Peres and Netanyahu
Photo: Avi Ohayon, GPO
MK Hasson
Photo: Gil Yohanan

Kadima: Barak giving political opportunism a bad name

Knesset's largest party slams agreement signed between Labor chairman and Likud leader, referring to it as 'the dirty trick of 2009.' President Peres: Challenges require unity government as soon as possible

Defense Minister Ehud Barak's rivals in the Labor Party are furious over the coalition agreement he signed Tuesday morning with Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu, just hours before the Central Committee meeting aimed at deciding whether the party should join a Likud-led government.


Meanwhile, the Kadima party, which may find itself pretty much alone in the opposition, is not missing a chance to attack its two rival parties.


"This is the dirty trick of 2009," said Knesset Member Yoel Hasson, referring to Barak's plan to join "an extreme right-wing party."


According to Hasson, "Barak is taking advantage of his party's exhaustion for a clearance sale of its ideology and way, raping his faction members to renounce their values and giving political opportunism a bad name for the sake of a work roster."


MK Yohanan Plesner, his fellow faction members, slammed the agreement signed between the Likud and Shas: "Labor is entering the government under the lame pretense of saving the economy, but in reality, Netanyahu already sold the State to the ultra-Orthodox parties before elections.


"Netanyahu's deals with Shas prove that the leading principle in the government being formed is the purchase of power and not rehabilitating the market."


Finance Minister Ronnie Bar-On said that "a person who goes to sleep with rags should not be surprised when he wakes up in the morning wet and not smelling good."


According to Bar-On, the agreement between Barak and the Likud includes no significant diplomatic clause, and the understandings with the coalition partners will cost the public some NIS 10 billion (about $2.45 billion).


Earlier this week, outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert led the critics against Barak, saying during Sunday's cabinet meeting that "history will not forgive those who lend a hand to an unprecedented isolation of Israel in the world."


In the meantime, Netanyahu is not wasting any time: On Tuesday afternoon he briefed President Shimon Peres on the draft agreement signed with Barak and on the understandings reached in the economic and diplomatic fields.


Peres said in response that "in light of the challenges faced by the State of Israel, it's essential that a national unity government with as wide shoulders as possible will be formed as soon as possible."


פרסום ראשון: 03.24.09, 15:10
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