MKs reject no-confidence motions on Netanyahu gov't

During Knesset hearing, majority of MKs vote against motions by Kadima, other parties on "Netanyahu isolating Israel," and "building in Arab towns."

knesset plenum (photo credit: Channel 99)
knesset plenum
(photo credit: Channel 99)
After a series of speeches given by MKs on Monday during a Knesset hearing on two no-confidence motions put forward by Kadima and the UAL-Ta'al, Hadash, and Balad parties, the Knesset voted against both of the motions.
Thirty-four MKs voted in favor, and 52 MKs voted against the no-confidence motion initiated by Kadima MK Nachman Shai on "Netanyahu isolating Israel through a series of political actions and failures."
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On the second no-confidence motion on the "planning of construction and building in Arab communities," introduced by MK Ibrahim Sarsour of UAL-Ta'al, 29 MKs voted in favor, while 54 voted against.
During the Knesset hearing on Monday, Kadima MK Nachman Shai criticized Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, saying: "What does Barak have left?" Shai asked. "He doesn't have a party, he doesn't have supporters, he only has a burden. And Netanyahu? The man who promised everything and fulfilled nothing, the man who declared last year that there should be two states for two people and then who maintained one state for two peoples. The man who chose partners who extort him every moment."Labor ministers quit Netanyahu's gov't after Barak split
Also speaking at the Knesset hearing, MK Michael Eitan of Likud said that it is not always better to have a bigger government, referring Labor's withdrawal from the government earlier in the day.
"Until now, the coalition had 74 members, and as a result of the Labor Party split, we are expected to have a coalition of 66 members. The question is whether 66 members in a coalition can make the coalition stronger and better from one that has 74 members. A coalition of 66 members is even stronger than one with 74 and together we will lead Israel to its future destinations," Eitan said.
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He added that: "Labor Party members, who quit the party, voted several times against the government's position. In the context of the coalition's future, when there are ministers who do not see eye to eye on the prime minister's leadership, and do not accept the pace with which he is leading the peace process, and they do not keep their doubts to themselves or coordinate them with the prime minister' is therefore better that they resign from the government."
MK Ibrahim Sarsour of United Arab List -Ta'al followed Eitan's speech, saying: "There are not two nations, there is only one."
"Is what the prime minister said about two nations for two peoples true? I am in doubt. The building in Arab villages shows that there is only one country, but there are two planning and building authorities, one for Jews one for Arabs," Sarsour said.
Daniel Ben-Simon, who recently resigned as an MK from Labor, went up to the podium and said: "I always fantasized about standing here and saying what I really think about this government. It has led us to impossible situations. It is freeing to leave this government. In the past year we prevented ourselves from saying what we think. This is a liberating day for all Labor members."
Ahmed Tibi, speaking on the government's policy on planning and building in Arab   towns, said "these problems really are a really troubling point for Arab citizens. The policy of planning and building is ideological, partly based on ethnic lines, and a democratic state should not behave this way."
He added, "I can't ignore what happened today with Labor MKs. They threatened that if there is no peace process with the Palestinians, then Labor will quit. And what happened today confirms there won't be a peace process. If there was a process, Labor would have stayed."