Braverman: If no peace talks, Labor should leave gov't

Labor MK and party chairman contender criticizes Barak's leadership and asks party's steering c'tee to commit to leaving coalition if peace talks fail.

By JPOST.COM STAFF, GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
November 10, 2010 22:32
1 minute read.
Labor MK Avishai Braverman.

311_Avishai Braverman. (photo credit: Associated Press)

Minorities Affairs Minister Avishay Braverman on Wednesday stated that if the Netanyahu government did not seriously pursue peace negotiations that the Labor party should leave the coalition.

"If there are no real negotiations for peace, we won't remain in the government," Braverman wrote in a letter to the Labor Party's steering committee, requesting an official party position regarding its stance towards the stalled peace negotiations.

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He continued, currently the Labor Party stands at the edge of an abyss. It is deteriorating not only because of the lack of leadership from the party chairman [Ehud Barak], but also because we are not disposed to present the public an alternative to the line taken by Netanyahu."

This is not the first time that Braverman has expressed his discontent with Labor's continuing acquiescence to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's policy choices seen be to be in contradiction with the values of much of the Labor Party's support base.

At the end of October, Braverman attempted to boycott the Knesset’s vote on the coalition's proposed 2011- 2012 state budget to express his great displeasure with the coalition's inclusion of stipends for haredi kollel students.

Agriculture Minister Shalom Simhon, who chairs the Labor faction, eventually paired him off with MK Michael Ben-Ari from the opposition National Union party, so Braverman’s absence would be officially excused and not a boycott. A coalition member and an opposition member can be paired together to cancel each other's vote out. This angered Braverman when he found out about it in the morning.

“I boycotted the vote, despite the heavy pressure on me, because my conscience did not let me support this budget,” Braverman said.


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