It is being called the Israel Defense Minister Ehud Barak's political pre-emptive strike: He set up the so-called “Independence” faction, and in doing so broke up his own Labor party, leaving now a strengthened Netanyahu Government and it's opposition – the Kadima party, embarrassed.
The public's reaction: 82% believe Barak preferred his own personal benefit in the move.
It is an incredible thing… the Labor Party Chairman astonished both citizens and the political system when he and four other Members of the Knesset from Labor announced they were quitting. It has come to light that Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu was in on the secret plan, which yesterday looked to hurt his coalition but now clearly will contribute to the stability of his Government.
After long hours of discussion last night, the coalition representatives and the Independence faction discussed the allocation of ministerial portfolios. Mr. Barak's new faction secured four Government portfolios – three of which are significant: with him remaining as Defense Minister all ironically without a constituency.
Bottom line, Netanyahu's coalition is down to 66 Members of the Knesset but is likely to be more stable and governable.
And the party that established the State of Israel and ruled it for decades looks in demise.
Labor paved this country's paths and built its values – now turned to ruins… exactly as the right has sought for a long long time.
Middle East Correspondent