Labor Joins Israel’s Far-Right Government
Posted on Mar 24, 2009
Israel’s next government just got a little less ultraconservative, as Labor has agreed to join the coalition-in-progress of conservatives, nationalists and religious fundamentalists in exchange for a commitment to continue negotiations with the Palestinians. It remains to be seen, however, whether Labor’s MPs can stomach the agreement.
The Labor Party Central Committee voted on Tuesday in favor of joining Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition, despite vocal opposition from within the party.
Netanyahu reached the preliminary agreement with Barak early Tuesday. Labor Party activists gathered later in the afternoon to vote on the deal, which calls on the government to pursue peace negotiations with the Palestinians.
Labor Chairman and Defense Minister Ehud Barak drafted the deal with Netanyahu. But half of the party’s lawmakers objected to teaming up with Netanyahu because of his long-standing opposition to peace efforts.
Flickr / U.S. Department of State
Labor’s Ehud Barak with Hillary Clinton. It’s thought that Likud’s Benjamin Netanyahu wants Labor in the coalition in order to present a better face to a more progressive U.S. government.