Tzipi Livni

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Posted by r2d2 04/30/2009 @ 10:07

Tags : tzipi livni, kadima, knesset, israel, middle east, world

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'Obama wants Livni in Netanyahu govt.' - PRESS TV
Israeli diplomats claim that the Obama White House wants to exert pressure on the Netanyahu government to form a coalition with former Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni. Livni, who chairs the center-left Kadima party, formed the opposition after...
Livni: Government trying to survive, harming Israel's interests - Ynetnews
Opposition Chairwoman Tzipi Livni criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's conduct during a Kadima faction meeting, saying that "advancing two states for two people is a national Israeli interest. When we are hearing from the prime minister is...
What Obama Said, What the Mideast Heard - New York Times Blogs
Now, Benjamin Netanyahu's problem is that it's difficult to distinguish between President Obama and Tzipi Livni. And in Israel's recent elections, Livni and her Kadima party won more votes than anyone else. But the major “problem” that the speech poses...
Livni paints PM as coward, incompetent in Knesset speech - Jerusalem Post
By REBECCA ANNA STOIL Opposition leader Tzipi Livni attacked Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's economic policy from the floor of the Knesset on Wednesday afternoon, branding the prime minister a coward for giving in on negotiations and "zigzagging"...
PM: We won't freeze life in settlements - Ynetnews
Opposition Chairwoman Tzipi Livni said during the meeting, "It's distressing seeing deterioration, diplomatic collapse and the damage caused to Israel's relations with the world. I believe that the Israel-US relations, which are based on profoundness...
Livni criticizes Netanyahu on prime time - Jewish Telegraphic Agency
JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Tzipi Livni criticized Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's foreign policy during a prime time television news magazine. The opposition leader and Kadima party head also slammed Netanyahu's personal choices during Channel 2's...
Livni brands road map peace plan as 'bad' for Israel - Ha'aretz
By Haaretz Service Opposition leader Tzipi Livni on Tuesday called the road map peace plan "bad" for Israel, in the wake of Foreign Minster Avigdor Lieberman's repeated statements in support of the United Nations-backed initiative....
'Shas won't let government dry out West Bank settlements' - Ha'aretz
"We did not agree to join a government headed by Tzipi Livni, who refused to pledge to protect the unity of Jerusalem and to continue building, and therefore we intend to work in this government to build as much as possible in the settlements in order...
Livni: Time is running out for peace process - Ha'aretz
By Barak Ravid, Haaretz Correspondent Opposition leader Tzipi Livni on Thursday warned that time was running out on achieving a peace deal with the Palestinians, saying "we mustn't delay the inevitable with useless diplomatic moves....

Tzipi Livni

PikiWiki Israel 2216 Election 2009 night - Tzipi Livni ערב בחירות 2009 - ציפי לבני.jpg

Tzipora Malka "Tzipi" Livni (Hebrew: ציפורה מלכה "ציפי" לבני‎, born 8 July, 1958) is an Israeli politician and the current leader of Kadima, the largest party in the Knesset. Raised an ardent nationalist, Livni has become one her nation's leading voices for the two-state solution. In Israel she has earned a reputation as honest, clean, and sticking to her principles.<ref<</ref> She currently serves as the country's Opposition Leader.

Born in Tel Aviv, Livni is the daughter of Eitan Livni (born in Poland) and Sara Rosenberg, both prominent former Irgun members. Her father served as the chief operations officer of the Irgun and later, 1974-1984, a Likud member of the Knesset. Tzipi Livni served as a lieutenant in the Israel Defense Forces. According to an interview in Yediot Aharonot, described in The Sunday Times, she served in the elite Mossad unit responsible for Operation Wrath of God (also known as Bayonet). in the 1980s. She resigned in August 1983 to marry and finish her law studies. A graduate of Bar-Ilan University's Faculty of Law, she has practiced public and commercial law for 10 years. Livni resides in Tel Aviv; she is married to advertising executive Naftali Spitzer and has two children, Omri and Yuval. Livni has been a vegetarian since the age of 12. Besides her native tongue, Hebrew, Livni also speaks English and French.

Livni entered politics in 1996 when she tried to win a spot on Likud's list to the Knesset. She was not elected to the knesset, but was appointed as head of the government-owned corporations authority in Netanyahu's government and oversaw the privatization of a number of companies. Livni was first elected to the Knesset as a member of the Likud party in 1999. When Likud leader Ariel Sharon became prime minister in July 2001, Livni was appointed Minister of Regional Co-operation, and thereafter held various Cabinet positions including Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Minister of Immigrant Absorption and Minister of Housing and Construction. She received the Abirat Ha-Shilton ("Quality of Governance") award for 2004. On 1 October, 2005, she was appointed Minister of Justice after several months acting in that position.

