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

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

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

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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

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

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

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

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

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

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 July 11, 2012: Finger Pointing Erupts Amid Plesner-Yaalon ‘Failure’ with New Haredi Military Draft Law

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

Finger Pointing Erupts Amid Plesner-Yaalon ‘Failure’

Kadima continues to threaten to leave the gov’t if it doesn’t have its way in writing the new draft law; Likud says sides very close.
Shaul Mofaz

Shaul Mofaz
Flash 90

Finger pointing dominated the domestic agenda in Jerusalem on Wednesday as an ad-hoc Likud-Kadima working group failed to find a mutually acceptable alternative to the controverisal Tal Law….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief July 8, 2012: Deputy PM Shaul Mofaz Head of Team Appointed to Write New Military Draft law in Israel

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

Team appointed to write new military draft law in Israel

Source: JTA, 7-8-12

Deputy Prime Minister Shaul Mofaz will be part of the three-member team to write an Israeli law on equality in military and national service.

Mofaz and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed on the team, which was announced Sunday. The team will formulate the law on haredi Orthodox military service based on recommendations of the Plesner committee, which Netanyahu dissolved less than a week ago citing the number of members who quit. The committee issued its preliminary findings despite the dissolution….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief July 6, 2012: PM Benjamin Netanyahu Wants Two Teams to Examine Universal Draft Alternatives

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

Netanyahu wants two teams to examine draft alternatives

Source: JTA, 7-6-12

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that he has ordered the formulation of two teams to examine universal draft alternatives….READ MORE 

Full Text Israel Political Brief May 13, 2012: PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s Remarks at the Start of the Weekly Cabinet Meeting, 150th Meeting, 1st with Unity Government — Discussed Tal Law & Ethiopian Immigrants

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

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

Source: PMO, 5-13-12

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

“Good morning.

Indeed, this is our 150th Cabinet meeting, with very many accomplishments and activity behind us.  But this is also the first meeting of the broad unity government, with many tasks yet before us.  On behalf of all ministers, I welcome Shaul Mofaz as a government minister and welcome the Kadima MKs that have joined the coalition.

In the talks between us, we set four main goals for the broad unity government: Changing the Tal Law, changing the electoral system, passing the budget and advancing the peace process.  This week, an inter-party team will be formed to present us with alternatives to the Tal Law.  By the end of July, we will pass a law that will divide the burden on a more equal, more egalitarian and more just basis for all Israelis, Jewish and Arab alike, without setting public against public.

Soon, we will also establish a team to lead the change in the electoral system and we will begin to formulate a responsible – I emphasize responsible – budget.  We have done so up until now and we will continue to do so in the future, in the manner that has well maintained the Israeli economy in the face of the unprecedented global economic crisis.

Last night, my special envoy, attorney Isaac Molho, met with Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas.  I hope that we will be able to advance the dialogue between the sides in order to resume the diplomatic talks.

Today, we will submit to the Government a comprehensive plan to improve the absorption of Ethiopian immigrants.  I have personally met with their representatives, from the religious leaders to young people and I am deeply impressed.  I have met with them several times; the Director-General has met with them dozens of times.  I was impressed by two things: One, is that there is a new generation, younger, energetic, active, that takes the initiative, with achievements and aspirations, and especially with the willingness to be integrated into Israeli society.  I was also struck by the distress; there is considerable distress.  Now I say this despite the fact that our Government has done more than any other to ease this distress and help Ethiopian immigrants integrate into Israeli society.  First of all, we decided to stop the unacceptable practice of schools for Ethiopians only and, in a gradual process, there will not be any more schools in Israel in which most pupils are Ethiopian.  We are bringing this phenomenon to an end.  Today, we will approve increasing housing grants to Ethiopian immigrants and their children and we will improve the ability of these immigrants to be absorbed into the labor market.

I think that in all of these steps, we are delivering several messages to the Israeli public.  One, there is no place for racism in Israel, this is unacceptable, there is no place for racism and there is no place for the tolerance of racism.  And perhaps most importantly, the Ethiopian immigrants, some of whom and some of whose parents, marched through Africa and overcame deadly dangers, to our sorrow, some did not arrive, they all set out in order to reach Zion.  They are our flesh and we are bound to them in mutual responsibility.  They are part of us, they are fully equal.

Thank you.”

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