'If we dump haredi parties for Liberman, we won't have gov't'

Minister Ze'ev Elkin slams ultimatum by Yisrael Beytenu leader for coalition support as 'illogical.'

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Ze'ev Elkin
Ze'ev Elkin
צילום: אהוד אמיתון/TPS

Minister Ze'ev Elkin, a member of the Likud negotiating team, accused Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman of engaging in an "illogical ultimatum" in an interview with Channel 12 News.

Last night, Liberman stated that he will request that Gantz accept Israeli President Reuven Rivlin's compromise, while at the same time requesting that Netanyahu agree to break up the 55-MK bloc formed by the Likud and the right and religious parties.

If either Netanyahu or Gantz refuse to compromise, Liberman's party will support the other candidate.

"Liberman wants us to say goodbye to the haredim, but if we separate from the haredim and Liberman joins us then we won't have a government," Elkin said in response. The haredi Shas and United Torah Judaism parties combine for 16 Kneeset seats, double that of Yisrael Beytenu, which has eight seats.

Minister Elkin also added that he wonders how Liberman's position on the Arab Knesset parties has changed. Until two weeks ago Liberman described them as a "fifth column," but Elkin believes he is now prepared to sit together with them in a government. "What happened in those two weeks? Is Tibi already fit to sit with Liberman in the same government or support it from the outside?"

He also noted that the president's outline that Liberman now speaks of includes all the parties in the right-wing bloc. "Liberman, who once spoke of loyalty, is ready to form a government with Ahmed Tibi."