Avigdor Lieberman, the number two MK in the Likud/Yisrael Beiteinu, said Thursday that contrary to reports, Binyamin Netanyahu had not given up on the idea of a government including hareidi parties. “There is a good chance the hareidi parties will be able to join,” Lieberman said of Shas and United Torah Jewry.
The reports about the gaps between Netanyahu's potential coalition partners – the hareidi parties on the one hand, and Yesh Atid and Jewish Home on the other – were misleading. “I do not recall any government that was established 28 days after an election,” Lieberman said on Army Radio. “We are working on establishing the widest possible government, because Israel needs this right now.”
Lieberman added that voters for Jewish Home and Labor, which respectively have shown great hesitation and outright refusal to join a Netanyahu-led government, at least under current conditions, were at odds with their party's leadership. “The Israeli public is very responsible and intelligent, and most voters of these parties want to see their parties in the government.”
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is set to offer a coalition deal to Yesh Atid and Jewish Home, reports Wednesday night said. Although he is striving to convince both parties to agree to including Shas in the government, Netanyahu is preparing to form his government without hareidi parties, at least initially, the reports said.