In Sharon's Cabinet, Livni was an avid supporter of the prime minister's disengagement plan and was generally considered to be among the key dovish or moderate members of the Likud party. She often mediated between various elements inside the party, and made efforts to achieve a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, including successful efforts to have the pullout from the Gaza Strip ratified by the Knesset. On 12 November, 2005, she spoke at the official yearly commemoration of Yitzhak Rabin's assassination.

On 20 November, 2005, Livni followed Sharon and Ehud Olmert into the new Kadima Party. Ahead of the 28 March elections Livni was appointed to be the new Foreign Minister, while continuing to serve as Justice Minister, as a result of the mass resignation of Likud Party members from the government.

In the selection of candidates for the March 2006 Knesset election, Livni was awarded the number three position on Kadima's list of candidates, which effectively guaranteed her election to the Knesset.

On 4 May, 2006, with the swearing-in of the 31st Government, Livni became Vice (or Deputy) Prime Minister and retained the position of Foreign Minister. She ceased serving as Justice Minister at that time, but again held that position from 29 November, 2006 to 7 February, 2007, while still serving in her primary role of Foreign Minister.

After the March 2006 Knesset election, Livni was described as "the second most powerful politician in Israel". Livni is the second woman in Israel to hold the post of foreign minister, after Golda Meir. In 2007, she was included in the Time 100 Most Influential People in the World. Forbes ranked her the 40th most powerful woman in the world in 2006, 39th in 2007, and 52nd in 2008.

On 2 May, 2007, Livni called for Olmert's resignation in the wake of the publication of the Winograd Commission's interim report. She offered herself as leader of Kadima if Olmert decided to step down and asserted her confidence in her ability to defeat him in a party election should he decline. However, her call was ignored by Olmert and her decision to stay in the Cabinet sparked some controversy.

In the Kadima leadership election held on 17 September, 2008, Olmert decided not to stand for re-election as party leader and stated he would resign as Prime Minister following the election. Livni and Shaul Mofaz emerged as the main rivals for the leadership. Livni won the Kadima leadership election by a margin of just 431 votes (1%).

On 21 September, 2008, Olmert formally resigned his office in a letter submitted to President Shimon Peres, and the following day Peres formally asked Livni to form a new government. Livni faced tough negotiations with Kadima's coalition partners, particularly the Shas party, which had set conditions for joining a Livni government. Likud, the main opposition party, lobbyied Shas and other parties seeking to bring about that result.

In February 2009 Israel held elections for the national parliament, the Knesset. Livni, foreign minister and head of the Kadima party, campaigned against Benjamin Netanyahu of the Likud party to lead the new government. While election results gave Kadima the most seats in the Knesset, parties to the right in Israel's political spectrum gained enough seats that a coalition government under Kadima leadership was unlikely. As a result, Israeli president Shimon Peres asked Netanyahu and Likud (which received one less seat than Kadima in the elections) to form a government; this is the first time in Israel's history that the party with the most seats was not asked to govern.

Although it expressed some doubts, the influential Haaretz newspaper endorsed Livni for prime minister.

When Livni was tapped to form the next governing coalition, Palestinian political analyst Mahdi Abdel Hadi said that Livni has been received warmly in the Gulf and that she is the leader most Arabs want to see as Israel's next prime minister. During 2009 general elections, Arab media depicted her very negatively but as the lesser of the evils.

During the 2008–2009 Israel–Gaza conflict, Livni was criticized by Arab League Chairman Amre Moussa for her declaration that "there's no humanitarian crisis in Gaza." Livni was quoted as saying "Israel has been supplying comprehensive humanitarian aid to the Strip... and has even been stepping this up by the day." Israel would later allow a daily three-hour truce during the offensive to enable aid to flow through a humanitarian corridor.

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Shimon Peres, former leader of the Labor Party, formally joined Kadima and before being elected President of Israel was in the second place in the Kadima Knesset list after the Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and before the Foreign and Justice Minister, Tzipi Livni.

Kadima (Hebrew: קדימה‎, lit. Forward) is a centrist political party in Israel founded by like-minded Likud and Labor politicians. It became the largest party in the Knesset after the 2006 elections, winning 29 of the 120 seats. The party is currently headed by Tzipi Livni, and its members include moderates of the political center and center-left who support her diplomatic steps to peace with the Palestinians.

Prior to Kadima's formation, the political tug-of-war between Ariel Sharon and his right-wing supporters, both within the Likud and outside of it, was an on-going subject of speculation in Israeli politics and in the Israeli media. The expectation that Sharon would quit his own party to form a new party composed of his Likud allies and open the door to politicians from other parties to switch to the new party was dubbed the "big bang" (HaMapatz HaGadol) because it would result in a radical realignment of Israel's political landscape.

