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Leftist Trio Holds Nighttime Meeting

Yechimovich, Livni and Lapid meet "in good atmosphere" but fail to reach agreements.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 1/7/2013, 8:04 AM

Yechimovich and Livni
Yechimovich and Livni
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Shelly Yechimovich, Yair Lapid, and Tzipi Livni, who respectively head Labor, Yesh Atid and the Tzipi Livni Movement, met Sunday night to discuss the possibility of a common front vis-à-vis Binyamin Netanyahu's Likud / Yisrael Beytenu. The meeting was held in "a good atmosphere," they said, but no agreement on a common path appears to have been reached.

Livni published a statement after the meeting, supposedly on behalf of all three participants, according to which the meeting was held in a positive atmosphere, they "discussed the dangers of the [Netanyahu] government," and they would meet again to talk whenever the need arose.

Livni told Voice of Israel Radio Monday morning that she had hoped that the three could issue a statement in which they vowed not to serve as "a fig leaf" in a hareidi-nationalist government, but no agreement on this was reached.

According to IDF Radio, Yechimovich and Lapid demanded that Livni declare that she would not sit in a Netanyahu government, but she refused to do so. "Lapid himself said that he would enter the Netanyahu government; it is strange that he demands that I say this," she told the radio station.

"Either we go into the opposition vis-à-vis the extremist Netanyahu government, or we go to a unity government for the good of the Nation of Israel," she said. "However, I will not be a fig leaf in a right wing government."

Yesh Atid published its own statement after the meeting, also supposedly on behalf of all three participants but different from Livni's. Yesh Atid added that the party does not see a danger in a Netanyahu government per se but in an extremist government.

According to reports ahead of the meeting, the three planned to discuss the possibility of creating a parliamentary bloc to prevent Netanyahu from forming a coalition.

Likud-Beytenu said in response to the meeting: "Two weeks before the elections, all of the Left's forces have come together in order to bring down the government of Prime Minister Netanyahu and the nationalist camp."