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Thread: Israel's Right-Wing Party To Join Olmert Coalition Government

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2005

    Israel's Right-Wing Party To Join Olmert Coalition Government

    Israel's right-wing party to join Olmert coalition government


    Avigdor Lieberman, leader of Israel's right-wing and immigrant-dominant party Yisrael Beiteinu, announced Monday that his party will join the current coalition government headed by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

    "We are joining the government", Lieberman told reporters after meeting with Olmert, adding, "I hope that by tomorrow morning, a document will be put together."

    Olmert, on his part, said that he planned to appoint Lieberman as one of his deputy prime ministers to deal with "strategic threats against Israel".

    "I assume this issue will be finalized and it will be able to be brought for full approval of the Knesset (parliament)," Olmert said.

    Yisrael Beiteinu, or "Israel Our Home", would bring 11 Knesset (parliament) seats into the coalition, making the Olmert government control 78 of 120 parliamentary seats.

    Such a majority would ensure enough support in important parliamentary votes, including the 2007 budget. The government would collapse if the budget failed to be passed by March.

    Olmert said the inclusion of Lieberman in the government would not result in any policy changes.

    However, some feared that renewing peace talks with the Palestinians may be hindered after Lieberman joined in the coalition for his long hawkish positions on the issue.

    Lieberman, 48, has long taken a tough line toward the Palestinians as well as Israel's own Arab minority.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  2. #2
    Partridge Guest
    Good fucking god!

    "taken a tough line toward the Palestinians as well as Israel's own Arab minority" - This is like announcing in 1932 that "Mr. Hitler has long taken a tough line towards the Jews internationally, as well as Germany's own Jews".

    Fuck CNN. This guy is vocal on his desire to expel Israel's arab population (1.2 million people, 20% of the population), annex all the lands conquered by illegal Israeli settlements in the 'Oslo period', and create a "bantustan state" for the Palestinians, with as far as I can see, the hope that the arabs will eventually get so fucked off that they'll leave 'voluntarily' and Israel can annex the rest of the land that is "rightfully theirs". Of course, many, if not all, in the current Israeli cabinet (and ruling class) share this view - they just don't admit it so openly. Unlike Lieberman. But we see right here that even when Israeli politicians do openly admit their plans, CNN still doesn't acknowledge it!

    Some analysis:

    Uri Avnery - Ehud Olmert - Israel's von Papen? (Gush Shalom)

    Gideon Levy - Lieberman to power (Haaretz)

    Ali Abunimah - World silent as fascists join Israel government (Electronic Intifada)

    Even the editorial team of Haaretz is up in arms - Lieberman is a strategic threat, while Arab MKs of the Labour party have threaned to quit the coalition over the appointment. And it's interesting that Lieberman will be appointed "Minister for Strategic Threats" (ie, Minister for Whipping up Fervor Against Iran), as a dispute broke out in the Knesst (Israeli parliament) today in which a Meretz MK proclaimed that "poverty is a bigger strategic threat than Iran".

    Finally, from this evening's Jerusalem Post:

    Despite vocal opposition from Arab Knesset members, Itzik said, the Knesset would vote immediately after the Id al-Fitr holiday that marks the end of Ramadan. However, out of respect for Muslims, the vote would take place late in the evening.

    MK Dov Khenin (Hadash) lashed out at Itzik for the decision, saying that "holding this vote on Id al-Fitr is the equivalent of holding it on a Jewish holiday like Simhat Torah or Rosh Hashana. It's a disgrace and disrespectful to Muslims, especially since it is Lieberman, who has been so disrespectful to Muslims, who is being voted in." Khenin added that despite his party's opposition, he and other Hadash members would be present for vote.Tibi said the vote was a sign of the new anti-Muslim and racist line the government was taking.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    I don't think this is CNN?
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  4. #4
    Partridge Guest
    My mistake, I saw people ... cn

    This is from China's people daily! Fuck!

  5. #5
    Partridge Guest
    I must offer my apologies to CNN, kind of.

    Tucked away in their "world section", with the simple headline "Olmert" (yes, that's all), they ran the following story, albeit from AP, not CNN itself.

    JERUSALEM (AP) -- Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, in a bid for political survival, struck an alliance Monday with a hard-liner who has called for stripping Israeli Arabs of citizenship, executing lawmakers for talking to Hamas and bombing Palestinian population centers.

