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MK Dalia Itzik. 'Bibi, you're playing with fire' Photo: Gil Yohanan
MK Dalia Itzik. 'Bibi, you're playing with fire' Photo: Gil Yohanan
 
Netanyahu in Knesset plenum Photo: Reuters
Netanyahu in Knesset plenum Photo: Reuters
 
 

MK Itzik to PM: Your conduct is dangerous to Israel

Prime minister forced to attend plenum session to hear opposition's criticism in light of reports of his attempts to dismantle Kadima. 'You are playing with fire,' says Kadima faction chairwoman

Amnon Meranda
Latest Update: 12.23.09, 15:11 / Israel News

The opposition forced the hand of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and compelled him to attend a Knesset plenum discussion Wednesday during which harsh criticism was leveled at him.

 

Kadima faction head MK Dalia Itzik slammed PM Netanyahu from the Knesset podium over reports that he has been courting a number of Kadima members in a bid to convince them to leave Kadima and defect to Likud.

 

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PM courting Kadima MKs / Attila Somfalvi
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"I would like to speak with you today about a subject you really love – coalition and opposition," said Itzik. "This is a subject that you apparently love so much and are drawn to it more intensely than ruling or decisionmaking. I would like to remove all doubt: I do not at all mean the complex issue of Shalit, but a far broader one. You feel much more comfortable in disintegrating the coalition and opposition than in ruling.

 

"On a day during which the entire nation was sitting next to their radios waiting to hear if Gilad Shalit will return, on this day that we, as a responsible opposition, withdrew our no confidence measure in order to allow you to participate in the discussions of such an important and loaded subject, you used this time to deal in narrow political dealings," continued Itzik.

 

Itzik went on to say, "Instead of creating a coalition against the Iranian nuclear program, you are creating a coalition of pressuring Israel. What are you so busy with, dear G-d? Is your self-confidence that low? With such shaky confidence, you want to deal with Iran? Your conduct is dangerous."

 

MK Yoel Hasson backed her up. "While we are discussing issues critical to the country, you are trying to make political deals. This is not a strength. It shows a very large weakness because you are afraid of Livni, and you are afraid of Kadima."


Barak and Netanyahu during Wednesday's discussion (Photo: Reuters)

 

Hasson also asked Netanyahu: "Look at Noam and Aviva Shalit in the eyes. What are they supposed to feel now that they know that instead of investing all of your time and energy in them, you chose to deal in petty, cheap politicking."

 

MK Zeev Bielski added, "If on this day you dealt with dismantling Kadima, you owe the people of Israel and you owe me."

 

The discussion was convened at the behest of 40 members of Knesset under the topic ”The prime minister's failed foreign policy." Netanyahu is obligated to attend such discussions, and is supposed to speak at the end of them.

 

Itzik used her speech to review documents with Justice Minister Yaacov Neeman. She continued on the offensive: "Look what has happened to us in the world… we are isolated, practically lepers. We are slammed with condemnations because you are busy with public relations wars from 30 years ago… You are playing with fire."

 

Itzik used her speech to review documents with Justice Minister Yaacov Neeman. She continued on the offensive: "Look what has happened to us in the world… we are isolated, practically lepers. We are slammed with condemnations because you are busy with public relations wars from 30 years ago… You are playing with fire."

 

When MK Ofir Akonis, head of Likud's response team, got up to speak, he said, "Tzipi has run away again. Her empty and abandoned chair, her ejection seat resounds in its emptiness."

 

A large number of Kadima MKs immediately left the hall, though some did stay, including the MKs figuring on the list of potential "defectors" to Likud: Ronit Tirosh, Arieh Bibi, Zeev Boim, and Moshe Edery.

 

MK Akonis made a counter-attack: "You made a promise of clean politics. Not one day has passed during which you kept this promise. Hypocrites, we're sick of you."

 

Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman sought to protect the prime minister: "Bibi has Iran on his mind; he has the American administration on his mind, and more. And now he has Kadima on his mind, too."

 

PM Netanyahu called for the opposition to support the political moves being made by the cabinet, despite their disagreements.

 

 

"When fighting to renew peace talks in a real way, we do this together. I am not asking of you, members of Knesset, more than I have asked from my opposition colleagues when I was in that position just a short time ago. Regarding the security of the State of Israel and its foreign policy, you have one choice: Don't bite for the sake of biting. Don't look for all kind of excuses in order to explain why you don't support policies that you know are just and right. You have one choice: support the government of Israel at this time," Netanyahu said.

 

 

First Published: 12.23.09, 14:09

 

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