Opposition chairwoman sees religious-secular rift as opportunity to gain wide support for Kadima, slams Netanyahu for 'weakness' to ultra-Orthodox demands
Published: 05.07.10, 00:30 / Israel News
The rift between the religious and the secular population again seems wide, and the opposition has jumped at the opportunity. Ynet has learned that Opposition Chairwoman Tzipi Livni intends to open an extensive campaign against leaders of the ultra-Orthodox Knesset factions and against the prime minister himself, for "his weakness and his surrender to the haredim."
Livni is expected to blame the haredi (ultra-Orthodox) Knesset members for extortion and for worrying about their own narrow interests. The opposition leader will claim that this behavior hurts not only the general population but the religious groups themselves, causing Israelis to draw away from religion out of a sense of loathing for those politicians.
Sources close to Livni see recent events as an opportunity to reach the secular population whose opinions are in the center of the political spectrum.
"Today there is a political party with a secular agenda. Kadima is the center party in contact with the general public, including haredim, and its attack on those politicians is not against the Orthodox population itself," the sources said.
Kadima intends to submit a non-confidence motion on the issue, as well as to propose social and economic bills that deal with the issue. Sources close to Livni said that so far no organized plan of action had been prepared, but emphasized that "Netanyahu's surrender" to the haredi factions would be at the center of the criticism.
"There has never been a government that gave so much to the Orthodox, just to maintain the coalition," the sources said.
Others expressed opposition to the idea. Some senior figures in the party criticized Livni, claiming that the planned campaign was a mistake – because it's not clear how it would help the party, "even if she wins the elections."
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