'Liberman Needs to Decide - Is He Right- or Left?'

Likud Dept. Minister Tzipi Hotovely says Israeli voters need to focus on the policies, not personalities, of parties; takes a dig at Lapid.

Benni Toker and Ari Soffer,

Left or Right? Avigdor Liberman
Left or Right? Avigdor Liberman
Hadas Parush/Flash 90

Deputy Minister Tzipi Hotovely spoke with Arutz Sheva Wednesday evening about her efforts to forge a united right-wing bloc to run in next March's general elections - and said the Israeli electorate should be focusing on the policies of candidates, not their personalities.

"The time has come to stop dealing all the time with the personal side but rather with the (policy) direction."

"We saw how a leader got here, from Yesh Atid, who sold hollow slogans to the public," she said of Yair Lapid, who was fired yesterday by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu prior to the PM's announcement of new elections.

Hotovely noted that the electorate granted Lapid "considerable strength" with a full 19 seats "without checking what stood behind the man."

She also took aim at Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, formerly a close ally of the prime minister whose party ran on a joint list with Likud in 2012 - but which now seems to be taking a markedly different path.

Noting the recent "peace plan" drawn up by Liberman's party, which would see large swathes of land ceded to the Palestinian Authority, Hotovely said: "Liberman also has to choose if he is for splitting the land or not."

"One day he is on the Right and the next he is on the Left," she added, saying that only once Liberman chooses a consistent position would Likud be able to consider including Yisrael Beytenu in any potential united right-wing bloc.

For the meantime, she said, her vision was for a united coalition including Likud, Jewish Home and potentially the new party being formed by ex-Likudnik Moshe Kahlon.

According to Hotovely, "there are political alliances that are artificial - like the Bennett-Lapid alliance - and there are genuine alliances."

"We must have a single alliance between the Jewish Home and Likud - these are two similar parties," she continued, insisting that her party was no less "right-wing" than Jewish Home.

Despite calls by Hotovely and other Likud officials for an alliance with the Jewish Home party in recent days, Jewish Home officials have not indicated they are interested in such an offer.

Indeed, it could prove politically-risky for them by alienating many core voters - as the disappointing showing of last elections' joint Likud-Yisrael Beytenu list aptly illustrated.




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