A number of complex factors contributed to Sharon's decision to split from the Likud. After the official split from the party, Sharon claimed it was a decision made on a single night's thought, but at the press conference announcing the formation of the new party, Sharon adviser and Kadima's new Director General, Avigdor Yitzhaki, accidentally revealed that work on the project had been going on for several months. In the past Sharon had switched between left- and right-wing politics, having been a Mapai member and protege of David Ben-Gurion, he joined Likud in the early 1970s, before leaving the party. After acting as a special advisor to Alignment PM Yitzhak Rabin in the mid 1970s, he established an economically left-wing Shlomtzion party, which later merged with Likud. On becoming Prime Minister in the 2000s, Sharon twice formed unity governments with the Labor Party.

In 2005 the implementation of the unilateral disengagement plan exposed enormous rifts inside the Likud and wider society in Israel. Benjamin Netanyahu capitalised on the split within the Likud by aligning himself with the rejectionist faction. While Sharon's popularity grew among the Israeli populace at large, it declined inside the Likud party structure. Netanyahu resigned as finance minister on 7 August 2005, saying the government's implementation of the disengagement plan endangered the safety of Israeli citizens. Sharon was then unable to get approval from the Likud Central Committee for his key ally Ehud Olmert to that position, which was a source of frustration and personal humiliation.

The final stroke was the unexpected ousting of Sharon's ally Shimon Peres, as leader of the Labor Party by the election of left-wing Histadrut union leader Amir Peretz in an internal ballot on 8 November 2005. Peretz demanded that all Labor Party ministers resign from the unity government and called for dissolution of the Knesset and for new elections in early March 2006, overriding the previously anticipated election date in November 2006. When all the Labor ministers had resigned, Sharon lost his safety net of supporters from the party for the implementation of his political agenda, which included continuing negotiations with the Palestinian Authority for "permanent borders" and a hoped-for final resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

The party was founded by Sharon after he formally left Likud on 21 November 2005 to establish a new party which would grant him the freedom to carry out his policy of unilateral disengagement plan - removing Israeli settlements from Palestinian territory and fixing Israel's borders with a prospective Palestinian state.

The name Kadima, which means "Forward" or "Onward", emerged within the first days of the split and was favored by Sharon. However, it was not immediately adopted, and the party was initially named "National Responsibility" (Hebrew: אחריות לאומית, Ahrayaut Leumit), which was proposed by Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and enthusiastically endorsed by Reuven Adler, Sharon's close confidante and strategy adviser. Although "National Responsibility" was regarded as provisional, subsequent tests conducted with focus groups proved it much more popular than Kadima. "National Responsibility" seemed certain to become permanent. Surprisingly, however, it was announced on 24 November 2005 that the party had finally registered under the name Kadima. The title Kadima has symbolic meaning for many Israelis because it is associated with the battle-charge of army officers, suggesting that Sharon may be attempting to highlight his military accomplishments ahead of the March 2006 elections. A common Hebrew word, however, the term Kadima has been ubiquitous in Israeli political rhetoric and is likely not indicative of any specific ideological bias, indeed, it had been used as a name before by early Zionist leader Nathan Birnbaum. Nevertheless, the decision to name the party Kadima was criticised by Shinui leader Yosef Lapid, who remarked that it was too similar to Benito Mussolini's newspaper Avanti (Italian for "Forward").

According to Sharon supporters, on the first day after its founding, Kadima already had nearly 150 members, most of whom were defectors from Likud. Several Knesset members from Labour, Likud, and other parties immediately joined the new party, including cabinet ministers Ehud Olmert, Tzipi Livni, Meir Sheetrit, Gideon Ezra and Avraham Hirschson. Deputy ministers Ruhama Avraham, Majalli Wahabi, Eli Aflalo, Marina Solodkin, Ze'ev Boim and Yaakov Edri also joined the party, along with Likud MKs Roni Bar-On and Omri Sharon. Former Histadrut chairman Haim Ramon of Labour decided to join the party shortly thereafter.

On 30 November 2005, Shimon Peres quit Labour after more than 60 years with the party, and announced he would help Sharon pursue peace with the Palestinians. In the immediate aftermath of the illnesses of Ariel Sharon, there was speculation that Peres might be chosen to take over as leader of Kadima. One poll suggested the party would win 42 seats in the March 2006 elections with Peres as leader compared to 40 if it were led by Ehud Olmert. Most senior Kadima leaders, however, were former members of Likud and indicated their support for (former Likud) Olmert as Sharon's successor.

The ramifications of Sharon's close identification with Kadima moved the party in an unexpected direction due to his mounting medical problems, which began only a few weeks after Kadima was formed. First, Sharon was hospitalized on 18 December 2005 after reportedly suffering a minor stroke. This introduced a serious element of uncertainty for Sharon's and Kadima's supporters.

During his hospital stay, Sharon was also diagnosed with a minor hole in his heart and was scheduled to undergo a cardiac catheterization to fill the hole in his atrial septum on January 5, 2006. However, on 4 January 2006, 22:50 Israel Time (GMT +0200) Sharon suffered a massive hemorrhagic stroke, and was evacuated to Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital in Jerusalem to undergo brain surgery.

Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert succeeded him as Prime Ministerial candidate. Without Sharon, there was uncertainty about the future of the party. Nevertheless, three polls taken shortly after Sharon's illness showed that Kadima continued to lead its rivals by large margins.. Later polls showed Kadima strengthening its power base further, particularly amongst left wing voters who had opposed Sharon in the past.

On 16 January 2006, party members chose Ehud Olmert as acting chairman for the March elections. Kadima won 29 seats, and was asked to form a government by president Moshe Katsav. Olmert formed a coalition with Labor, Shas and Gil, the government being sworn in on 4 May. Yisrael Beiteinu joined the coalition in October 2006, but left again in January 2008 in protest at negotiations with the Palestinian Authority.

Olmert resigned as party leader in 2008, resulting in a leadership election, held on 17 September. The vote was won by Tzipi Livni, who beat Shaul Mofaz, Meir Sheetrit and Avi Dichter. Following her victory, Livni failed to form a coalition government, resulting in early elections in February 2009. In the elections Kadima remained the largest party in the Knesset, winning 28 seats, one more than Likud. However, Likud's Netanyahu was asked to form a government by President Peres following talks with delegations from all parties represented in the Knesset.

In the early stages, the policies of Kadima directly reflected the views of Ariel Sharon and his stated policies.

Early statements from the Sharon camp reported by the Israeli media claimed that they were setting up a truly "centrist" and "liberal" party. It would appear that Sharon hoped to attract members of the Knesset from other parties and well-known politicians regardless of their prior beliefs provided they accepted Sharon's leadership and are willing to implement a "moderate" political agenda. It is known that Sharon believed strongly in the road map for peace and had a close alliance with then US President George W. Bush.

On the domestic front, Sharon had shown a tendency to agree with his past political partner, the pro-secular and outspokenly anti-religious Shinui party (his allies in the 2003 government), which sought to promote a secular civil agenda as opposed to the strong influence of Israel's Orthodox and Haredi parties. One of the Haredi parties, United Torah Judaism, joined Sharon's last coalition at the same time as the Labour Party, after Shinui had left Sharon's original governing coalition. In the past, Shinui had also called itself a "centrist" party because it rejected both Labour's socialism (its economic policies were free-market) and the Likud's opposition to a Palestinian state (however, from an international context, Shinui may have actually been on the centre-right).

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni reportedly told Israel Army Radio that Kadima intended to help foster the desire for a separate Palestinian state, a move which was applauded by leftist Yossi Beilin.

Sharon was one of the prime architects pushing for the construction of the Israeli West Bank barrier that has been criticized by left-wing and right-wing Israeli politicians, but was a cornerstone of Sharon's determination to establish Israel's final borders, which he saw himself as uniquely suited to do in the so-called "Final Status" negotiations.

In a 22 November 2005 press conference, Sharon also mentioned that he favored withdrawing from untenable Israeli settlements in the West Bank, although he declined to give an actual timeline or specifics for the proposed action.

There has been some debate over where Kadima lies on the political spectrum. Many in the Western media use the terms "centrist", (in that it is positioned between the Labor Party and Likud). Over the last thirty years, Israel has seen a movement by both the right and the left towards the center. With the arrival of Kadima, the political centre has shifted more to the center. Founder Ariel Sharon was for most of his life on the right of Israeli politics and most of its elected membership are former Likud party members, but it also has a number of notable ex-Labour MK's. The previous government of Ehud Olmert was considered center-leftist, collaborating with the Labor and two sector-socialist parties, Gil and Shas. Following the recent 2009 elections, with its subsequent political negotiations for a centerist coalition with the Likud and the Labor, it is suggested that the ideological differences of the center-left and center-right in Israel are fairly minor.

Kadima is considered to be a part of the left-wing bloc in the Knesset, and as of the 2009 elections, leading it. During the elections, Kadima successfully attracted left-of-center voters, to the dismay of Labor and Meretz leaders, who discouraged their supporters from doing so. It would be naturally allied with the left-of-center Labor and Meretz parties, although neither recommended Livni as prime minister to Peres as initially anticipated after the 2009 elections, reportedly due to Livni's courting of Avigdor Lieberman (who heads the third largest party) to join a coalition. Labor icon and now one of Kadima’s top figures, Shimon Peres told Ynet in 2006 that "there is no difference" between Kadima and Labor, and suggested that the two groups unite. He added that neither he nor Kadima founder Ariel Sharon liked the economic policy of Likud chairman Benjamin Netanyahu. According to political commentator Aluf Benn, Kadima does not have any ideological differences with the Labor Party that would prevent a merger.

A photograph of Pope Benedict XVI emblazoned with a superimposed Nazi swastika appeared on Monday, October 20, 2008, on an Israeli website run by self-proclaimed supporters of the governing Kadima party.

