MKs now ready to go on offensive over Olmert's handling of war

August 13, 2006 23:39
1 minute read.


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Where one cease-fire begins, another ends. Knesset members who have held their fire throughout the war announced that with Monday morning's cease-fire deadline their own cease-fire - as regards criticizing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert - will come to an end. Since the two soldiers were kidnapped along the northern Israeli border more than one month ago, Israeli politicians have retained a nearly cohesive united front in support of the IDF and the government. Although the calls for a national unity government disappeared, Olmert might as well have counted on the support of 105 of the 120 Knesset members, with only the Arab and Meretz MKs opposing the prime minister. That brief respite, however, has come to an end, said MKs from both within and without the coalition, and Monday afternoon's emergency Knesset session will likely see the opening shots. Already, Likud Leader Binyamin Netanyahu appeared poised to resume his place as opposition leader and lash out against Olmert for his handling of the IDF over the past week. "Netanyahu has appeared more the prime minister than the prime minister during this whole war - and he knows it," said one Likud MK. "He feels he has the trust of the public back." Likud will likely be joined by Israel Beiteinu and NU-NRP for accepting the cease-fire agreement without securing enough of Israel's goals. "This cease-fire agreement was pushed onto Israel by the international community, and it was a huge mistake to accept it," sai MK Uri Ariel (NU-NRP) For many others, including some in Olmert's Kadima Party and it's coalition partner, Labor, the government's handling of the homefront has left much to be desired. "The people of Israel were neglected during this war and they can't understand the cease-fire," argued one Labor MK. "We have lost the public in all of this." With budget cuts hovering over much of the government, many are questioning just how long the current government will last.

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