Livni Repeats Calls for Unity, Labor Responds: Quit the Antics
After mud was thrown and accusations were hurled on Monday among Tzipi Livni, Yair Lapid and Shelly Yachimovich, it seems that Livni has not yet given up on her hopes of forming a united front to rival Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
The HaTnua party chairwoman convened a press conference Tuesday and addressed the combatative statements being made to the media by the three party leaders and her continued hope of ousting Binyamin Netanyahu from the top Knesset spot. "We must not give up," said Livni. "It is up to us to present a moderate front against the extremists," she told the press, adding that she would soon recommend a candidate from the center-left to be prime minister amid renewed calls for the three parties to run in a joint campaign.
"I called this press conference because I believe in transparency and I think it is the public's right to know the truth and to know the day's agenda - what is right and the proposal and the plan that I suggested to Shelly and Yair, a proposal that I am again openly putting on the table so there are no misunderstandings," she said at the opening of the conference.
"We need to introduce a moderate front against the extreme front of Netanyahu and his extremist partners," continued Livni who again called on Yachimovich and Lapid to join her in what she called would be a three-way effort focusing on issues such as the peace process, equal burden and changes in economic policy.
"In order to stimulate renewed hope within the public, I suggested a joint campaign which will allow the public to choose a central party, not a radical one. The center is us. The cry to the public should be: 'Let's vote for one of the parties from the bloc,' and when each one of us will have one voice for all of the parties it is another voice for all of us."
"If we decide to be a part of the opposition, Netanyahu will have a bad and, in my opinion, problematic option - an extreme right-wing government that is shaky and unstable. If we decide together that we will impose on Netanyahu a national government - that will be a circumstance in which we can promote all of our priorities. That was the plan," said Livni.
However, judging from the immediate response from Labor, it seems that the additional attempt by Livni to reach across to Yachimovich's party was not received well.
MK Eitan Cabel, head of Labor's response team, commented on the press conference, saying, "At a time when Livni is busy with political antics and attempts to steal votes from other centrist parties, something which she has been doing over and over again, we held a conference with hundreds of Likudniks who announced their transfer of support to the Labor Party, because they're tired of Netanyahu's economic and social policies."
"The plan which leaked to the media was never the one presented at the meeting, but only after it, as spin designed to cover the crash of her party in the polls," he added. "She does this while not hesitating to mislead the caring and concerned public who pray for hope and change."