'Barak, Netanyahu have made Lieberman de facto PM'

At special Knesset discussion of coalition changes, MKs harshly criticize defense minister, PM for "trick" that led Labor to leave government; Braverman: The maneuver is a knockout to the peace process.

311_Avishai Braverman (photo credit: Associated Press)
311_Avishai Braverman
(photo credit: Associated Press)
Knesset members lashed out at Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Tuesday, criticizing him and his allies for leaving the Labor Party and forming the new Independence faction. The comments came at a special meeting of the Knesset to discuss the changes in the make-up of the government coalition and the resignation and appointment of ministers that came in the aftermath of Barak's move.
MK Meir Sheetrit (Kadima) said that the events constituted a dark week in Israel's history. "I've been here thirty years and I've not yet seen such a fishy trick. I'm sure that many of the coalition members need to take pills against nausea in order to vote for such a dirty maneuver."
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Sheetrit called Barak and his allies who left Labor "five walking dead politicians" and expressed surprise that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu took part in the move.
Former minority affairs minister Avishay Braverman (Labor) called the move by Barak and his allies to leave the Labor Party "a knockout to the peace process."
"Barak and [Prime Minister Binyamin] Netanyahu made [Foreign Minister Avigdor] Lieberman de facto prime minister of israel," said Braverman. "This was an impeachment of Israeli democracy," he added.
"The gov't is now dependent on Lieberman and his friends. It has no legitimacy in the world or in Israel," Braverman said.
MK Amir Peretz said that he would like to say "thank you to Barak for giving us a chance to save democracy and showing us what corruption is."
Outgoing Welfare and Social Services Minister Isaac Herzog (Labor) was critical of the move that saw him lose a job he was "very passionate about" but he wished his replacement Moshe Kahlon the best of luck.
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