Jewish Journal

Mofaz is back (and forth)!

by Noga Gur-Arieh

July 18, 2012 | 6:14 am

What's next? Nobody knows. Mofaz

I am not a political analyst. I can’t foresee political scandals and can’t predict politicians’ next moves. I am nothing but a common Israeli citizen who reads the paper. My modest point of view is of a head of a party, the biggest we’ve got, who instead of thinking first and then doing, does first and only then thinks. It seems like Shaul Mofaz, the chairman of Kadima party, hasn’t decided yet who he wishes to impress more: the Prime Minister, or the voters.

It was only two months ago when I wrote about Shaul Mofaz’s odd declaration to join Netanyahu’s coalition, after beating Tzipi Livni for the position of the head of Kadima. While admitting this unity government may be good for Israel in the long term, there was no doubt it made Mofaz seem like a sad person with no principles, who would do anything to get a seat in the Cabinet. Back then, it seemed like he did absolutely nothing for the party he represents, and the electors who believed in their agenda. He simply joined the coalition, no conditions, no nothing. This made Mofaz’s popularity drop abruptly. People believed in him and he merely sold out. But just when people lost their hope, he rose back up, claiming that if Netanyahu refuses to accept Kadima’s terms regarding the draft of Haredi to the IDF, Kadima would return to the opposition.

At their lowest point, they’ve reached us right where it hurts- the draft. Nowadays, it seems to be one of the top two issues that the Minister who takes them the most seriously,would become the most popular amongst us. When it comes to the Haredi recruitment to the IDF, Mofaz and Netanyahu managed to settle on most criteria and find a common ground with both demands. The one thing they couldn’t agree over was the age for the draft. Mofaz insisted on a draft at the age of 18 (like any other non-privileged Israeli), while Netanyahu who wishes to please the Haredi as well, insisted on an additional five years for them at a Yeshiva before the draft. Obviously there’s more to it than age, since drafting at the age of 23, while most of them already have families, means paying them much more.  Honestly, the rest of the criteria were, in my opinion, far more drastic than this one, but it seems like Mofaz wasn’t able to miss a big wave of cheers from the mass. So he quit. After two months of mostly arguing with Netanyahu over the Haredi draft, Mofaz returned to the opposition. Well, I hope at least he got to enjoy the fancy coalition goodies (after all, it is a known fact they serve better coffee there) before returning to his position as head of the opposition.

I can’t help but being cynical right now, because hands down- this is ridiculous. Mofaz doesn’t know what he wants- more political privileges or principles. I can honestly say I appreciate him for standing up for his beliefs, and not letting Netanyahu bend him over. Nonetheless, I can’t help but remember the last time, where he probably emptied his head from his own mind. I don’t know whether to believe him or not, because he might change his mind yet again, while ignoring many of his fellow Kadima Ministers, after listening to them this time. I can’t even make a complete sentence here without encountering vertigo. So I’ll conclude this post in a great appreciation for the action itself, which seems to be putting the citizens of Israel first, as well as a hinge of suspicion for not knowing what Mofaz plans ahead.

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My name is Noga Gur-Arieh, and I’m an Israeli Journalist, currently studying for my B.A degree in Media and Political Science, at Tel Aviv University.

I am very socially...

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