Israeli Labor Party to Join Netanyahu’s Right-wing Coalition

March 25, 2009 Updated: October 1, 2015

Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak attends the weekly cabinet meeting on March 22, 2009 in Jerusalem, Israel.    (Uriel Sinai/Getty Images)
Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak attends the weekly cabinet meeting on March 22, 2009 in Jerusalem, Israel. (Uriel Sinai/Getty Images)
TEL AVIV, Israel—The Israeli Labor party assembly voted to join Benjamin Netanyahu's upcoming government on March 24. Until now, Netanyahu has signed coalition agreements with a small number of right-wing parties, and was not able to achieve a wider coalition. With the Labor Party in, Netanyahu will enjoy a larger and presumably more stable coalition of 66 members.

The Labor Party received only 13 seats in the last election in Israel. The head of the Party, Ehud Barak, vowed not to join a coalition headed by Netanyahu. A few weeks later he apparently changed his mind, and started to push for an integration. Though he was criticised for it, the motion still passed through the party's central assembly.

The core of the coalition between the Netanyahu and Likud revolves around a proposed economic emergency plan.

The Kadima party, headed by Tzipi Livni, did not join the coalition. Originally Netanyahu sought a wider coalition that would have included both Kadima and the Labor Party. As Kadima refused to join, however, he had to rely on right wing parties like Israel Beitenu, headed by Avigdor Lieberman, and the religious Nationalist parties.