Three Kadima MKs rebel, vote against coalition

Likud MKs fume at their Kadima counterparts for breaking coalition discipline on two bills on Wednesday.

Knesset building 390 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
Knesset building 390
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
Likud MKs fumed at their Kadima counterparts for voting against the coalition’s position on two bills on Wednesday.
MK Isaac Herzog (Labor) brought his bill that would make discrimination against women a crime punishable by jail time or a NIS 300,000 fine to a preliminary reading, which was voted down by 26 MKs.
Of the 15 MKs who did support Herzog’s proposal, three – Nino Abesadze, Yoel Hasson and Robert Tibayev – were from Kadima. Later on Wednesday, Abesadze also voted against the coalition in favor of a bill allowing civil marriage sponsored by MK Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz).
Coalition chairman Ze’ev Elkin (Likud) slammed the Kadima MKs, saying they are suffering from “multiple personalities,” and have yet to absorb the fact that they are no longer in the opposition.
“They need psychological help, as soon as possible,” Elkin quipped.
If the coalition falls and there are early elections, none of them will return to the Knesset, he added, and the vote shows that Kadima is lacking in leadership and facing an internal crisis.
Elkin said the coalition will find ways to punish the rebel MKs within the coalition’s rules, and whoever ignores coalition discipline will quickly find him or herself outside the coalition.
“Kadima has no values and no ideology, and apparently no loyalty,” MK Danny Danon (Likud) said. “Kadima MKs need to know their place in the coalition, and if they do not like it, they can leave immediately.”
All three rebel MKs said they voted according to their conscience, but also according to Kadima’s agenda, on an issue the party made a priority in the Knesset’s winter session.
“The coalition has to understand that this is Kadima’s position, and we were the leaders on this topic,” Hasson said. “There should not have been coalition discipline.”
According to Hasson, he was put in an “impossible” situation, but he thinks Herzog’s bill was worthy of passing and will continue to vote in favor of similar legislation.
“I’m part of the coalition, but I never agreed to vote against what I and my voters believe,” Abesadze explained.
Abesadze said she represents the “democratic, liberal branch” in Kadima, and anyone who shares those values should have voted in favor of civil marriages and criminalizing discrimination against women.
Tibayev said he “cannot change my opinions all at once, just because we suddenly joined the opposition. This was a good bill that fit Kadima’s agenda.”
Many Kadima MKs who were outspoken against discrimination against women were absent from the vote, Tibayev pointed out.
“I hoped our people would vote in favor of the bill,” he added. “I did what I thought was right.”