Israel Political Brief March 7, 2013: Yesh Atid, Habayit Hayehudi & Kadima parties form bloc

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Yesh Atid, Jewish Home and Kadima parties form bloc

Source: JTA, 3-7-13

The Yesh Atid, Jewish Home and Kadima parties have formed a bloc and say they will enter Israel’s government coalition only if their demands are met….READ MORE

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Israel Political Brief January 24, 2013: Elections 2013: Final Israeli vote: Jewish Home gains a seat to give right wing a majority with 61 Seats

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Final Israeli vote: Jewish Home gains a seat to give right wing a majority

Source: JTA, 1-24-13

The Jewish Home party gained one seat in the final results of Israeli voting, pushing the right-wing bloc to a majority in the 19th Knesset….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief December 6, 2012: Elections 2013: Kadima crumbles, Labor emphasizes social issues and Likud still dominates

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Kadima crumbles, Labor emphasizes social issues and Likud still dominates

Source: JTA, 12-6-12

Ahead of Israeli elections on Jan. 22, the political opposition to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has become more fragmented, and the focus of Likud’s primary rival has been more on social issues than security….READ MORE 

Israel Political Brief August 16, 2012: Knesset confirms Avi Dichter as home front defense chief

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Knesset confirms Dichter as home front chief

Source: JTA, 8-16-12

Israel’s Knesset approved the appointment of former lawmaker Avi Dichter as home front defense minister….READ MORE

 

Israel Political Brief August 14, 2012: Avi Dichter quits Knesset to take home front defense ministerial position

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Dichter quits Knesset to take home front defense ministerial position

Source: JTA, 8-14-12

Israeli lawmaker Avi Dichter resigned from the Kadima Party and the Knesset in order to join the government as minister of home front defense….READ MORE

 

Israel Political Brief July 23, 2012: Four Kadima Members Leave Party

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Four Kadima members leave party

Source: JTA, 7-23-12

Four Kadima Party members have quit the party, Kadima chief Shaul Mofaz said….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief July 17, 2012: Israeli Political Constellation Realigns as Kadima Quits Government

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Israeli political constellation realigns as Kadima quits government

Source: JTA, 7-17-12

For the second time in just two months, the Israeli political universe was upended when Shaul Mofaz’s Kadima Party voted to quit Israel’s governing coalition.

Kadima’s departure, the result of a breakdown in negotiations over reforming Israel’s military draft law to include haredi Orthodox Jews, shatters the 94-seat super-majority that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu controlled in the 120-seat Knesset.

It also raises questions for the future of Kadima, Israel’s draft and the timing of new elections….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief July 17, 2012: Excerpt from PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s Letter to Shaul Mofaz on Kadima’s Vote to Exit Unity Coalition Government

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Following is an excerpt from the letter that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent to Shaul Mofaz:

“I regret your decision to give up on an opportunity to make an historic change. After 64 years, we were very close to a substantial change in the division of the burden. I gave you a proposal that would have led to the conscription of ultra-orthodox and Arabs from the age of 18. I explained to you that the only way to implement this on the ground is gradually and without tearing Israeli society apart, especially at a time when the State of Israel is facing many significant challenges. I will continue to work toward the responsible solution that Israeli society expects.”

Israel Political Brief July 17, 2012: Kadima Party Votes to Quit Israeli Goverment Coalition

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Kadima Party votes to quit Israeli gov’t

Source: JTA, 7-17-12

The Kadima Party voted to quit Israel’s government coalition….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief July 17, 2012: Shaul Mofaz Surrenders; Unity Coalition Lasted 10 Weeks — Kadima Leaves Coalition Government

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Mofaz Surrenders; Unity Coalition Lasted 10 Weeks

The national unity coalition born nine weeks ago is dead, but the government lives as it did before Kadima left the Opposition.
Shaul Mofaz - back in the Opposition

Shaul Mofaz – back in the Opposition
Israel news photo: Flash 90

The national unity coalition born nine weeks ago is dead, but the government lives with a solid majority of 65 Knesset Members, as it did before Kadima left the Opposition.

Party chairman Shaul Mofaz announced Tuesday evening that the party faction voted 24-3 to pull out of the coalition because of what he said was Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s failure to live up a supposed agreement on changes in the draft law.

Although the concept of universal draft is the ostensible issue, Mofaz has used it is a ploy to try to boost his weakened party, but his see-saw political maneuvers may leave him as the loser. Likud officials received his announcement with comments of “goodbye and we will not meet again.”…READ MORE

Israel Political Brief May 17, 2012: New Poll: Kadima Crashing from 28 to 3 Knesset Seats

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Poll: Kadima Crashing to 3 Knesset Seats

Kadima would crash from 28 Knesset seats to 3 if elections were held today, Knesset Channel poll says.
MK Shaul Mofaz

MK Shaul Mofaz
Flash 90

Kadima, the largest faction in the present Knesset, would crash from 28 seats to just 3 if elections were held today, according to a new poll conducted by the Panels Institute for the Knesset Channel.

