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Bennett Fears Realized: Report Says PM, Livni Discuss Coalition

Sources close to Tzipi Livni say she was in preliminary talks with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on plans for a post-election coalition
By David Lev
First Publish: 12/25/2012, 5:28 PM

Netanyahu and Livni
Netanyahu and Livni

Sources close to Tzipi Livni said that her “Movement” party was in preliminary talks with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on plans for a post-election coalition. A report on Israel Radio quoted unnamed officials in both Livni's party and the Likud as saying that the talks were exploring matters of policy, and political appointments that members of Livni's party might be able to receive.

Among those positions, said the officials, was likely to be a high-level ministry position that would allow Livni to have an impact on the government's policy regarding negotiations with the Palestinian Authority. Both Netanyahu and Livni support setting up a PA state in parts of Judea and Samaria, with the two differing on the scope and size of the state.

In an official statement, a Likud spokesperson said that “there never were such discussions and there are none at present.” Such talk, the spokesperson said, crops up from time to time, but in the end “Netanyahu always chooses to form a government with the Likud's 'natural partners,'” the right wing parties.

On Monday, Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) Chairman Naftali Bennett warned that Netanyahu was strongly considering setting up a coalition with left wing parties, like Kadima. In an interview on Channel Two, Bennett said that "Netanyahu prefers to have weak parties that have no effect. working with him. He wants to navigate alone."

"We want to hold the wheel together with him," he continued.  "I'm worried about Netanyahu after I heard he plans to build a leftist coalition together with Tzipi Livni and Yair Lapid."