Avigdor Liberman, chairman of Yisrael Beytenu, wants Naftali Bennett and Gideon Sa'ar to provide Israeli citizens clear answers on what they will do the day after elections are over.
"This is the first time that there's a realistic chance of having a Zionist, liberal coalition that would turn the State of Israel into an enlightened and prosperous success story, putting us on par with the leading countries in the world" said Liberman. "But for that to happen, Israelis need to know the truth."
"The public is entitled to know whether Yamina will continue serving as Netanyahu's line of defense. Will they join him and the haredi-extremist bloc? Will Gideon Sa'ar, who promises to bring us hope, keep his promise to Litzman and Deri, whom he views as political allies?" he wondered.
"The public wants to know whether its elected representatives are committed to a new path which will lead us to the formation of a Zionist and liberal coalition without Netanyahu and the haredi parties," he continued.
"Elected officials are required to provide clear indications of their plans once in office - not just phrases like 'I won't rule out' or 'I'm not worried about that at the moment.' I've asked them these questions in person and have yet to receive an answer, but the public is entitled to know."
On Wednesday, Yamina MK and head of the National Union party, Betzalel Smotrich, was interviewed by Israel Radio and discussed an initiative promoted by Liberman seeking to create a center-right bloc that could, as he asserts, displace the Likud along with Liberman’s personal nemesis, Binyamin Netanyahu.
Liberman has reportedly sent a letter to the leaders of three parties – New Hope, headed by Gideon Sa’ar; Yamina, headed by Naftali Bennett; and Yesh Atid, headed by Yair Lapid – suggesting they combine forces to overthrow the “Netanyahu regime,” as Liberman terms it.
The concept is particularly interesting as it appears to be backtracking from Liberman’s previous vows that he will not sit in a government with “Messianics,” referring to the right-wing religious settlers he loathes. If indeed he does intend to partner with Bennett, he would probably attempt to split the Yamina party into its component factions, persuading its more liberal wing (composed primarily of Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked) to desert the National Union, headed by Smotrich.
“Liberman scribbles something down and Yediot Aharonot rushes to place it on the front page – giving him the publicity he craves,” Smotrich said. “But we are not about to fall into the pit that this cynical and dangerous politician has prepared for us."
“Liberman is an extremely dangerous person,” Smotrich added. “He has no achievements to boast of – all he does is pursue a personal agenda, motivated solely by his hatred for Netanyahu. There’s no way we’re going to join him, and I hope very much that the Israeli political system will eject this evil person from its midst.”