The party was expected to lose much of its power in the next elections but the extremely unfavorable poll appears to be a direct result of the deal that party leader Shaul Mofaz recently made with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, in which Kadima entered the coalition.

Polls held shortly after that deal showed Mofaz losing popularity.

Many of the seats lost by Kadima would go to the newly formed Yesh Atid party headed by journalist Yair Lapid. The poll gives Lapid 17 MKs.

Likud is at 30 Knesset seats, more or less as it has been in other recent polls. Labor reaches 20 seats and becomes the second-largest party.

Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beytenu receives 12 seats, Shas – which currently has 11 – gets only 6, United Torah Judaism stays with the current 5, the National Union climbs to 9 and the Jewish Home receives 3.

Meretz doubles its power to receive 6 seats.

The projection gives the so-called right-religious bloc 62 seats and makes a Likud-coalition with more Lapid likely.

Israel Political Brief May 11, 2012: Next Week: Acting Prime Minister Shaul Mofaz — PM Benjamin Netanyahu will be in Prague

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Next Week: Acting Prime Minister Shaul Mofaz

With Binyamin Netanyahu headed for Prague next week, Shaul Mofaz will be occupying the Prime Minister’s chair.
Source: Israel National News, 5-11-12
Shaul Mofaz

Shaul Mofaz
Flash 90

Newly dubbed Vice Premier and Minister Without Portfolio Shaul Mofaz (Kadima) is wasting no time in trying out Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s chair.

Mofaz will serve as acting Prime Minister when Netanyahu flies to Prague for a two-day visit next Thursday.

The coalition agreement that ushered Kadima into Netanyahu’s Likud-run government stipulated that Mofaz fill the largely symbolic role when the Prime Minister is abroad.

The title of vice premier is has no legal status, whereas the title of vice prime minister – also symbolic – allows for succession without elections should the prime minister be incapacitated.

For Mofaz the position of vice premier means a reduced protection detail, a less prestigious car and a reduction in diplomatic precedence. As opposition leader, visiting foreign leaders were required to meet with him. As vice premier, they are not.

Mofaz explained his decision to enter the coalition as “a historic opportunity to make meaningful steps for the good of the public,” and dismissed criticism saying “there are times when the leadership must make decisions even if they seem unpopular.”

Kadima’s joining the government gives Netanyahu a 94-seat super-coalition with a stated mission of replacing the Tal Law and restructuring Israel’s electoral system and government in such a way as to “provide stability.”

“In my view, it would have been irresponsible to miss this opportunity,” Mofaz said. “The responsibility is on me, and me alone. Let me be judged by my results – I will stand the test.”

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

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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

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

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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 April 30, 2012: Early elections likely for Israel

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Early elections likely for Israel

Source: JTA, 4-30-12

Israeli elections are likely to come a year earlier than scheduled.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly has asked his advisers to look into holding new national elections in August or September, according to Ynet. October, right after the High Holidays, also is a possibility, according to reports.

There has been no official announcement of early elections.

The reasons for early elections include Netanyahu’s desire to consolidate his position ahead of U.S. elections in November, as well as the looming coalition crisis over the Tal Law, which gives military deferments for full-time yeshiva students.

Polls have shown that Netanyahu’s Likud Party would gain more seats in early elections.

Israel Political Brief March 28, 2012: Shaul Mofaz decisively defeats Tzipi Livni wins Kadima Party leadership vote

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Mofaz beats Livni for Kadima leadership

Source: JTA, 3-28-12

Shaul Mofaz decisively defeated Tzipi Livni to become the new leader of Israel’s Kadima Party.

Mofaz received 62 percent of the vote in Tuesday’s Kadima primary to unseat Livni as the leader of Israel’s main opposition party. Forty-five percent of the party’s 95,000 registered members voted in the primary.

The Iranian-born Mofaz is a former chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces. Mofaz and Livni, who both were members of the right-wing Likud Party before joining Kadima, have been fierce rivals for the past several years. In 2008 Livni narrowly beat Mofaz to become Kadima’s leader. Previous party heads were founder Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert.

In a late-night victory speech, Mofaz called on Livni to remain in the party, saying “Tzipi, your place is with us.”

Recent polls suggested that Kadima, which has 28 seats in the current Knesset, likely will see its support plunge dramatically in the next elections. That would be the case, the polls noted, regardless of whether Mofaz or Livni was the party’s leader.

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