Report: Netanyahu and Liberman to meet at height of crisis

After break between them in recent days, PM and the Yisrael Beyteinu Chair to meet in private in effort to form government.

Hezki Baruch ,

Flash 90

Senior Likud officials say Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Yisrael Beyteinu Chairman Avigdor Liberman will meet this evening but a spokesman for the Prime Minister has denied these reports.

There has been a disconnect between the two over the past few days, in light of the difficulties in negotiating the coalition. The Prime Minister's Spokesman claimed that he does not know of such a meeting, but the Likud insists that it will indeed take place.

In the afternoon, the Right Parties Union Chairman Rabbi Rafi Peretz met with Liberman and the two discussed the need to end the crisis and bring the government together as quickly as possible, even before the deadline imposed on the Prime Minister.

Earlier, Liberman slammed the Likud and accused it of failing to advance coalition negotiations.

"We were very practical, very clear, and in order to deal with our truth, the Likud is trying, through their mighty propaganda machine, to produce a narrative of personal revenge," Liberman said.

"Anyone who wants to understand what I'm talking about is going to look at this morning's Israel Hayom newspaper; the Pravda newspaper in the days of Stalin was more subtle and more objective.

"The current government isn't a right-wing government, it's a completely religious government; we won't be partners in an halakhic government," Liberman said.

"If the Likud brings a law to dissolve the Knesset, we'll support it; we won't support any alternative candidate to form a government other than Netanyahu."

Yisrael Beyteinu's CHairman spoke of rumors of Ayelet Shaked joining his list. "I appreciate Shaked and I met her in social circumstances. Yisrael Beytenu will run with the current group. We won't waste time in all sorts of changes."

Regarding rumors about contacts between him and Yair Lapid, Liberman said, "Two weeks before the elections I met them in a Russian restaurant and it was tasty ... I cannot swear that it was kosher but it was tasty."

Liberman clarified that the dispute is not only about the Draft Law, "It's not only the Draft Law. The Draft Law has become a symbol and we won't give up our symbols."

"Elections are unnecessary, but cheaper than all the coalition agreements, and elections are a cheap solution - in this case, those who are guilty of the failure of the negotiations are the Likud. I suggest that the haredim allow the law to pass in the plenum and not vote. I prefer to give up the pleasure of elections, but when there are no alternatives we'll fight for the position and pay the price. It's time to conclude the Draft Law saga. I have no intention of striving with the Likud and I recommended Netanyahu. I don't know if we'll recommend him next time," Liberman added.

"I take into account the risk that I won't pass the threshold, and the negotiations don't stop even for a second. The number of conversations and messengers is endless. I'm not a commentator and therefore I don't know whether we're preparing for elections," Liberman said.

Yisrael Beyteinu's Chairman rejected claims that he refused to meet with Netanyahu. "For reasons of protocol one doesn't invite abruptly and not in a disrespectful way. They turned the invitation into a media festival."