PM derides Livni in plenum, citing Mofaz comments

Kadima gathers Knesset session to discuss "Netanyahu's failures," PM steals the show with announcement in support of Jonathan Pollard.

January 5, 2011 01:20
1 minute read.

Netanyahu . (photo credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu stole the show from Kadima on Tuesday evening when he turned a hearing designed to call the prime minister to task into a dramatic announcement in support of Jonathan Pollard.

But Netanyahu’s embrace of a subject well within the parliamentary consensus did not stop sparks from flying between the premier and opposition chairwoman Tzipi Livni.

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Kadima initiated the special Knesset plenum session, gathering the signatures of 40 MKs to hold a discussion on the subject of “the Netanyahu’s failures in the diplomatic, economic and social fields.”

According to Basic Law: The Government, the prime minister is required to attend such a hearing from beginning to end, sitting in place and listening to opposition MKs slam his policies.

After hours of back-and-forth between coalition and opposition MKs, Netanyahu took the podium. Although he devoted the first part of his speech to his public call for Pollard’s release, he then went on to detail the government’s achievements – and deride his opponents in Kadima.

Playing off of the well-known tensions between Livni and Kadima No. 2 MK Shaul Mofaz, Netanyahu said to Mofaz “we are living in the Internet age, and it is from there that I take your next quote: Livni cannot lead, she cannot be prime minister. You said that on January 5, last year, that she is causing damage to the State of Israel. You said on January 21 that Livni responds in a hysterical and fearful manner, that she is nice, but has no ability to make difficult decisions.”

Livni, who earlier accused Netanyahu of attempting to politicize the issue of Pollard’s release, also had some choice words for the prime minister during her concluding speech of the session.

“Our children will be shocked when they read biographies of the leaders. They will be shocked to discover that many of them were essentially no more than soft cotton rags in the hands of their coincidental surroundings.”

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