Sharon's party named

Considering its creation represented the biggest change in Israeli politics for years, "National Responsibility" - the initial name of the new political party created by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon - was particularly uninspiring. By the time the party was officially registered, it had been dropped in favour of a new one: Kadima in Hebrew, meaning Forward in English.

As a name it is simple, dynamic, and - crucially - rather centrist-sounding. After all, if you are going forward, you are not going left or right. It certainly matches what Ariel Sharon, so long the strongman of the Israeli right, says he is trying to do - create a new force in the middle ground of Israeli politics that he hopes will take votes from the two big established parties, Likud and Labour.

And not just votes, but members as well. So far 14 Likud members have defected to Kadima, five of them cabinet ministers. From Labour, Mr Sharon has recruited Haim Ramon, another minister, reports BBC news. I.L.

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