Amir Peretz and Labor 4 311.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Any hope in the opposition that the Labor Party joining its ranks last week
would help bring down Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was quashed on Tuesday
when Labor’s first no-confidence motion fell in a 52-36 vote.
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Amir Peretz presented the motion with great fanfare, accusing Netanyahu of
tricking the people of Israel into believing that he was genuinely pursuing a
diplomatic process when he was actually doing everything possible to create more
obstacles to peace.
“When your government was formed, you got an update
from the previous prime minister about all the diplomatic processes that earlier
governments engaged in,” Peretz told Netanyahu. “But Mr. Prime Minister, you
freaked out. Either you are not ready or perhaps you don’t believe there
can be a solution between us and the Palestinian people.”
congratulated by Kadima MKs when he finished his speech, as was Labor MK Eitan
Cabel, who attacked the government later on in the session. Knesset Speaker
Reuven Rivlin said he gave Peretz extra time for his speech, because he wanted
to let him get the two years of opposition rhetoric that he had been keeping
bottled up out of his system.
Peretz is expected to run for the Labor
leadership against MKs Isaac Herzog and Avishay Braverman.
reported Tuesday that businessman and strategist Moshe Gaon had also decided to
Besides Labor’s proposal, there were also no-confidence motions on
Tuesday raised by Kadima and Arab factions, which fell by votes of 52-37 and
Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan, who
responded to the motions on the government’s behalf, used his speeches to attack
Kadima leader Tzipi Livni for her proposals to the Palestinians that were
revealed this week in documents broadcast by Al- Jazeera. He singled out her
willingness to trade four Arab towns from pre-1967 Israel in land
“Livni and Kadima have been trying to advance a false narrative
that, had the election not taken place, an agreement would have been achieved,”
Erdan said. “But Livni has not said what her magic formula would be to reach
peace after the Palestinians rejected all her concessions.
that Olmert and Livni were willing to offer, including Lieberman-style ideas,
didn’t even reach the minimum the Palestinians were willing to take. So if she
says she can make peace, does that mean that she is now willing to give up
Ma’aleh Adumim, Efrat and Har Homa?” Minister-Without-Portfolio Bennie Begin
responded on the government’s behalf to charges from Arab parties that the
coalition had advanced racist legislation.
He said he opposed Balad MK
Haneen Zoabi’s participation in the Gaza flotilla against Israel but he did not
believe the Knesset should be used as a court to prosecute her.
controversial citizenship bill overcame its final obstacles in the Knesset
Interior Committee on Tuesday. It will be brought to the Knesset for its first
reading next week.