New Knesest a matter of time
Liberman Confirms Elections an 'Established Fact'

Key coalition member argues government should have joined together, instead 'we are going to quarrel for several months.'

Nir Har-Zahav, Ari Yashar ,

Avigdor Liberman
Avigdor Liberman
Hadas Parush/Flash 90

Foreign Minister and Yisrael Beytenu chairman Avigdor Liberman, a key member of the Knesset coalition, announced clearly on Tuesday that elections are certain at this point, after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's last minute talks with Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid fell through on Monday.

Liberman stated "it's not a secret that the people of Israel don't understand why after less than two years we are going to elections - but the elections are an established fact."

"I don't want to deal with the reasons for why we reached this point, and I still believe that we could have done otherwise and didn't need to be rolled into elections," said Liberman. "Currently we need to think how to get back on track right after the elections. The challenges are many and the fact of elections doesn't exempt us from dealing with them."

After the failed talks on Monday night between Netanyahu and Lapid, it is anticipated that bills presented by the opposition to break apart the government which come up for voting on Wednesday likely will lead to elections as early as next March.

Noting on the factors surrounding the government collapse, Liberman said "we still are a country without a budget, that perhaps stands before a general strike in the economy. There is also no shortage of challenges in the national sphere and terrorism is rising its head."

"We all should have joined together, and now instead of that we are going to quarrel for several months," concluded Liberman.

Indeed Netanyahu called for all opposition members to join the coalition in a request that was promptly rejected over the myriad of tensions splitting the government, prime among them the Jewish State Law that calls to enshrine Israel's status as the nation-state of the Jewish people.

Regarding elections, Liberman's party last month presented a campaign plan outlining their goals which many remarked are blatantly leftist, urging to divide Israel and concede on large swathes of currently sovereign territory so as to "unify" the people.

Earlier Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich of Liberman's Yisrael Beytenu party said he felt it wasn't the time for elections due to the economic situation and the breakdown of security - a reality which many have blamed Aharonovich for and called for him to step down.

Aharonovich said his party is ready for elections, but said he thought Israel would lose a lot of money from the process and speculated there wouldn't be significant changes in the political map after elections.

The minister added at the end of a tour of eastern Jerusalem with journalists that in the coming days he intends to submit a plan to the cabinet to strengthen the security in the capital, which has been rocked by numerous high-profile terrorist attacks in recent weeks under Aharonovich's watch.



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