It was later removed, and replaced with a picture of a smiling Benedict overlooking a crowd-filled St. Peter's Square in the Vatican, after what "the Yalla Kadima" site said was a request from Kadima's leader, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni.

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Kadima leadership election, 2008

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An election for the leadership of Kadima was held on 17 September 2008 as a concession to Kadima's coalition partner, Labour, which had threatened to bring down the government if Prime Minister Ehud Olmert didn't stand aside following police investigations into alleged corruption during his terms as minister and as mayor of Jerusalem.

As Kadima remains the largest party in the Knesset and the coalition, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, the designated new leader after balloting, had the chance to form a government without a need for elections. Had she become successful, she would have become the next Prime Minister, and the first woman to hold that position since Golda Meir in 1974.

Announced candidates were Livni, Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter, Transport Minister Shaul Mofaz and Minister of the Interior Meir Sheetrit. Current leader and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was considered unlikely to run due to public pressure under many ongoing corruption investigations, and stated in an announcement on 30 July 2008 that he would indeed resign once his party had chosen his successor as party leader. Nominations closed on 24 August 2008. Livni was widely considered to be the frontrunner, and she would likely improve Kadima's prospects in the next elections..

Exit polls released after the poll indicated a double-digit victory for Livni. The actual vote count turned out much closer, amid very low turnout, with Shaul Mofaz coming within a few hundred votes of winning an unexpected victory over Livni. Supporters of Mofaz called for a recount but Mofaz rejected any legal challenge of the declared result and called Livni to congratulate her on her victory, as did Sheetrit and Dichter.

After Mofaz's loss, he announced that he would be taking a break from politics and leaving the government and Knesset. However, he would remain a member of Kadima. Soon after however, he announced his return and will be vying for the 2nd place in Kadima's Knesset list for the 2009 elections.

After her election, Tzipi Livni failed to form a government, for only the second time in Israeli history. General elections were announced for February 10, 2009.

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Deputy leaders of Israel

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Deputy leaders in Israel fall into three categories: Acting Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, and Vice Prime Minister. Deputy Prime Minister and Vice Prime Minister are honorary rather than official executive positions, but entitle the office-holder to a place in the cabinet.

Acting Prime Ministers take the place of the Prime Minister if he or she is temporarily incapacitated, while the incumbent is still in office.

If the Prime Minister is removed by impeachment, dies, or becomes permanently incapacitated, the cabinet appoints an Interim Prime Minister to serve until a new government is formed.

The designated Acting Prime Minister (Hebrew: ממלא מקום ראש הממשלה‎‎, Memaleh Makom Rosh HaMemshala lit. "Prime Minister's Place Holder", or "Prime Minister's stand-in") takes the role of Prime Minister as Acting Prime Minister, for up to 100 consecutive days, if the incumbent is temporarily incapacitated. Whilst in other countries the term "Acting Prime Minister" only refers to an individual actually performing the role, in Israel the term is also in use when a designated minister is allocated, even if they never actually perform the role. The incumbent minister must be also a Knesset member to be eligible for this role.

According to the Basic law: the Government, if such a position was not held by any of the incumbent ministers, in the event of the Prime Minister being unable to fulfill their duties temporarily, the cabinet would vote to appoint one of their own members, who is a Knesset member, as Acting Prime Minister for up to 100 consecutive days.

In the recently-installed government of Benjamin Netanyahu, there is no designated Acting Prime Minister.

There can be only one designated minister appointed to such position. However, the holder of this ministry position can hold other ministerial position, as the most recent designated Acting Prime Minister, Tzipi Livni, was also Minister of Foreign Affairs. Confusingly, the term is sometimes referred to as Vice Prime Minister, , though a separate and different Vice Prime Minister role already exists. If the Prime Minister is abroad, the designated minister summons the government to cabinet meetings; if there is no such designated minister, in such event, the government will vote for one.

If the Prime Minister wants to replace the designated Acting Prime Minister (usually given to one of the Ministers designated during the forming of the government according to coalition agreements and political needs at the time), he then needs the approval vote of the government and the Knesset. However, the Prime Minister may fire the designated Acting Prime Minister, as he is authorized to fire any minister in his Cabinet.

An Acting Prime Minister will be standing-in for the incumbent (not assume office), acting in the Prime Minister's office, temporarily, and if a designated minister was allocated in advance, automatically, all while the incumbent is in office. However, any Acting Prime Minister will not assume office, automatically (as Interim Prime Minister), after 100 consecutive days, when the Prime Minister, legally, is deemed to be permanently incapacitated, since the "100 consecutive days" was set by law as a limit, not a delegated authority, inasmuch limit for the incumbent to be temporarily incapacitated in office and a limit for the Acting Prime Minister to act in the Incumbent's office.

