Mofaz defends bringing Kadima into coalition

Vice PM says he believes public will support move; appoints Bar-On as Foreign Affairs, Defense Committee chair.

Shaul Mofaz 370 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Shaul Mofaz 370
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Vice Premier Shaul Mofaz on Monday defended the decision to bring his Kadima party into the governing coalition, saying he believes most of the public supports the decision.
Speaking at a Kadima faction meeting, Mofaz supported Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for sending a positive letter to PA President Mahmoud Abbas, saying Netanyahu wants to restart negotiations without preconditions.
Mofaz also said that the coalition will pursue legislative reform, particularly in finding a replacement for the Tal Law.
The former opposition leader noted, however, that there are a number of bills on the coalition's agenda that do not fit with Kadima's ideology, and that he would fight them with all his strength.
Addressing recent controversies and attempts to weaken the courts, Mofaz said, "We respect the rule of law and defer to the decisions of the Supreme Court."
Also Monday, Mofaz appointed MK Ronnie Bar-On, a supporter of former party leader Tzipi Livni, as the new Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman. Mofaz previously chaired the committee.
Speaking at the start of a Likud faction meeting Monday afternoon, Prime Minister Netanyahu said his party will focus on three main issues: replacing the Tal Law, passing a budget, and changing the political system.
Netanyahu added that a fourth issue, promoting the peace process with the Palestinians, is important but does not depend exclusively on Likud. "I sent [Abbas] a letter, and I hope [the Palestinians] answer it," he said.
"I hope there can be a dialogue that can turn into negotiations."