Skip to comments.Labor members vote in favor of joining Likud-led gov't (Israel)
Posted on 03/24/2009 11:31:30 AM PDT by Squidpup
Labor members voted in favor of Defense Minister Ehud Barak's proposal for the party to join a Likud-led government during Tuesday night's convention at Tel Aviv's Exhibition Grounds.
1,071 party members attended the convention, with 58 percent voting in favor of the decision and 42% voting against it - a margin of 165 votes.
Before the vote, Barak vowed that his party would have a significant position in the coalition.
"I am not afraid of [Prime Minister-designate] Binyamin Netanyahu. We won't be anyone's fig leaf or anyone's third wheel," the Labor leader said.
We will act as an opposing force that will prevent the creation of a narrow right-wing government, but rather a proper government that cares for the state of Israel," Barak insisted in a speech that was met with a chorus of boos.
Histadrut head Ofer Eini, a member of the Labor negotiating team, cited the economic crisis to justify his support for the party joining a Likud-led government.
"On a daily basis, I deal with the reality of the deep economic crisis that is unprecedented in Israel's history," he told the convention. "You are a socio-democratic party and that is your role. The public that once voted for you is waiting for you to make it top priority."
Welfare and Social Services Minister Isaac Herzog's speech was also met by boos from the crowd after he declared that he was in favor of joining the government.
"I believe Labor has something extra in its DNA called surplus national responsibility," he said. "Every citizen here knows exactly where the country is at. When it became clear that we would get a significant partnership in the country's leadership, on a level I never imagined, I voted in favor."
Labor MK Shelly Yacimovich warned that joining the coalition would further erode Labor's already flagging support by making it an accessory to a hard-line government.
"We are entering this government as a third wheel, as a wagging tail, not more than that," she said.
MK Ophir Paz-Pines, another opponent of joining the government, said that Yitzhak Rabin, Golda Meir and Moshe Sharett were "turning in their graves," adding that Labor had been given an opportunity to continue their path.
"You didn't get the mandate to throw Labor to the garbage bin of history," he exclaimed, turning to Barak.
Labor and Likud signed the fundamentals of a coalition agreement earlier Tuesday after Barak and Netanyahu came to agreements on a number of issues.
Among the many clauses included in the agreement were political, economic, educational and security issues.
According to the deal, Israel would work toward the formation of a comprehensive regional arrangement for peace and for economic cooperation in the Middle East. It also stipulates that Israel would be committed to all national and international agreements that were signed by former Israeli governments.
It states that the government would work toward achieving peace agreements with all of its neighbors and that the defense minister would be a full partner in the peace process and a member of any limited forum for decision-making in the diplomatic, security and economic fields. The government would operate to enforce the law in the illegal outposts as well as in the illegal Palestinian constructions, it continues.
It was agreed further that the government would secure within 30 days of its inauguration, together with the Histadrut and the employers, an emergency economic plan for dealing with the financial crisis, solutions for reducing number of laid off workers, solutions for the credit crunch as well as initiatives for stimulating economic growth.
The agreement further stated that the government would act to restrict the Economic Arrangements Law and that the government would allocate budgets for infrastructural projects and for establishing research and development centers.
It was also agreed that Labor would receive five portfolios; Defense, Industry, Trade and Labor, Agriculture, Welfare and Social Services and one minister without portfolio who will be in charge of minorities' affairs. It would also get the deputy defense minister, and one Labor member would head each one of the statutory Knesset committees - Education, Absorption and the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee - for a third of a tenure and not simultaneously.
The two sides also agreed that Netanyahu would not be the one to appoint Labor ministers to the portfolios, but Barak would do so.
Unbelievable. The right in Israel is as bad as the right in this country. What a bunch of wussies. You won, screw the left!
note they are joining with Labor, which came in 4th place instead of joining with Kadima, which came in 1st. I sense a little strategery going on
“You didn’t get the mandate to throw Labor to the garbage bin of history,” he exclaimed, turning to Barak.
sounds like they’ve been screwed
Ehud Barak is an experienced man, and good to have in the room if a vote for war is needed. Barak has an MS in enineering from Stanford, while Bibi has his BS and MS from MIT. These are smart guys, and they’ll do the best they can in a very tough situation.
Oh they're smart all right, but what "best" they do will depend upon whom they are working for. Ben's history is salted with key advancements he owes directly to American globalists and the Labor Party, over he objections of the Likud.
Bibi has a record: he’s for free markets, low taxes, and free trade. But right now the problem for Israel is staying alive, and Ehud Barak is a good guy to have on board.
I suggest you do the homework on his background.
If you'd like to be on or off, please FR mail me.
"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus
I agree on Ehud Barak. He is an excellent Defense Minister. His conduct of the latest operation in Gaza (not the political decision to withdraw prematurely) attests to his expertise.
I think Kadima is more dangerous to Likud than Labor hence this strategy. The mood in the country now vis a vis ‘peace’ is not so different on the left.
Who is “Ben?”
The mantra of the MSM, aped on FR, that Israel is moving ‘right’ has been simply wrong from the start. Israel is moving left by any definition, just like the USA, and for the same reason: When the right achieves power, it doesn’t deliver.
I think you’ve got a key point there. There’s a stereotype in USA of Israelis as tough, fighting off those terrorists and surrounded by Arabs. But I know lots of Israelis, their country’s left is just like ours, they have large numbers of people with the same mentality of appeasement, peace at any price, the Palestinians are really nice people who have been pushed to extremes by poverty and suffering, cooperate internationally to avoid war, etc. Hard to believe when they have seen Arab violence so much more frequently and so much more up close, not to mention the UN prejudice, yet as you say, if the right does not fully exercise its principles and thereby prove the efficacy of those principles, credibility is eventually lost.