The aftermath of any event, where the incumbent becomes permanently incapacitated (either declared as such or the "100 consecutive days" limit expired or else), as well as in the event of the incumbent's death or the incumbent was convicted of an offence, are addressed by the law separately. In these cases, the Government that is "deemed to have resigned" to become an Interim Government, and with the absence of a Prime Minister in office, requires a cabinet vote on one of its members (either the Acting Prime Minister or else) who must be a knesset member and (from the 2001 law) a member of the Prime Minister's Party as well, to assume office as an Interim Prime Minister, until a new government is placed in power (the 1968 law did not impose time limit on a "temporarily incapacitation" period of the Incumbent Prime Minister, but rather pending the return of the incumbent to resume his duties, and separately addressed only the event of death of the incumbent, while failing to address Permanent incapacitation or criminal conviction of the Incumbent Prime Minister).

Practically, the use of this position started only 1984 during the 11th Knesset, with the first person to hold the position, Yitzhak Shamir, taking office on 13 September 1984. A Coalition deal between the Labour Alignment and Likud stipulated that Shimon Peres would be Prime Minister for the first two years of the Knesset term (out of four years), with Yitzhak Shamir serving as the designated Acting Prime Minister, and then swap places with Shamir for the next two. The major political parties, right-wing Likud party, then headed by Yitzhak Shamir, and Labour, then headed by Shimon Peres, did not gain enough seats in parliament, during the general election, to form a governing majority coalition, which enabled this coalition agreement to take place. The deal was continued into the 12th Knesset, but collapsed in 1990. The role of the designated Acting Prime Minister was limited and unattractive for any chairman of major party aspiring to get the top job.

The position was resurrected in 2003, with Ariel Sharon appointing Ehud Olmert to the post. As designated Acting Prime Minister, Olmert was called to take over the running of the government, following Sharon's stroke in the midst of elections season of early 2006, and continued his role as Acting Prime Minister, after the election were held, and after Sharon & Olmert's Party were designated to form the new government . Days after the election, Sharon reached the 100 consecutive days of Incapacitation (making him legally permanently incapacitated), and then the pre-elections Interim Government voted on Olmert to be the Interim Prime Minister, and he fully assumed office as an Interim Prime Minister, just days before forming his own new government, in the aftermath of the election, on 4 May 2006, to become the official Prime Minister. Tzipi Livni then was appointed to the post, in Olmert's Government.

The Interim Prime Minister (Hebrew: ראש הממשלה בפועל‎‎, Rosh HaMemshala Ba-foal lit. "Prime Minister de facto") is appointed by the Government if the incumbent is dead or permanently incapacitated, or his tenure was ended due to a criminal conviction.

The Israeli law distinguishes the terms Acting Prime Minister (מלא מקום ראש הממשלה), filling in for the incumbent Prime Minister, temporarily, and acting in the incumbent's office, while the incumbent is in office, and an Interim Prime Minister in office. Only if the incumbent Prime Minister becomes temporarily incapacitated, the acting Prime Minister will act in the incumbent's office and will be standing-in for him for up to 100 consecutive days, while the incumbent is in office. Legally, the "100 consecutive days" limit, in the language of the law, only stipulates that the incumbent then is deemed to be permanently incapacitated and that the limited time for an Acting Prime Minister to act in the incumbent's office is over.

The 1968 law (prior to the 1992 and 2001 basic laws of government) did not impose time limit on a "temporarily incapacitation" period of the Incumbent Prime Minister, but rather pending the return of the incumbent to resume his duties, and separately addressed only the event of death of the incumbent for appointing an interim Prime Minister, while failing to address Permanent incapacitation or criminal conviction of the incumbent Prime Minister.

Separately, the law of 2001 stipulates that in any event where the Incumbent Prime Minister becomes permanently incapacitated (either declared as such or "100 consecutive days" limit expired or else), or if the incumbent died or ceased being Prime Minister due to a criminal conviction, the Government that is "deemed to have resigned" to becomes an Interim Government, continues to govern until a new Government is placed in power, and in the absence of a Prime Minister in office, they then must vote on one of their incumbent Ministers (either the Acting Prime Minister or else) to fully assume office as the Interim Prime Minister, if he or she meet the requirements.

While the Acting Prime Minister must be a Knesset member to meet the requirements, the Interim Prime Minister must be a member of the Prime Minister's party as well. Until the 2001 basic law: the government, both the Acting and Interim Prime Ministers were only required to be a knesset member in addition to being a member of the Government. However, before and after the 2001 law, an Interim Prime Minister would not be appointed unless the Government would be voting on one of their members (either the Acting Prime Minister or else) to be the Interim Prime Minister until a new government is placed in power.

In 2006, Ehud Olmert, after standing-in for Prime Minister Sharon for 100 consecutive days, as acting Prime Minister, did not automatically assume office as an Interim Prime Minister. The Government voted to appoint him, and in addition, he was also a member of Prime Minister's Party, which enabled them to appoint him to the role .

