Ariel Sharon’s new political force has attracted another heavy-hitter of Israeli politics to his new Kadima party. Defence minister Shaul Mofaz has quit Likud to sit at his bosses’ right hand. Mofaz thus quits the Likud leadership race, in which he was a candidate, to throw in his lot with Sharon’s reshaping of the political map, even if opinion polls had predicted he would lose to Benjamin Netanyahu.
That leaves the fight for the leadership of Likud as a two-horse race between Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Sylvan Shalom. However, the pair may find themselves like two bald men fighting over a comb. Kadima, which only registered as a party last month, is expected to crush its rivals in the upcoming election, with Likud forecast to finish third.