Environment Minister Amir Peretz, one of six legislators in Tzipi Livni’s hapless HaTnua party, announced Sunday he is quitting the government, taking away from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu the privilege of firing him for saying he would vote against the 2015 budget.
A champion of the lower-income sector, Sderot’s vocal politician said on Israeli television Saturday that even though his party is in the coalition, he could not support the budget when he hears the “cries of the poorest people.”
He charged that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is “is not the solution, but the problem.”
Peretz’s unpredicted personal attack on the prime minister in whose government he serves as Cabinet minister automatically put him on the chopping block.
Netanyahu was expected to fire him, but Peretz beat him to the punch.
Peretz’s political history has been full of ups and downs, mostly downs, since he delighted businessman by quitting as head of the Histadrut national labor union.
He joined the Labor party, won the leadership but led the party into defeat in the 2006 elections to Kadima party leader Ehud Olmert and then joined the coalition as Defense Minister, leaving him with the reputation as being the worst person ever to serve in that positon.
He subsequently lost the leadership of the Labor party to Ehud Barak, and he emerged by riding the very short coattails of Livni.
Her party won only six seats in the current Knesset, and all polls show her winning no more than three seats in the next elections.
With Peretz out of the picture, maybe she will get four.