An Interim Prime Minister does not have to form a majority coalition in the Knesset, in order to get their approval vote (as a Prime Minister is required to do), and can assume office immediately, until a new government is placed in power.

Shimon Peres was the Foreign Minister when Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated, and was voted unanimously to assume office as an Interim Prime Minister until a new Government would be placed in power (that he later formed by himself). Yigal Alon was also voted to be the Interim Prime Minister after Prime Minister Levi Eshkol suddenly died and served until Golda Meir formed her Government.

Both the Interim and Acting Prime Ministers' authorities are identical to those of a Prime Minister, with the exception of not having the authority to dissolve the Knesset.

There are other cases (all other), not pending the situation of the incumbent Prime Minister's ability to continue to serve, where the Government becomes an Interim Government, while the Incumbent Prime Minister is in office. In these cases, the Incumbent Prime Minister is commonly referred as an "Interim" Prime Minister, as a reference to change of the legal status only of the Government under him. However, legally he is The Prime Minister, and only the government under him is legally an Interim Government (see Interim Government below).

An interim government (Hebrew: ממשלת מעבר‎, Memshelet Ma'avar lit. "Transitional Government") is the same government, having been changed in their legal status, after the death, resignation, permanent incapacitation, or criminal conviction of the Prime Minister, as well as after the Prime Minister's request to dissolve the Knesset was published through the President's decree, or after it was defeated by a motion of no confidence (these actions are regarded by the law as "the Government shall be deemed to have resigned"), or after election and before the forming of a new government (legally, "Newly elected Knesset" period), and in all the cases above, it continues to govern as an Interim Government, until a new government is placed in power, accordingly to the principle of "Government Continuity", in order to prevent a government void.

If the incumbent Prime Minister can no longer serve (died, permanent incapacitation or criminal conviction), when the government is "deemed to have resigned" to become an Interim Government, they appoint a different person from their own government to the role of an Interim Prime Minister (either the Acting Prime Minister or else) until a new government is placed in power. This is a legal reference both to the change of a Prime Minister in office and in same Government, a change in their legal status.

In all other cases, when the government becomes an Interim Government, and the Incumbent Prime Minister is able to continue to serve also until a new government is placed in power, the Prime Minister is commonly referred also as an "Interim" Prime Minister, as a reference only to the change of the legal status of the same Government under him. However, legally, he is The Prime Minister, and only the Government under him is legally an Interim Government.

An Incumbent Prime Minister running an Interim Government occurs either if the Government is "deemed to have resigned" to become an Interim Government, but the incumbent is able to continue to serve also until a new government is placed in power; if the incumbent resigned, Government was defeated in motion of no confidence, the Prime Minister's request to dissolve the Knesset was published through the President's decree; Or else, during the period of time after elections were held and before the forming of a new government, as defined by the law as the period of time of a "Newly elected Knesset", and if they have not become one already, the elections will turn them into an Interim Governmet as well, as in the cases of the end of a full knesset term (or after extension term), or after the knesset has dissolved itself (but not until election day).

A resignation of the Government or elections, consequentially, turning the Cabinet into an Interim Government (i.e. the Interim Cabinet), legally requires to start the process of forming a new government, through the only single elected branch in the general elections, the Knesset (Israeli parliament), to have an approval "Vote of confidence" of the majority on an official Prime Minister and the government he formed there. If elections were held, the process goes through the newly Knesset designated, but if it occurred during the four years term of the existing Knesset, the process will go back to the exsiting elected branch and will take place there, and only should that fail, as a result, the exsiting elected branch, the Knesset, will be "deemed" to have dissolved itself, and early elections will be held. In all cases above, the Interim Government will continue to govern until one of those processes is successful.

An official Prime Minister is or was always voted, along with the Government he formed in the parliament, in an approval Vote of Confidence by the majority of this elected branch, the Knesset, with the expectation to serve, along with his government, until the end of the Knesset full term, either if he began serving after a newly elected Knesset or in the midst of the Knesset term, unless his government later became an "Interim Government", that is legally "deemed" to have lost that vote, and as apposed to an Interim Prime Minister, appointed by such a government, and without the approval vote of the Knesset, to serve along only until a new government will be placed in power.

If the elected branch, the Knesset, decides on its own to dissolve itself, or is legally "deemed" to have dissolved itself separately, necessarily, leading to early elections, the cabinet is regarded not to have changed in their legal status. However, once elections were held, they automatically become an Interim Government.

An Acting Prime Minister, standing in for the incumbent, while he is temporarily incapacitated, does not turn the government into an Interim Government (nor does the incumbent's temporary situation). However, if the incumbent became temporarily incapacitated, while already running an Interim Government, the Acting Prime minister will be filling in for the incumbent as well.

