Global, Israel, Politics

Avigdor Lieberman & Beiteinu pull out of Olmert coalition

Avigdor Lieberman, avowed racist and right-wing MK, pulled his 11-seat Beiteinu party out of the coalition government, leaving Olmert still standing with a majority of 67 of 120 seats but lacking a clear mandate.
CNN reports, “Avigdor Lieberman announced Wednesday he was pulling his Israel Beiteinu party out of Israel’s coalition government because the new push to establish a peace deal was taking the focus off more pressing issues, such as the threat from Iran.”

 Lieberman said the issues of a shared capital, borders with a Palestinian state, and the return of Palestinian refugees are “the most sensitive nerve points of the Israeli society” and threaten to divide the Jewish state.
“We are moving from consensus and agreement to discord,” he said.
…”This process, this direction of Annapolis, I cannot accept and if I cannot accept this process I must be out of the government.”

…Good riddance.

10 thoughts on “Avigdor Lieberman & Beiteinu pull out of Olmert coalition

  1. Also this week, the Religious Affairs Ministry (abolished in 2003) was reestablished. This was intended to keep Shas in the coalition – though Shas shared Yisrael Beiteinu’s qualms about peace talks, they can be placated by patronage opportunities.

  2. w/ the arab parties (who I presume are not members of the coalition, but will support a robust peace deal, Olmert should be able to survive w/o the frightening righties.

  3. Yeah. For a no-confidence vote to go through, a majority on the Knesset has to agree on someone else as prime minister. This is why Olmert has stayed on this long (despite approval ratings as low as 3%), since his opposition is on both the left and the right.

  4. If Shas pulled out, looks like Olmert would need 5 seats (67 – 12 = 55) to keep his coalition. Meretz-Yachad is 5, the most enthusiastic peace supporter by far.
    But he’d need one seat to just keep it from being challenged by a right-wing coalition. Would it be the united Arab parties with 4 seats? Or Hadash (the Arab-Jewish commie party) with 4? Or Balad (Arab nationalist) with 3? Crazier things have happened in Israeli political coalitions before…

  5. KFJ – never once has the coalition been completely reliant in all things on the support of the arab parties. The arab parties have never been offered the opportunity – and even if they were they may not want to take it.

  6. Amit – Yeah, that will be the day, won’t it? I’m stunned to see that for a demographic which is 20% of the total population, their representation in Knesset is pithy. I wonder what would happen in politics if the Israeli Arabs decided that participating in the system was better than abstaining from it (which surely will happen someday not too distant). Israeli politics would be phenomenally different if 24 seats were held by Arab parties. I mean, holy shit.

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