    Taking the hawkish Yisrael Beiteinu party into the government would shore up Olmert's coalition, weakened badly by the war with Hezbollah, but probably ends any hope for a unilateral Israeli withdrawal from much of the West Bank.

    Yisrael Beiteinu's leader, Avigdor Lieberman, announced the deal Monday after meeting Olmert. "We are joining the government," the smiling Lieberman said.

    Olmert said as deputy prime minister, Lieberman would be responsible for "strategic threats," such as Iran's nuclear ambitions. His appointment must be approved by parliament, a step seen as a formality.

    Lieberman, 48, entered the political stage a decade ago as a top aide to then-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He quickly gained a reputation as a powerful behind-the-scenes mover widely detested for his strong-arm tactics.

    He has grown into a potent political force, in large part because of his popularity with Israel's sizable community of immigrants from the former Soviet Union. Lieberman, a former bar bouncer, immigrated to Israel from the Soviet republic of Moldova in 1978 and still speaks with a Russian accent.

    Lieberman's comments about Arabs have made him one of Israel's most divisive figures.

    At the height of fighting against Palestinians in 2002, Lieberman, then a Cabinet minister, called for the bombing of Palestinian gas stations, banks and commercial centers.

    More recently, he advocated trading Israeli Arab towns for West Bank settlements -- in effect stripping Israeli Arabs of citizenship -- and called for the execution of Israeli Arab lawmakers who met with leaders of Hamas, which is running the Palestinian government. Such positions have drawn accusations of racism.

    But with his coalition weakened by harsh criticism of this summer's war, Olmert had little choice but to look past Lieberman's liabilities. On Monday, Olmert's spokeswoman, Miri Eisin, dismissed Lieberman's past stances as rhetoric.

    Speaking to reporters Monday, Lieberman questioned the wisdom of past peace deals where Israel ceded captured land to Arab adversaries. "Maybe we should ask if we should go in a different direction," he said.

    Dovish Israelis were enraged. Yossi Beilin, leader of the Meretz Party, accused Olmert of "defrauding voters" by striking a deal with Lieberman. Olmert was elected this year on a platform of a unilateral withdrawal from much of the West Bank, but he shelved the plan in the aftermath of the war against Hezbollah. Lieberman quit a previous government over his rejection of Israel's pullout from Gaza last year.

    With Yisrael Beiteinu and its 11 seats in the coalition, Olmert now controls 78 of 120 seats in parliament, guaranteeing success in crucial parliamentary votes.

    "A government must have a stable majority, and we must set the rules for securing this, and a wide political base that would shield it," Olmert said.

    Saeb Erekat, a confidant of the moderate Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, termed the development an internal Israeli affair.

    "At the end of the day, what we hoped for is to have a partner in Israel who is willing to revive a meaningful peace process that will end this miserable situation between our two peoples," Erekat said.

    Olmert said the inclusion of Lieberman in the government would not result in any policy changes. However, many moderate Israelis expressed concern that Lieberman will have a say in sensitive matters, such as Israel's dealing with the threat of a nuclear Iran.

    "He's bringing an unguided missile, a loose cannon, into his government," said analyst Yossi Alpher. "This says something very worrisome to me about Olmert's way of handing out security portfolios."

    One of the prices for Lieberman's inclusion was the Cabinet's narrow endorsement Sunday of a proposal to replace Israel's parliamentary rule with a U.S.-style system.

    The proposal would include direct election of the prime minister and granting him broader powers. It also would raise the bar for parliamentary representation so high that smaller parties -- such as those representing Israeli Arabs -- would be hard-pressed to win seats. The ceremonial presidency would be eliminated.

    Under the current system, the prime minister is elected as head of a party slate and is forced to fight for political survival by cobbling together coalition deals with smaller parties. Lieberman says his proposal would bring much-needed stability to Israel, which has been forced to hold elections five times over the past decade.

    Olmert agreed to support Cabinet endorsement of the proposal to appease Lieberman, but said Monday he would not vote for it in parliament. It is not expected to win parliamentary approval, in part because of many lawmakers' misgivings about Lieberman.

    "It won't go anywhere," said political commentator Hanan Crystal. "He has a very problematic persona."

    Despite misgivings about Lieberman, Olmert's main coalition partner, the Labor Party, appeared disinclined to bolt the government. Labor's central committee is expected to make a decision this week.

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