311_Barak in Knesset.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The Likud and Kadima blasted each other throughout the day on Monday,
to the latter’s no-confidence motion in the Knesset plenum, which was
resoundingly defeated by a vote of 59-25.
The Likud complained that the
opposition party was showing disloyalty in presenting the no-confidence
while Kadima accused the government of trying to silence legitimate
its political decisions.
Kadima not joining gov’t despite flotilla
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The government dropped a bombshell early in the
afternoon when it announced that the minister responding to the no-confidence
motions would be none other than Defense Minister Ehud Barak. The defense
minister rarely makes speeches before the plenum, and the choice of Barak to
respond to opposition party criticism reinforced the Likud’s assertions that
Kadima was unfairly criticizing the security establishment while events related
to the flotilla were still unfolding.
In advance of the vote, Kadima
sources said that following pressure by the party’s MKs Shaul Mofaz, Avi
and Tzahi Hanegbi, the wording of the no-confidence motion had been
remove any mention of the IDF.Barak: This was not the outcome we wanted
“This was not the outcome we wanted,”
explained Barak, “and we are addressing this in order to ensure our
prevent the strengthening of Hamas in Gaza, create the conditions for
negotiating [captive IDF soldier Gilad] Schalit’s release, and frustrate
terrorist attacks from Gaza.”
Barak added that the naval force that had seized
the Mavi Marmara
, where nine
activists were killed and several commandos were
wounded, was also behind the peaceful seizure of the MV Rachel Corrie
ship that sought to breach the blockade of Gaza later last week, as well
elimination of the squad of frogmen that tried to infiltrate Israel by
earlier on Monday.
“I am not certain that the no-confidence motions
withstand the test of seriousness,” added Barak, who also criticized
lift the naval blockade of the Gaza Strip.
Barak’s response focused on the
no-confidence motion that was presented – also in a rare step – by
leader Tzipi Livni, under the title “Attempts by the government to evade
responsibility and direct criticism regarding the flotilla against IDF
The Kadima chairwoman criticized the government for increasing
Israel’s international isolation, which, she said, “is not just the
of rock concerts, but also of presidential visits.”
She stressed that her party
would cooperate in preventing the establishment of an international
Israel’s handling of the sea raid.
“In order to prevent IDF soldiers from
being questioned in English, the prime minister himself must be ready to
questioned in Hebrew in an internal investigative commission,” Livni
She criticized claims made by the Likud that the no-confidence
motion was unpatriotic.
“We have practically been accused of treason,”
complained Livni, who was at pains during her speech to compliment IDF
and their recent efforts.
Hours before the no-confidence votes were
delivered by all members of opposition parties, save for the National
same debate was played out in the State Control Committee, where
criticized committee chairman Yoel Hasson (Kadima) for having turned the
committee into what they called a “political tool” to criticize
lawmakers.Gil Hoffman contributed to this