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Israelis Protest Against New Unity Government

Israelis hold protests against the newly formed unity government. Most of the anger directed at Mofaz.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 5/9/2012, 1:15 AM

Livni and MK Herzog at Tel Aviv protest
Livni and MK Herzog at Tel Aviv protest
Flash 90

Several protests were held on Tuesday evening against the newly formed unity government, which brought the Kadima party headed by Shaul Mofaz into Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's coalition. Demonstrations were held in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Be'er Sheva.

In Tel Aviv, the protesters demonstrated under the heading “All the People are Opposition.” The protest was attended by social activists and MKs from Meretz and Labor. Most of the anger was directed at Mofaz, with the demonstrators carrying signs which read, among other things, “Mofaz is in the coalition, the people are in the opposition”.

Channel 10 News reported that confrontations broke out between police and protesters. Six protesters were arrested.

In Tel Aviv, the protesters were joined by MKs Yitzhak Herzog and Avishay Braverman of the Labor party, as well as by former Kadima Chairwoman Tzipi Livni.

“I came here at the request of these young people, who care about Israel, who are ready to fight for its future, and who could not stomach the events of this morning,” Livni said, according to Channel 10. “They deserve politics of principles and not of seats, of values and not ​​of survival. They and our children deserve much more than what we saw this morning. There is another way.”

Earlier on Tuesday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said that he had twice invited Livni to enter his government, but she refused. He made the comments during a joint press conference with Mofaz.

Livni, despite having brought Kadima 28 seats in the last elections, failed to form a coalition and later, as opposition leader, failed to present a true alternative to Netanyahu’s government. As a result of her failure, party members chose Mofaz over her in the recent primaries.

The anger towards Mofaz was brought about because of his zigzagging. Two months ago, after he defeated Livni, he said, “We are the opposition. I will oppose Netanyahu.” He also said last year that Barak and Netanyahu are a “couple that is dangerous to Israel.”

In January, Mofaz, who chairs the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, called an abrupt halt to the committee's session, faced the cameras and publicly called the Prime Minister a liar.