Yisrael Beytenu Chairman MK Avigdor Liberman on Saturday expressed interest in the position of prime minister, and added that he does not rule out a rotation deal with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
At a Shabbatarbut (political and cultural forums that take place on the Sabbath) event in Modi'in, Liberman said: "A wise Jew once said, 'There are those who for them, the issue of premiership is an obsession.' So for me it's just an option - not an obsession. I am realistic and I try to see the whole picture. With us, there's no direct voting, you vote for a party. You need to have enough Knesset seats first of all to win the elections, and after that we divide it up."
Sources close to Liberman clarified: "There is no option of a rotation with Netanyahu. All of our efforts are going towards creating a wide, nationalistic, liberal government. It interests us a lot less who the prime minister will be."
The Likud responded: "Liberman's words are a smokescreen to distract the public from the fact that last week, he told activists to 'go for Netanyahu's head' and that he intends to recommend [Blue and White leaders MKs Yair] Lapid and [Benny] Gantz for premiership."
"Just a few days ago, Gersh Fishman, who heads the Yisrael Beytenu branch in Netanya, published an instruction from Liberman which called on branch leaders and mayors not to do anything other than attack Netanyahu. That says everything about Liberman's intentions."
On Friday, Channel 13 reported that Liberman is changing his strategy, and will no longer attack Netanyahu. The decision was made after a poll of 1,000 Russian voters found that both Netanyahu and Liberman are popular among the community, and that Russian voters will "punish" those perceived as "guilty" in a conflict between Netanyahu and Liberman.