Livni Ready to Meet Most of Lieberman's Demands
Kadima head Tzipi Livni said Monday that she is prepared to grant most of the coalition demands listed by Yisrael Beiteinu (Israel is Our Home) head Avigdor Lieberman. Yisrael Beiteinu passed Labor to become Israel's third largest party in the recent elections, and Lieberman's support could determine whether Livni or political rival Binyamin Netanyahu is selected to assemble a coalition.
Lieberman sent a list to both Livni and Netanyahu on Saturday night listing his party's demands, which include:
- The extension of Daniel Friedmann's term as Justice Minister.
- Civil marriage between partners forbidden to marry under Jewish law.
- Making the toppling of the Hamas regime in Gaza a national goal.
- Easing the conversion process.
- Making citizenship dependent on loyalty to the country and demanding that all Israelis perform some form of national service.
-A senior government ministry.
The last demand may prove difficult, as an ongoing police investigation means Lieberman cannot serve as Justice Minister or Public Security Minister, and may not be able to serve as Finance Minister either.
According to Vice Premier Chaim Ramon of Kadima, “Almost ninety percent of Yisrael Beiteinu's positions as written in the document [sent by Lieberman] match our own.” Kadima believes that all young Israelis should take part in national service, he said.
An official response from Kadima said the party would work to increase participation in national service, “according to the principle that each young Israeli citizen is obligated to contribute to the state and to society in which he lives through military, national or civilian service recognized by the government.”
Kadima has not responded to Yisrael Beiteinu's demand to make citizenship dependent on loyalty.
Netanyahu: We Have a Government
While Livni assured Lieberman that her party is in agreement with his, Likud head Netanyahu expressed confidence that he would be chosen to assemble the coalition. “We have a government,” Netanyahu told party members during a Monday meeting.
According to Ynet, Netanyahu continued speaking to party members after journalists had left the meeting, and expressed hope that he would manage to create a broad coalition “wider than our natural coalition.” Netanyahu also mentioned his attempt to convince Kadima to join a coalition led by Likud, and said his offer to the party had been “generous".