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      MK Levin Warns of 'Nightmare' Coalition with Labor

      Likud MK says Bayit Yehudi's inflexibility may push Likud into a coalition with leftist parties.
      By Gil Ronen
      First Publish: 2/21/2013, 6:13 PM

      MK Yariv Levin
      MK Yariv Levin
      Israel news photo: Flash 90

      MK Yariv Levin (Likud / Yisrael Beytenu) warned Thursday that in view of the way Bayit Yehudi is conducting itself in the coalition talks, there is a good chance that the Labor party will also enter the next government, which has already been joined by Tzipi Livni.

      Levin said that he warned before the elections that if Likud / Yisrael Beytenu fails to receive enough Knesset seats to enable it "to form a government with a small number of partners that depend on us instead of vice versa," it will be exposed to blackmail by "a plethora" of parties, and "what is worse, we will find ourselves in a situation where we require partners from the Left that have more electoral power, and a greater ability to topple the government, and that is why the dependence on them will be greater – and unfortunately, this is exactly what happened," he told Arutz Sheva.

      Levin referred to the agreement between Yesh Atid and Bayit Yehudi, which have stated that neither will enter the government without the other. Instead of letting the prime minister form the government he wants, he said, these two parties are trying to dictate who his partners will be, who will be appointed to what ministerial post and "we will decide everything and we will also be able to dissolve the government at any given moment."

      He referred to a statement by Yair Lapid, who, after the election, envisioned a situation in which is party would go to the Opposition benches and topple the Netanyahu government in 18 months' time. Establishing a coalition with Bayit Yehudi and Yesh Atid means that hareidim will be left out of the government, he said. In such a situation, Likud will be completely dependent on Yesh Atid's whims, because "it will be able to decide that it is leaving the government and toppling it at any given time. That is an unbearable situation."

      While a coalition with Lapid and Bennett and without the hareidim is a very bad idea, he explained, new elections are not an option at all, because they would be a disaster for the economy and dangerous in other ways as well. There is a third option, he warned – in which Labor, or a part of it, joins the government.

      This would be "the nightmare we all share," he said, in which the government rests on leftist parties that can topple it at any time.

      Levin said that Bayit Yehudi could have handled the negotiations differently and asked for the Justice Ministry portfolio. He estimated that such a demand could even have been successful, if it had been made in time.