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Itzilk. 'A really wonderful government'
Photo: Gil Yohanan
Bar-On. No endurance
Photo: Amit Shaal
MK Itzik: What would PM do without Iran?
Opposition members slam Netanyahu during special Knesset meeting. 'You panic and you're easily influenced,' Kadima MK Bar-On tells him
The Knesset held a special discussion Wednesday afternoon under the banner, "Where is the State of Israel going under Netanyahu's rule?" The meeting was held a week before the government marks its first anniversary, following a request submitted by 40 Knesset members.

 

MK Dalia Itzik (Kadima) accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of "heading an all talk government".

 

"So let's admit, Mr. Prime Minister, what would you do without Iran?" she asked. "So many people have given you credit and you've wasted it. An entire year has past and you're insisting not to listen. An entire year, and you're insisting on dissolving what is left of Israel's status in the world."

 

She did not spare her criticism of Netanyahu, particularly in the diplomatic field. "You think the US government views you as an ally? Wrong again. It seems you are walking around thinking the entire world admires your Bar-Ilan speech about two states for two people. You're wrong here too. Your government has, with all its talent, turned the Palestinians into peace seekers and Israel into a peace refuser. The Palestinians are abusing your government's poor image in the world."

 

Itzik said Netanyahu had failed. "Let me draw the future for you. If you embark on diplomatic moves – you have no coalition. If you hesitate as you usually do – you'll have no public support. If you continue to refuse – you won't have the world as well. All this will lead to you not having a government too. And then, in your memoirs for 2009-2011, you'll write one line, one line only: 'I passed a biennial budget and quarreled with the entire world.' A really wonderful term. Your government is taking the shape of a government of no good, the worst government Israel ever had."

 

Nonetheless, she did not rule out the possibility of forming a national unity government. "I repeat what I suggested that you do when we met last week: Call Kadima Chairwoman Tzipi Livni, sit to the negotiating table with her, offer her a full partnership. If you do so, all 28 members of the Kadima faction will come.

 

"You're aware of my opinion. I pressed for the establishment of a unity government even in the Knesset's previous term, based on the two biggest parties. Even then you did not understand that this is the only way to help Israel get out of the mud, which is becoming deeper and deeper during your term."

 

'You are weak, easily exorted'

The first of the speakers was Ronnie Bar-On (Kadima) who did not miss any opportunity to slam the prime minister: "It has almost been one year (since you have been in office). This is the time to summarize and ask what you have done? And mainly what you haven't done, and where do we go from here. You said that you have changed. For the better? I think not, Mr. Prime Minister."

 

"You are weak. You are easily extorted. You panic. You are easily influenced, and you have no endurance," continued Bar-On.

 

He continued on the attack as he referred to the Foreign Ministry's work: "What do you have to say about your foreign service, Mr. Prime minister? After all, you are a supreme diplomat even before you are a supreme economist… Are you proud of your foreign service? Are you proud of the sour grapes in your foreign service?"

 

Bar-On also spoke about the Likud's attempts to snatch up members of Knesset from Kadima. "You have a bag full of goodies with which you try to seduce Kadima MKs."

 

Regarding negotiations with the Palestinians, Bar-On said, "What have you done on the issue of the two-state solution? Nothing. Complete stagnation. You froze (West Bank) construction and immediately winked at the Likud Central Committee signaling that the tractors would enter… This week, the issue of heritage came up. All of a sudden, you are interested in heritage. For Heaven's sake, why would you ignite this whole issue with such clumsiness?"

 

During the discussion, MK Ofir Akonis (Likud) criticized Opposition Chairwoman Tzipi Livni: "Livni is no longer relevant in the public discourse. She could be in the hall or not, it really doesn't matter. Three years of resounding failure, system collapse that is unprecedented in the history of the State… You could not manage a government."

 

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