Israel Political Brief May 7, 2012: Last Minute Unity Government Agreement Between PM Benjamin Netanyahu & Opposition, Kadima Leader MK Shaul Mofaz Removes Need for Election

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

Last Minute Unity Government Removes Need for Election

PM Netanyahu and Opposition leader Mofaz form a unity government, removing the need for elections.
Netanyahu at the Knesset, May 7, 2012

Netanyahu at the Knesset, May 7, 2012
Reuters

Just hours after the Knesset approved the first reading of a bill to dissolve itself and hold elections, it appears as though no early elections will be held.

Kol Yisrael radio reported that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Opposition leader MK Shaul Mofaz have reached an agreement to form a national unity government.

According to the report, the Likud and Kadima parties converged at 2:00 a.m. (Israel time), and the members of both factions are being updated on the meetings between Netanyahu and Mofaz. It was also reported that Mofaz is expected to be appointed either a minister without portfolio or Homefront Defense Minister, a position recently vacated by MK Matan Vilnai (Independence).

It was also reported that the agreement reached between the Likud and Kadima calls for the Tal Law for the recruitment of hareidim into the army to be replaced by the end of July. Netanyahu and Mofaz will head a team which will be tasked with forming the new law.

In addition, Kadima has promised to remain in the coalition until the end of its term in November 2013. Also, it was agreed between the parties that by the end of December, a law changing the Israeli system of governemtn will be put to a vote. According to reports, the talks between Netanyahu and Mofaz went on for several days.

A unity government is likely to harm the Labor Party, which has gained strength in the polls, as well as Yair Lapid’s party, as he will now have to wait until the current Knesset completes its term in order to run.

A unity government would definitely help Kadima which, according to all polls, was set to suffer a dramatic blow in the next election….READ MORE

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Israel Political Brief May 7, 2012: PM Benjamin Netanyahu Reaches Unity Government Agreement with Kadima’s Shaul Mofaz — Cancels Early Elections

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

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Israeli media: Early election canceled

Source: AP, 5-7-12

Israeli media reports early Tuesday indicate that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reached an agreement with the Kadima opposition party for a unity government, canceling an early election.

There was no immediate comment from official sources on the decision that was reported at about 02:00 A.M. local time.

The reports came as Israel’s parliament held debates long into the night over whether to disperse ahead of early elections called for the fall.

Earlier in the day, the Israeli government proposed the election be moved up to Sept. 4.

The election had originally been set for 2013.

According to the reports, Netanyahu forged an agreement with opposition leader Shaul Mofaz of Kadima a short while before parliament was set to vote to disperse.

Reports said Kadima agreed to join Netanyahu’s government on condition it supports a proposal about military deferment for Ultra-Orthodox Jews. The issue was one of the main reasons Netanyahu decided to bring forward the election date….READ MORE

 

Israel Political Brief May 7, 2012: President Shimon Peres Praises Israeli-Canadian Relations in Ottawa

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

Peres Touts Israeli-Canadian Relations in Ottawa

President Shimon Peres praised Canada’s long friendship with Israel as he conducts a series of working meetings with leaders there.

Source: Israel National News, 5-7-12

Shimon Peres Reviews the Honor Guard
Shimon Peres Reviews the Honor Guard

מארק ניימן\לע”מ

Canadian Governor-General David Johnston welcomed President Shimon Peres to Canada on Monday.

The two men followed protocol by reviewing the ceremonial honor guard that greeted Peres with a 21 gun salute and issuing joint statements, before holding a working meeting.

“I thank you for your invitation to visit your special country,” Peres said, speaking in French. “I carry with me Jerusalem’s deep gratitude to Ottawa for the enduring friendship that you showed us as close kin in the family of nations.”

Later, Peres said, “I visited Canada for the first time 60 years ago in search of a means to defend our country, and for friendship, and to open the doors of peace. I found these here, in Canada.”

“Ever since, I have carried in my heart the feeling that Canada is land which is friendly, supporting, and caring towards Israel. I have never felt Canada is indifferent,” he explained.

Peres added, “A visit to Canada is an opportunity to strengthen a very special relationship. Relations between countries are important and promising, as well as our commitment to ensure we live in days of peace, prosperity and growth.”

As Governor-General in Canada, Johnston fills a role as Ottawa’s federal vice regal representative of Canada’s monarch, Queen Elizabeth II.

