Avigdor Lieberman Remains Poker-Faced
Avigdor Lieberman Remains Poker-FacedIsrael News File

Lieberman to Voice of Israel, 'You're a liar.'

Kadima leader Tzipi Livni met on Wednesday with Yisrael Beiteinu chair Avigdor Lieberman in her jump-start attempt to form a coalition government, should President Peres give her the chance.

Livni offered Lieberman her support of a secular platform that Yisrael Beiteinu espouses. Her offer includes support for civil marriages, as opposed to the present system of marriage and divorce which is governed by Jewish religious law. She also expressed her support for changes in the system of government. Lieberman has previously stated that he intends to additionally allow unrestricted sale of pork in the Jewish State, and remove the current Sabbath restrictions on commerce.

Even if Lieberman decides not to accept Livni’s offer, she hopes that he will at least recommend to President Shimon Peres that she get first dibs to form a coalition government. Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu party, in contrast with Kadima, favors granting citizenship only to residents who express their support for the State of Israel. The party calls for transfering some Arab villages in Israel to Palestinian Authority rule and incorporating Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria into Israel's permanent borders.

Livni has only a slim chance of forming a government, since the nationalist/religious bloc is greater than the left-wing/Arab bloc. Nevertheless, Livni pledged Wednesday to make every effort “for my voters.” However, she stated that she would not pay “an exorbitant price” for other parties to join her coalition.

When asked whether he would support a Kadima-led coalition, Avigdor Lieberman - who has chosen this week to go on vacation - preferred to remain poker-faced. In an interview with Voice of Israel government radio on Thursday, Lieberman stated that he has already decided, but would not show his cards. “It is only proper that I first speak to the president,” Lieberman stated.

In addition, regarding allegations that he used public funds to take personal trips, Lieberman expressed his dissatisfaction at the Israeli media’s attempts to delegitimize him. “You’re a liar. You’d better check your facts out before you accuse me,” he told the interviewer.

Livni, who still is Foreign Minister in the transitional government, claimed victory in the elections after Kadima received one more Knesset mandate than the Likud. However, that margin could still change after the votes of soldiers and diplomats are counted on Thursday evening. The final election results will be published here.