The resumption of construction in Judea and Samaria and a subsequent departure
of the Palestinians from the negotiating table could result in Labor leaving the
government and getting replaced by the far-right National Union Party, Labor
officials said over the weekend.
Labor ministers expressed hope that
their party chairman, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, would find a solution to the
crisis over Sunday night’s end to the 10- month construction
Braverman calls for removal of ‘callous’ Lieberman
But they said that if he doesn’t, they would demand an urgent
meeting to reassess the party’s future.
“There is no doubt that if the
talks reach a stalemate, it will have a dramatic impact on the political reality
in Israel,” Welfare and Social Services Minister Isaac Herzog told Army Radio on
Spokespeople for Agriculture Minister Shalom Simhon and
Minorities Affairs Minister Avishay Braverman reiterated their past statements
that “if the talks break down, Labor has no reason to remain, because that was
why we entered the government in the first place.”
chairman Ya’acov Katz told The Jerusalem Post that he expected to become a
minister in the near future. He said he expected the clash between right- and
left-wing ministers in the coalition over the renewed construction to result in
Labor leaving and opening a vacancy for his party.
“We will be in the
coalition,” Katz said emphatically. “Herzog and Braverman will force Barak to
leave. Then the prime minister will need a coalition and we will be there for
Asked whether he expected to succeed Simhon as agriculture
minister, Katz replied with all seriousness that he would demand the Defense
Kadima issued a statement calling upon Prime Minister Binyamin
Netanyahu to resume building only in the major settlement blocs. The party said
it would back Netanyahu if he found a way to keep the Palestinians at the
“The moment of truth has come and we expect you to
prove that you are a statesman,” Kadima’s deputy faction chairman Yohanan
“I have no doubt that if you adopt a daring diplomatic
plan, Kadima will grant you full support and a political security net to advance
to a diplomatic agreement.
But if you put narrow political calculations
ahead of the national interest, Kadima will work to bring you down and replace
Sources close to Netanyahu said it was too soon to speculate about
the fate of the coalition. They expressed hope that a compromise with the
Palestinians could still be found.
“We still have more than 24 hours,”
they said on Saturday night. “In politics, that is a long time.”