Source: Likud to reach out to Liberman

Likud source says the party intends to reach out to Yisrael Beytenu after talks with Zionist Union failed.

Elad Benari,

Avigdor Liberman and Binyamin Netanyahu in happier times
Avigdor Liberman and Binyamin Netanyahu in happier times
Miriam Alster/Flash 90

The Likud party intends to reach out to Yisrael Beytenu to try to convince it to join the coalition, a source in the party said on Thursday night.

The move comes due to the fact that talks with the Zionist Union on forming a unity government have stalled due to significant gaps between the sides, the source said, according to Channel 2 News.

Netanyahu is expected to call on Yisrael Beytenu chairman Avigdor Liberman to "break away from the opposition," according to the source.

The Likud maintains that the need to contact other parties to join the coalition is due to the fact that Liberman took votes from rightist voters and then entered the opposition.

Earlier on Thursday, Zionist Union chairman Yitzhak Herzog issued his list of terms for joining the Likud-led coalition.

"If I receive the mandate to stop the next funeral procession and curb the dangers of an international boycott, to return the United States and Europe into being allies, to open negotiations with neighboring states and to separate from the Palestinians in two states in order to halt the constant terrorism - then I will know that my hands are holding the steering wheel," he wrote.

"If I receive the mandate to bring down the cost of living, to protect the public from the gas deal, to safeguard the Supreme Court, to cast to the winds all the despicable racist legislation - when that happens I will know my hands are holding the steering wheel," he continued.

But Herzog was also blasted by members of his own party, who warned him that he does not have the mandate to sign an agreement with the Likud and join the coalition, and declaring they would not be part of the coalition even if he decides to enter.

It is hard to determine at this point how successful Netanyahu will be in convincing Liberman to join his coalition, as the two have been at odds for months and have continued to verbally attack one another.

One such example came last month with Liberman blasted the government’s “weak” and “defeatist” policy, and claimed it was holding secret, indirect talks with Hamas.

Days earlier, Liberman claimed Netanyahu had been holding secret talks with Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas and was hiding it from the cabinet.

The Likud fired back, claiming Liberman was conspiring with the Arab Joint List party to bring down the government. The comments came after Liberman expressed support for a new bill being promoted by the opposition which would see Prime Ministers limited to two terms.




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