by Clifford F. Thies
In another blow to the non-ideological centrist party Kadima, its former leader Tzipi Livni has resigned from the party and from the Knesset, while indicating she will not withdraw from public life.
While it is easy to dismiss Livni's departure as something of a temper tantrum, the so-called glue that hold Kadima together is little more than the personalities of those at the top of party's list. The undoing of Kadima could even be said to have begun, following the last election, when she demanded co-equal status with Netanyahu in return for Kadima entering a Likud-led coalition, on the basis that Kadima gained one more seat than Likud and in spite of the fact the the Likud-led right coalition had a near majority without support from Kadima. As a consequence, Netanyahu by-passed Kadima and plucked Labour (or the part of Labour that did not subsequently split) and a second religious party as minor coalition partners. to gain a robust majority in the Knesset.
This year, with the prospect of early elections, a new party of the center has arisen, forged by television personality Yair Lapid, that is poised to overtake Kadima in its first attempt in terms of seats. Also, both Labour and its rival secular left party, Meretz, have also picked up support.