Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Olmert Government Loses A Major Coalition Partner

Israeli PM Ehud olmert's shaky coalition in the Israeli Knesset lost a major parner as Avigdor Leiberman and Israel Beiteinu party's 11 members quit the government today.He's now calling for new elections.

Lieberman, leader of the party, had told Olmert on several occasions that he and his party would quit the government if issues like dividing Jerusalem were put on the table.

"I want to thank Ehud Olmert for his candor, we have always been open with one another," Lieberman said at a press conference on Wednesday morning. "It was obvious that we would not agree on fundamental issues."

"Approximately a week before [the] Annapolis [conference] we put out a document [with our] red lines. We delineated in the clearest possible fashion what we are willing to abide with and what we cannot [accept]. Two days before Annapolis, I met with Olmert in his home and reiterated our red lines."

This brings Olmert down to a bare 7 vote majority in the 120 member Knesset.

Another member of Olmert's coalition, Shas is also threatening to walk.The party's mentor, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, issued a directive Tuesday for it to leave the coalition the minute Olmert starts negotiations on Jerusalem, and party chairman Eli Yishai has concurred.If Shas defects, that would leave Olmert's coalition with only 55 MK's, not a majority. Unfortunately, if the far-Left party Meretz votes with Olmert's government, that adds another five votes for a 60-60 tie ( including the ten Knesset members of the Arab parties),which means that Leftist speaker Dahlia Itzick from Olmert's own Kadima party would cast the tie breaking vote.

And yes, Olmert would definitely try to railroad something through without holding a popular referendum in Israel on it.

Part of the reason thi soccured now, I'm convinced is because President Bush made a point of shilling for Olmert with the Knesset members while he was in israel, calling Olmert a great leader and urging the Knesset to protect him and keep him in power.A number of Israeli Knesset members saw Bush's interceding on behalf of the unpopular Olmert as blatant interference in Israeli domestic politics - which it was.

To add to the mix, at the end of this month the long awaited Winograd report on the Lebanon War comes out, and it is expected to be quite harsh to Olmert, as it should be.Before he became defense minister and joined the Olmert government, Labor Party leader Ehud Barak vowed to quit the government if this report were negative an dhis party, with 19 seats is divided over Labor leaving the government. If they do,The Olmert government will fall and Israel goes to new elections.

And there's also the possibility of a defection by some of Kadima's 29 members.

This might signify the beginning of the end for Israel's Ehud Olmert - at long last.And hopefully, the start of some quality time in a prison cell.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Here is a blog of a survivor of one of those Islamofascist bombings in Israel.

She shows such courage. And it is because of this kind of courage that we will defeat the Islamofascists.