The law does not impose any impediments on an interim government (except that in the past ministers were banned from resigning and today it has turned into a privilege, were they may resign and a successor may be appointed without the approval vote of the Knesset), but rather addresses the definition of Government continuity for the purpose of preventing a government void situation. However, a Supreme Court ruling on the matter, that stipulated that such a government that does not enjoy the approval vote of the Knesset must act in "restraint in using its authorities, in all matters that do not bear any particular urgency or necessity to act upon them", has opened the door for legal controversies at times, as to what exactly does this legal determination mean .

1 Unless the government already been an Interim Government, in case the Prime Minister resigned, Government was defeated in a Motion of no confidence, or the Prime Minister's request to dissolve the Knesset was published through the President's decree, and only after this occurred, the Prime Minister became temporarily incapacitated (as was in Ehud Olmert's case, when Sharon's request to dissolve the Knesset was published through the President's decree, and only there after, did he become temporarily Incapacited ).

2 Basic Law: the Government (2001); Section 30 on Government Continuity (addresses the continuity of the Prime Minister, after he has resigned his post and appointing an Interim Prime Minister), Section 30 also addresses the following provisions; Criminal conviction of the Prime Minister - 18; Resignation of a Prime Minister - 19; Death or permanent Incapacitation of the Prime Minister - 20, A Prime Minister who ceased being a Knesset Member (Regarded as if he has resigned his post) - 21; Government defeated in Motion of no confidence - 28; Resignation of the Government after the Prime Minister's request to dissolve the Knesset have been published through the President's decree - 29, and defines the "Outgoing Government" according to these clauses (Whereas the Supreme Court referred to it as the "Interim Government" , as it is well known). Clause 30b also refers to the Outgoing Government during the times of "Newly elected Knesset" , hence, if the government's status had not been already an Interim Government during "Newly elected Knesset", according to the clauses above, then in the event of a "Newly elected Knesset" - in conjugation with the Basic law: The Knesset, in the event of the end of the knesst's full term (or after an extension term) or after the knesset has dissolved itself earlier (but not until election day) - the Government then becomes an Interim Government as well.

The position of Deputy Prime Minister (Hebrew: סגן ראש הממשלה‎, Segan Rosh HaMemshela) is an honorary title carried by an incumbent Minister in the Israeli Government under the Basic law:the Government, that states the follows: "A minister may be a Deputy Prime Minister" (but no more than that), thus, not limiting the number of deputies a Prime Minister can appoint (as apposed to an Acting Prime Minister, that can only be one).

It was created in 1963 when Abba Eban was appointed to the post in Levi Eshkol's first government. In 1977 Menachem Begin became the first Prime Minister to have two deputies.

The title was scrapped from 1992-1996 during the term of the 13th Knesset, but was resurrected by Binyamin Netanyahu in 1996 when he appointed four Deputies. In Ehud Olmert's cabinet there are three (previously four), one from his own party, and the leaders of the two next largest parties in his coalition (Labour and Shas).

David Levy has had three spells as Deputy PM; from 1977 until 1992 and then again from 1996-1998 and 1999-2000. Each term was with a different party, Likud, Gesher and One Israel respectively.

The post of Vice Prime Minister (Hebrew: משנה ראש הממשלה‎, Mishneh Rosh HaMemshela) is also sometimes referred to as Vice Premier, is an honorary title carried by an incumbent Minister of the Israeli Government, that does not exist under any Israeli law, and has no statutory meaning, which was originally created especially for one of Israeli founding father, Shimon Peres.

After Amram Mitzna resigned as head of the Labour Party following the party's defeat in the 2003 elections, Peres was once again appointed as temporary chairman of the party, until a primary for leadership among member of party will be held.

When, in early 2005, Ariel Sharon's right-wing coalition was in trouble due to disagreements over the disengagement plan, Peres led his party into Sharon's coalition for the purpose of supporting the plan. During the coalition negotiations, Peres demanded to be appointed Acting Prime Minister, but was turned down, since the position was already occupied by Ehud Olmert. Labour then demanded that the government change the Basic Law: the Government, in order to enable two acting Prime Ministers at the same time, but received no support for such action.

A compromise was reached by Labour's Haim Ramon, in which Peres received the honorary title of Vice Prime Minister, which included provisions within the agreement, defining his jurisdiction within Sharon's government, but had no legal meaning, as the law regarded Peres and the Vice Prime Minister position as no other than just another title for an incumbent minister within the Israeli government.

Although Peres lost the position when Labour left the government in November 2005, he regained it in May 2006 following his defection to Kadima party and the party's victory in the 2006 elections. However, he resigned from the post on the day he won the election for President in June 2007.

Haim Ramon was appointed to the post in a cabinet reshuffle in July 2007, serving until the end of the Olmert government in March 2009. Silvan Shalom and Moshe Ya'alon were both appointed Vice Prime Minister in the Netanyahu government.

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Source : Wikipedia