No-confidence motion against Netanyahu fails in Knesset, with only 18 votes in favor

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gives a press conference on January 18, 2024. (Kobi Gideon/GPO)
Published January 22, 2024

Vote boycotted by the coalition; opposition’s Liberman: It’s impractical to hold elections during wartime

With the government’s popularity plummeting, a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu nevertheless garnered only 18 votes in the Knesset on Monday evening, falling far short of the necessary majority to pass in the 120-strong Knesset plenum.

The vote was boycotted by the coalition, whose heads stated earlier in the day that they would “not take part in political theater during wartime.”

The measure, brought by the Labor party, cited the government’s “failure” to secure the return of the 136 Israelis still held hostage in the Gaza Strip. Netanyahu’s inability to return the remaining captives has opened him up to increasing criticism from their families as well as his political opponents.

“The basic duty of a state toward its citizens is to protect their lives and safety,” Labor MK Efrat Rayten argued at the plenum ahead of the vote. “There is no, and cannot be, trust in a government that has failed so miserably” during and after Hamas’s October 7 attack, she added.

“Neither military means nor the government itself managed to bring back one abductee,” Ra’am party chairman Mansour Abbas declared during the debate (in fact, one hostage was directly rescued through a military operation). He said the hostages were “paying the price” for Jerusalem’s mistakes and added that the war had to end.



RELATED: EU: Stop Talking About Peace, Start Talking About the ‘Two-State Solution’, Even if Israel Doesn’t Agree

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM – JANUARY 22: EU Commissioner for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy – Vice President Josep Borrell talks to media prior the start of an EU foreign affairs Ministers meeting in the Europa building, the EU Council headquarter on January 22, 2024, in Brussels, Belgium. The Foreign Affairs Council will discuss the Russian aggression against Ukraine, after an informal exchange of views with Ukraine’s Minister of Foreign Affairs (via VTC) at the beginning of the meeting. The ensuing ministerial discussion is expected to focus on longer-term security commitments and military support to Ukraine. The Foreign Affairs Council will hold an exchange of views on the situation in the Middle East. (Photo by Thierry Monasse/Getty Images)
Published January 22, 2024

A two-state solution for Israel-Gaza has “the whole international community” and the United Nations behind it and should be pursued even if Israel disagrees, the European Union’s top diplomat says.

Commission Vice-Present Josep Borrell, the combative Spanish Socialist politician who presently serves as the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, is diving both feet first into a purported “two-state solution” for the Israel-Gaza conflict. In comments that follow others by U.S. Secretary of State Blinken and U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres pushing the concept on Israel, Borrell said it was time to stop talking about the peace process and “start talking more concretely about the “two-state solution” process.”

Speaking to press outside a meeting of European Union foreign ministers on Monday morning, which was also due to welcome the Israeli foreign minister, representatives of Arab and Muslim countries including Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Palestine, and the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, Borrell said of overruling Israel’s views on the matter: “We have to discuss even if they disagree.”

He said: “What we want to do is to build a two-state solution, so let’s talk about it… So, from now on, I will not talk about the peace process, but about the two-state solution process. If we are serious about that, we have to study the underlying causes that prevent this solution from being implemented.” While Borrell acknowledged that Hamas “is one of” the problems preventing a two-state solution, he nevertheless said “there are others” in an apparently oblique reference to the Israeli government.

Borrell dismissed Israel’s objection to the two-state solution as unreasonable, and without international support. Claiming “the whole international community is behind it” and saying the U.S. backed it, he said of Israel: “They have to come here, and they will discuss with us, and we will study whatever solution they have in mind. Which are the other solutions they have in mind? To make all the Palestinians leave? To kill them?”.



RELATED: Netanyahu: No full Palestinian state, no ‘surrender’ in exchange for Gaza hostages

PM pushes back on White House vision of pathway to two-state solution and reports of a grand bargain that would end war, though he doesn’t rule out demilitarized Palestinian state

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks in a video statement, January 19, 2024. (screenshot)
Published January 22, 2024

As US President Joe Biden’s administration called for the war against Hamas to wind down alongside a pathway toward a two-state solution at the end of the fight, Israel’s leadership presented a vision at odds with that of the White House on Sunday.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu doubled down in a video message on his determination not to allow a full-fledged, militarized Palestinian state to emerge.

“I will not compromise on full Israeli security control over all the territory west of the Jordan [River],” he said, echoing recent comments.

“As long as I am prime minister, I will continue to firmly stand by this,” he pledged, boasting that he had withstood international and domestic pressure over the years to move toward a two-state solution.

Netanyahu has made similar statements over the past week, though he appears to have been careful not to categorically reject all forms of Palestinian statehood.

Speaking after a report on Wednesday that said the Biden administration is looking past the premier to advance a two-state solution — and hours after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Israel cannot achieve “genuine security” without a pathway to a Palestinian state — Netanyahu said Israel must maintain “security control” of all territory west of the Jordan River in any future arrangement.





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