The center-left Blue and White party on Tuesday signed a vote-sharing agreement with the Russian "right-wing" Yisrael Beytenu party.
Under vote-sharing agreements, if one of the parties in the agreement is just short of an additional seat and the other party has enough "extra" votes beyond the seats they've been allocated, those ‘"extra" votes are transferred to the first party, giving them an additional seat.
During April's elections, Yisrael Beytenu Chairman MK Avigdor Liberman had a vote-sharing agreement with Naftali Bennett's New Right party, while the Blue and White party did not have a vote-sharing agreement with anyone.
"The vote-sharing agreement is a technical issue only," a Yisrael Beytenu representative said. "During the first round of elections we signed with the New Right, which did not pass the electoral threshold."
"In 1999, we signed a vote-sharing agreement with MK Amir Peretz, and we gained a seat. From a technical perspective, we don't have other options right now, and we're not willing to take the risk of losing a Knesset seat that we could have received if we had signed a vote-sharing agreement. All those who decided to give in to Gaza terror and and pay protection money to Hamas, and all those who are silent in the face of the embarrassment and horrible damage to Israel's deterrence, cannot claim to speak in the name of the Right and are not part of Israel's nationalistic camp."
The Democratic Camp responded: "Blue and White's vote-sharing deal with Liberman is their final demise, not just within themselves but also morally. 'No loyalty - no citizenship,' transfers, witnesses who disappear in court, corruption cases, the man who spoke against seculars, against the LGBT community - he is the one the Blue and White chose as their natural partner."
"The Blue and White has raised a white flag, because they do not understand the most important thing: We don't need to win these elections - we MUST win these elections."
The Likud party responded: "The cat is out of the bag. Liberman signed a vote-sharing agreement with [Blue and White leaders MK Yair] Lapid and [MK Benny] Gantz, after he publicly promised to support Gantz and Lapid's bid for premiership. Anyone who wants Netanyahu for prime minister must vote only for the Likud."