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Binyamin Ben-Eliezer
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Labor: Mofaz sold his soul to the devil
Knesset holds stormy session ahead of Kadima chairman's induction as Coalition member. Opposition blames party for being a 'rotten apple that undermines the public's faith in the House'

The Knesset plenum held a heated session Wednesday, ahead of Kadima Chairman Shaul Mofaz's induction as a new minister in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government.

 

Mofaz will become a minister sans portfolio as part of the coalition agreement signed between the Likud and Kadima on Monday night, in a controversial move meant to avoid general elections in September.

 

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The move – kept secret until after the agreement was signed – created an unprecedented coalition numbering 92 Knesset members.

 

It also left the Opposition virtually powerless, as it now lacks the ability to raise the necessary 40 MK signatures for a nonconfidence vote.

 

Labor Chairwoman Shelly Yachimovich will head the Opposition for the duration of the Knesset's term.

 

Ministers taking to the podium Wednesday leveled harsh criticism at Netanyahu and Mofaz for keeping the move secret.

 

"You've sold your soul to the devil," MK Binyamin Ben-Eliezer (Labor) blasted Mofaz. "The devil is the only one that profits from the deal," he said.

 

Meretz Chairwoman Zahava Gal-On blamed both for "devising a deal so dirty the public has lost faith in all of us. One rotten apple – the Kadima Party – has spoiled us all."

 

Within Kadima itself, many of those who were caught off guard by the move voiced doubt about its prospects. Party sources said that several MKs, who supported former Chairwoman Tzipi Livni in her primary bid vis-à-vis Mofaz, said they would be absent from the vote and were now pressured to support Mofaz.

 

The vote is meant to ratify a section of the new coalition agreement that names Mofaz deputy prime minister and cabinet.

 

Mofaz was also promised a seat in the cabinet and on Netanyahu's special security forum.

 

 

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פרסום ראשון: 05.09.12, 15:08
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