His role is similar to that performed by Peres in Israel, but he also executes the constitutional duties of monarch in Canada, which remains a part of the British Commonwealth.

Johnston was appointed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper with Queen Elizabeth II’s consent.

Later, Peres is expected to hold a private working meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Afterward, he will attend an official lunch in honor of his visit with government ministers at the Canadian Parliament.

He is expected to discuss political issues including recent developments in the Iranian nuclear program, changes in the Middle East, and political relations between Israel and its neighbors.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government has been highly supportive of Israel in the international arena.

Israel Political Brief May 7, 2012: Israel’s Cabinet dissolves Knesset — Calls new elections for September 4

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

Israel’s Knesset dissolved, new elections called for Sept. 4

Source: JTA, 5-7-12

Israel’s Cabinet agreed to hold early elections for the 19th Knesset on Sept. 4.

The Cabinet on Sunday authorized the Ministerial Committee on Legislation to submit a law for Knesset approval to hold the vote on that day.

New elections did not need to occur before October 2013, the official end of the current Knesset’s term.

“I would have been very happy if we could have completed the term, which was also my goal, but it is no secret that with the start of the government’s fourth year, the coalition is fraying somewhat,” Netanyahu said at the start of the Cabinet meeting. “It therefore seems to me that the right thing to do is to go for a brief election campaign.”

“We are proposing Sept. 4, after which, God and voters willing, we will receive a mandate, create stability and successfully lead the State of Israel in dealing with the great challenges we still face.”

Netanyahu said he intends to form “as broad a government as possible” following the upcoming elections. Current polling data shows that his Likud Party could garner up to 30 seats, up from its current 27, in the next election.

Netanyahu was embarrassed Sunday night at his party’s convention, where he had hoped to be elected president of the Likud Central Committee in order to determine who will be chosen to fill the new Knesset seats.

Hundreds of Central Committee members signed a petition calling for a secret ballot for the vote; an open vote reportedly would have increased the chances of Netanyahu being elected. Lawmaker Danny Danon will challenge Netanyahu for the position.

The vote for president of the Likud Central Committee was delayed. Likud primaries are expected to be held in early June.

Full Text Israel Political Brief May 7, 2012: PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s Remarks at the Start of the Weekly Cabinet Meeting — Calling for Early Elections in September

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

PM Netanyahu’s Remarks at the Start of the Weekly Cabinet Meeting

Source: PMO, 5-7-12

Following are Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s remarks at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting today :

“I have asked Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch and Israel Police Inspector-General Yohanan Danino to brief the Cabinet on the recent shocking incidents that have torn at Israelis’ hearts.  We have witnessed very, very difficult scenes and we know that everything must be done in order to eradicate them.

I have full confidence in Minister Aharonovitch, Insp.-Gen. Danino and in the Israel Police, in their ability to do this.  We will be briefed on the actions that have been taken and that will be taken.  We know that there has been a 30% drop in murders as well as a decline in street brawls, but these extreme and brutal incidents underscore the recognition that must act with all strength against this wildness, this violence, these murders – and we will do so.  We will continue to do so.

I would also like to congratulate French President-elect Francois Hollande.  Relations between Israel and France have always been friendly.  They will remain such and I look forward to meeting with him in order to continue this link, which is important both bilaterally and internationally.

I would also like to tell my friends here, to tell all ministers, that our working together has led to exemplary achievements for the State of Israel.  I think that in all areas we can count very major achievements for the Government thanks to our joint work, vision, cooperation and political stability.  Political stability was a very important component in this success because for three years ministers dealt with solutions, not elections.

I think that the State of Israel has not had such a stable Government in decades.  But it is no secret that with the start of the government’s fourth year, the coalition’s stability is fraying somewhat, and that there has also been a lack of stability between and within the parties.  Instability leads to extortion and populism – and these harm the main aspects of our lives: Defense, economics, and society.  We live in a country that needs political stability.  I would have been very happy if we could have completed the term, which was also my goal.  To my regret, this instability is calling this into question; therefore, it seems to me that the right thing to do is to go for a brief election campaign.

We are proposing September 4, after which, God and voters willing, we will receive a mandate.  I intend to form as broad a government as possible in order to create stability and successfully lead the State of Israel against the great challenges we still face.

Thank you very much.”

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