Liberman: I'm not settling accounts, Netanyahu failed

Avigdor Liberman says, 'Netanyahu was the one who voted for the disengagement. Netanyahu was the one who apologized to Erdogan.'

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Avigdor Liberman
Avigdor Liberman
Flash 90

Yisrael Beyteinu chairman Avigdor Liberman spoke about Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's accusations against him on The Weekend News on Saturday evening.

"The Likud negotiation team was egocentric," Liberman said. "Behind my back, Netanyahu negotiated with the left, with Avi Gabbay (Labor) and Itzik Shmuli (Labor). Natan Eshel already negotiated with them before he began negotiations with us. We conducted negotiations with clean hands."

"What satisfies me is that we proved that our word is our word," Liberman added. "We stand behind our principles and our promises. The issue of the Draft Law began way before there were elections on the horizon."

"It started with the "Supermarket Law," [the closure of supermarkets on Shabbat], and moved to the Yehudit bridge, and then to a boycott of the Phoenicia factory [for operating on Shabbat] and then to stories like the Biblical Zoo [an attempt to halt ticket sales on Shabbat]. They [the haredim] were drunk with power. I didn't demand anything new for the Draft Law. I asked for the same version. I was told, 'You have five seats, we have 22.' The fact that there was a change in power doesn't invalidate earlier agreements."

"We went to the president and recommended Netanyahu," Liberman added. "We didn't promise to concede on all our principles. Netanyahu was the one who voted for the disengagement; Netanyahu was the one who apologized to Erdogan; Netanyahu torpedoed the death penalty for terrorists and canceled the Khan al-Ahmar evacuation."

"I hear in the studio here [Tzachi] Hanegbi (Likud) wants to negotiate with Ofer Shelah (Blue and White) and Yael German (Blue and White). It doesn't matter to me who will lead the next government. We won't agree to a haredi government. We're in favor of a Jewish state but against a state run by Jewish law."

Liberman claims he has no personal issue with Netanyahu. "I'm not settling accounts. Everything depends on my basic principles. If the Draft Law isn't passed in its original version, we won't cooperate with it."

When asked if he sees himself as the prime minister in the future, Liberman replied: "I see myself as the head of my party. I need to succeed. I never said that the dream of being prime minister is blinding me. We'll do our best, bring enough seats - and weigh our options. We'll remain realistic."

"The one who dragged the country into the elections is Netanyahu because he dissolved the Knesset," Liberman concluded. "Netanyahu knew in advance what I was going to do and he was the one who was tasked with forming the government. I wouldn't have failed. The one who failed is him."