Livni-Labor Pact Gives Israel a 'Clear Choice'

MK Tzachi says there's one upside to the political union between Tzipi Livni and Labor: There is now a clear choice for Israelis.

Moshe Cohen ,

Clearer choice?
Clearer choice?
Miriam Alster/Flash 90

In an interview Thursday, MK Tzachi Hanegbi said that there was one upside to the political union between Tzipi Livni and Labor announced Wednesday night: There was now a clear choice for Israelis between the Right and the Left.

Hanegbi, a deputy Prime Minister and long-time Likud MK, said that the public now had a clear choice. Speaking on Israel Radio, Hanegbi said that “Livni and Labor head Yitzchak Herzog have made clear what they stand for, and as Prime Minister, Binyamin Netanyahu has made clear what he stands for.”

The fact the Livni dropped her Hatnu'a and joined Labor makes it clear that there is no “middle road” for voters. “This move helps clarify the choices – either a leftist government that will give up territory or the national camp that will preserve Israel's security,” he said.

Agreeing with Hanegbi – but from the other side of the aisle – was Labor MK Nachman Shai. “The union is good because it will give the center-left more power to stop the rightward slide in Israel,” he said on Israel Radio, adding that, like Livni, another former Likud defector – Shaul Mofaz – may join Labor as well.

“This would be a major development as well, with both Livni and Mofaz, both popular political figures and important officials, bringing their electoral power to the center-left,” he said.

Shaul Mofaz currently leads the Kadima party, which held just two seats in the current Knesset and will almost certainly not make it into the next one. Rumors have been swirling in recent days that Mofaz may attempt to salvage his political career by joining Labor.

Speaking earlier on Army Radio, Labor leader Yitzchak Herzog praised the agreement with Livni, which calls for the two rotating as Prime Minister. “I truly believe in sharing the leadership, this is a new and refreshing idea that has not really been a feature of Israeli politics until now. I believe this will help us form a coalition. It is giving us hope, and power,” he said.

With that, Herzog realizes that the new system has challenges. “Of course there are risks, but under the current circumstances we need to join forces. We have both done polls, and they show we will do better together than we would have separately,” he added.