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.

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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.”

Israel Political Brief May 6, 2012: PM Benjamin Netanyahu Announces Early Elections for September at Likud Convention — Launches Campaign

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

 

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

Photos: Ohas Zwigenberg, Ofer Amram, Haim Tzach, Ido Erez

Netanyahu seeks early elections in 4 months

Prime minister says short election campaign is preferable for sake of restoring political stability, stops short of naming September 4 as vote’s date

Source: YNet News, 5-6-12

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday addressed for the first time the prospect of early elections stressing his desire to hold the Knesset elections as soon as possible. Netanyahu did not name the exact date of the elections, estimated to take place on September 4, but stated that “a short 4-month campaign is preferable for the sake of political stability.”

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Speaking at the Likud convention in Tel Aviv, the prime minister added that political instability invariably leads to extortion and populism that harm security, the economy and society. “I will not allow a campaign of a year and a half that will harm the country,” he said.

In a typical election speech, Netanyahu took a jab at his rivals, particularly Labor Chairwoman Shelly Yachimovich. “The State of Israel cannot afford to have a prime minister devoid of political, economic and security experience. That is the necessary combination,” he said.
עדיף מערכת בחירות קצרה. בנימין נתניהו (צילום: מוטי קמחי)

Benjamin Netanyahu (photo: Moti Kimchi)

He opened his speech by thanking the citizens of Israel for their condolences following the death of his father Prof. Benzion Netanyahu.

He listed his government’s achievements. “We have systematically hurt many of those who sought to hurt us. We both initiated and responded with determination to any attack. With the help of the Iron Dome system and the border fence we have proven we handle security with power and discretion,” he said.

Netanyahu also mentioned the return of former captive soldier Gilad Shalit and noted various achievements in the economy, education and housing

Addressing the Iranian threat, Netanyahu said that the world is standing behind efforts against the Iranian nuclear program, largely due to Israel’s activity. He pledged not to ease up on pressure before the threat is lifted.

“There is much more that needs to be done in all areas, including replacing the Tal Law with a new bill that will divide the burden in a just and equal manner. We shall search for opportunities to promote peace with our neighbors and defend our people’s vital interests,” he said.

The prime minister expressed confidence that the Likud will win the Knesset elections and form the next government. “God willing we shall form as wide a government as possible and continue to lead the country with vigor to ensure the future of the Jewish people in the land of Israel forever.”

Netanyahu was expected to be appointed convention president in order to approve a line of procedural changes in the party, but ultimately, and following a commotion involving Likud members, it was decided to not to hold the vote for the convention presidency on Sunday.

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