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Likud-Hatnua Union ‘A Mistake,’ MK Warns

MK Ariel warns against Likud-Hatnua deal, calls for Likud nationalists to come out of hiding.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 2/19/2013, 10:49 PM

MK Uri Ariel
MK Uri Ariel
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Likud’s deal to bring Tzipi Livni’s Hatnua party into the coalition “is a mistake,” MK Uri Ariel of the Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) party declared Tuesday night. Ariel is in charge of coalition negotiations for the party.

“I hope that Likud members who have a clear stance on diplomatic negotiations will speak up,” he said.

The deal with Hatnua will reportedly see Tzipi Livni appointed to head Israel’s negotiations, if there should be any, with the Palestinian Authority. Livni is far to the left of the Likud, and recently criticized the government for allowing Israeli construction in Judea and Samaria.

When she conducted negotiations under former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert it was reported that the two had agreed to give up part of Jerusalem to the PA.

MK Ariel accused nationalist Likud MKs of “hiding,” adding, “Instead of making unequivocal declarations, they choose to blame others, like they did during the elections campaign.”

Regarding Likud’s reported coalition talks with the Jewish Home party, Ariel said, “We got an offer that can’t be called an offer.” The offer did not include discussion of the government’s stance on key issues, he said, or general plans regarding the budget.

However, he said, coalition talks are not yet over. “We will see how things develop in the upcoming days,” he concluded.