(photo credit: Associated Press)
Labor must give Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu an ultimatum that the party
will leave his coalition if a construction moratorium is not renewed in Judea
and Samaria, Minority Affairs Minister Avishay Braverman said
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Braverman issued the threat despite the American announcement
on Tuesday that the US was no longer asking for a settlement freeze and was
instead seeking other approaches to advance the diplomatic process.
the past 10 days, Braverman obtained the signatures of 500 Labor Central
Committee members demanding a party convention to debate leaving the government.
He vowed to pass a proposal at the convention demanding a freeze.
passes, the prime minister will have to choose between us and a right-wing
government that would make him very unpopular in Israel and around the world and
would lose him the next election,” Braverman said. “If the convention votes
against my proposal, I will quit and lead the opposition in
European politicians have been pushing Braverman in recent weeks
to force Labor chairman Ehud Barak to take Labor out of the
While Labor rebel MKs who have been pressuring him to quit for
months expressed skepticism on Wednesday, Braverman said that this time he was
“Labor is in a free-fall because the public sees us as a
hypocritical party that would stay in the government at any price,” Braverman
said. “I told Barak that if we continue this way, we will be bungee jumping
without a rope.”
Braverman said he opposed the proposal of his fellow
Labor leadership candidate, Welfare and Social Services Minister Isaac Herzog,
to advance the next party primary that is currently set for October
Braverman believes the race should be held after the party quits
“We shouldn’t be dealing with personal issues and
primaries until we right our sinking ship,” he said.
All the other Labor
ministers said the change in the American diplomatic approach needed to be given
a chance before the party reconsidered its place in the coalition. They
expressed hope that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s speech at this
weekend’s Saban Forum and Barak’s meetings with American and Palestinian
officials at the event could bear fruit.
“Let’s let the dust settle over
the next few days before we see where we stand,” sources close to Herzog said.
“We need to start solving the core issues of the conflict now more than
Sources close to Barak said that if Braverman did not like his
job, he was free to go and was “very replaceable.”
Labor MK Daniel
Ben-Simon, meanwhile, told the annual meeting between Israeli and European
parliamentarians in Brussels on Wednesday that if the negotiations were not
resumed, Netanyahu could lose the Labor Party.
“We are here [in the
coalition] under the condition that there is a dialogue. If things are blocked,
I think that my party will leave [the coalition],” said Ben-Simon.
peace agreement signed by the Right is more significant than one signed by the
Left, said Ben-Simon.
This has been true from the time of former prime
minister Menachem Begin to former prime minister Ariel Sharon, he
“Netanyahu has been brought by history to this crossroads,” he
said. “It is not a question of will there be peace, but how will we bring it
about, what will the details be? “In the weeks to come, we will find out if
Netanyahu is a political leader who wants to follow Menachem Begin and Ariel
Sharon. I hope he is there to make history and to write history,” Ben-Simon
said. “It is high time to give hope to a generation which has grown up in
Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this report from Brussels.