ideological blocs and most recent polls have suggested that Ms. Livni and other existing opposition candidates will have a hard time taking enough votes from right-leaning and religious parties to prevent Mr. Netanyahu from winning a third term.
“The only thing that Livni is capable of doing is splitting the ‘left’ bloc, not increasing it,” Aviad Kleinberg, a professor of history at Tel Aviv University, wrote in a column in Tuesday’s Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper.
Ms. Livni’s long-awaited announcement came the day after Mr. Netanyahu’s Likud Party completed a primary in which several moderate members were pushed toward the bottom of the list, with little hope of election, beaten out by ultranationalist candidates including Moshe Feiglin. That rightward trend, some commentators said, could have a more fundamental effect on the campaign dynamic, leaving some centrist Likud voters shopping for alternatives."