However, the discussion quickly turned into one dealing mainly with coalition questions. The faction unanimously approved a resolution ruling that the faction would oppose Lieberman's bill to change the system of government.
According to the decision, if the issue of Israel Our Home joining the government is on the agenda, the party's institutions will convene to discuss it. It was also decided that the faction will obey to the coalition discipline in any government voting.
MKs Yoram Marciano and Shelly Yacimovich opposed the decision and demanded that it would also include a meeting of the party's central committee, which would decide on the party's red lines on the issues of the budget and of Israel Our Home joining the coalition.
Infrastructure Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer warned Labor Chairman Amir Peretz of withdrawing from the coalition, saying that "the day you leave the government, you are basically dead. There is nothing to do in the opposition."
"We have to decide if we are a coalition or an opposition. Only from inside the government we can ensure peace, and only we can guarantee that there won’t be another such war. For the first time I fear for the fate of our children," he added.
Peretz: Huge gap between Labor, Israel Our Home
At the start of the meeting, the Labor chairman said that his faction must act in a united and disciplined manner. He made it clear that he does not reject Lieberman on a personal basis, but said that there is a huge gap between the Labor Party and Israel Our Home.
Peretz added that during the winter session the Labor faction should act in a united manner in order to emphasize its positions.
According to Peretz, "In the current coalition we can emphasize our positions on the social issues."
He also referred to Lieberman's bill to change the system of government, saying that "this is not the way to change the system of government. In the past, the changes came after discussions."
Before the meeting, members of the Labor Party youth convened under the banner "No to Lieberman." The activists demanded that the MKs and ministers refuse to let Israel Our Home join the coalition.