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The opposition simply doesn't want peace - Ehud Olmert
06-25-2008, 03:44 PM,
The opposition simply doesn't want peace - Ehud Olmert
Quote:Prime Minister Ehud Olmert lambasted the opposition during a Knesset speech on Wednesday, saying that it had no real alternative to the agenda of the coalition.

"You are against the government because you [simply] don't want peace," he blasted.

Noting that the government was negotiating with the Syrians, not only with the Palestinians, Olmert said, "It has been eight or nine years without contact with them. But of course, if you want, we can drag out the issue for another 10 years."

Concerning the negotiations to secure the release of the kidnapped soldiers, Olmert said that "the three soldiers are children of this country and they were captured while performing their duties. Yesterday, I met with the Egyptian president to try and hammer out a deal for the release of [captured soldier Gilad] Schalit and we agreed that advancing the negotiations to free Gilad would be top of our list of priorities and that Egypt will be of vital importance in this process."

Regarding captured reservists Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser, Olmert said he had decided to bring the issue for cabinet approval this Sunday, adding that it was "one of the hardest decisions a prime minister has to make."

The Knesset had assembled for a special discussion on the future of the government requested by 40 MKs, with eight bills being presented to the plenum.

In light of Labor's earlier agreement with Kadima not to vote to disperse the Knesset, Likud faction chairman Gideon Sa'ar spoke out strongly against the government, calling Labor MKs "wimps from the land of wimps."

Addressing Olmert, Sa'ar continued with his attack on the government: "We have heard, Mr. Prime Minister, what you think of your partners and what they think of you, what you think of each other with regards to making decisions on the most important national matters," he raged.

"[Kadima and Labor] don't have a shred of confidence in each other. But that doesn't bother [them] making dubious deals in the dead of night," he went on.

Following the comments, a confrontation erupted between Sa'ar and Knesset Speaker Dalia Itzik, at the culmination of which he was persuaded to descend the podium.

Though his address was cut short, Sa'ar continued to speak against the deal throughout the session.

"This is a coalition of cowards and your night-time agreement is an agreement of cowards. You are scared to death of elections and of the public," he ranted, also predicting that the two parties would "give control to [Likud chairman Binyamin Netanyahu.]"

From the other end of the political spectrum, Meretz faction chair Zehava Gal-On defended MK Sa'ar's right to express his dissatisfaction with the government.

"Though perhaps I didn't agree with the phrases that Sa'ar used, it is the right of the opposition to stand on the podium and voice criticism," said the MK, adding that "the Knesset speaker needs to defend the MKs and not the government."
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