Liberman Flash 90

Yisrael Beytenu chairman Avigdor Liberman hopes to win more than ten Knesset seats in the upcoming elections, is not impressed by the polls, and doesn't rule out a partnership with Ayelet Shaked once the New Right separates from the United Right.

At a Shabbatarbut (political and cultural forums that take place on the Sabbath) event in Modi'in, Liberman explained why he didn't merge with any other party. "I made it clear at the outset, shortly after they declared elections for the 22nd Knesset, that we will not merge with anyone. I'm not interested in anyone and I'm very happy with our list."

On the possibility of cooperating with the United Right after elections, Liberman said that there is no way he will sit in a government with Ministers Bezalel Smotrich (National Union) and Rafi Peretz (Bayit Yehudi). "I don't see a difference between Smotrich and Rafi Peretz and Itamar ben Gvir (Otzma Yehudit)."

"I understood from Ayelet Shaked - I didn't talk to her but from what I saw on television, she explained that it was a technical bloc and they are separating right after the election. I really appreciate Ayelet Shaked, she was a great justice minister. She would definitely be a good partner if she separates from them."

Liberman will demand the Interior and Health portfolios in the next government. "We are not against the haredi, not against the religious - we are against religious coercion. My family is mixed - my wife and my daughter are completely religious. My grandchildren are religious. That's why we live in Nokdim - a mixed community - haredi, National Religious and secular people like me - and we all get along beautifully."

"I'm the first person who would oppose the opening of supermarkets on Shabbat in Bnei Brak. I don't see a reason to close supermarkets on Shabbat in Modi'in, Tel Aviv or Ashdod. In order to implement this, I would need a tool called the Interior Ministry - not only for these issues but also for other issues."

"We will insist that we dismantle the religious councils. They have no justification. Just like every municipality has a department of culture and welfare, there must also be a department of religious services. Religious councils have become branches of Shas and UTJ."

Liberman also said he would demand to rotate the position of prime minister with Netanyahu but later on Saturday, in an interview with Meet the Israeli Press, Liberman changed his mind and said he would not demand to serve as prime minister.

Liberman also said in the interview on Meet the Israeli Press that there would not be another election. Even if Netanyahu fails to form a government, he believes that the Likud will elect a different leader. "I believe that Yuli Edelstein is someone who can lead the party. I am sure the Likud will find an alternative figure if they understand that Netanyahu can't form a government."

Liberman claims he will only join a unity government between Blue and White and Likud and no other government: "We need a broad national government. Yisrael Beytenu, Likud, and Blue and White. Not with the haredim, not with the messianics and not with Meretz. There is only one option and I'm positive it will materialize."

He also said that one of the senior ministers in the Likud called him and said he apologizes for attacking him in interviews but that he must do so because otherwise he will be screamed at.

The Likud responded to Liberman's comments: "The cat is out of the bag. Liberman dragged the country into the insanity of re-elections only because of his desire to be prime minister. Today he admits to aspiring to be prime minister in rotation with Gantz."