Kadima 'Rebels' to Vote With Opposition

MKs Shlomo Molla and Nino Abesadze say they no longer felt part of the Netanyahu coalition after the decision to dissolve the Plesner committee.

Two Kadima MKs said on Tuesday that they would vote with the opposition on Wednesday in protest over the disbanding of the Plesner committee, tasked with finding an alternative to the drafting of ultra-Orthodox men into the army.

MKs Shlomo Molla and Nino Abesadze said they no longer felt themselves part of the Netanyahu coalition following the prime minister's decision to dissolve the panel, chaired by Kadima MK Yohanan Plesner. "I am voting against the government. The prime minister has trampled the dignity of Kadima and made the Plesner committee irrelevant when he went with the Haredim and the settlers," Abesadze said.

Abesadze, who was sanctioned recently for supporting opposition legislation, said that although she would vote against the government on Wednesday, she would not participate in no-confidence votes against it.

Abesadze called on her fellow faction members to "resign from the coalition or seek other ideological platforms."

Other Kadima MKs, including Robert Tiviaev and Meir Sheetrit called on Kadima chairman Shaul Mofaz to break with the coalition over the dispersal of the Plesner committee.

It is believed that Mofaz will sanction the recalcitrant lawmakers by prohibiting them from presenting new legislation or addressing the Knesset as part of the quota of speeches allocated to Kadima.

Despite the discord in Kadima, the rebel MKs themselves said they did not see a split on the horizon. "There is a big difference between talk and action, and at the moment the seven members [needed for a split] are not there to go for the move.

Another MK said: "I prefer to wait. If the new law is not to Mofaz's satisfaction, all of Kadima will resign from the coalition."

Labor Party chairwoman MK Shelly Yacimovich said that if Molla and Abesadze were not allowed to present new bills for Kadima, she would allow them to present legislation through her party.