In a Kadima faction meeting on Monday, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert did not hide his anger, rejecting calls from Labor Party leader Defense Minister Ehud Barak to dismiss Justice Minister Daniel Friedman. Olmert stated he rejects the “threats” being made by coalition partners. Barak stated that in the next government, he will demand that Friedman be dismissed from his senior cabinet post.
Olmert stated, “I do not know who will be the next head of Kadima but I am the prime minister and if I must choose between Friedman or Barak, I will remain with Friedman. If someone believes he can compel us to dismiss someone to maintain a coalition he is mistaken.”
Olmert made certain to explain that he respects the coalition and Labor, the senior coalition partner, but questioned Labor’s understanding of its responsibility vis-à-vis the coalition and its partners.
Olmert also lashed out at Shas, warning “other coalition partners mustn’t break coalition discipline” regarding the Monday evening no-confidence motions. At the end of the day, the coalition defeated 8 no-confidence motions but Shas did abstain in some of the votes, scoring additional points in its defiance of the Olmert-led coalition.
(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)