Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's associates approached Labor-Gesher chairman Amir Peretz and offered him several tempting proposals in exchange for joining a Likud-led coalition.
According to a report in Channel 13 News, Peretz refused the offers, said he would not enter into negotiations with the Likud and even refused a phone call from Netanyahu.
One of the proposals received by Peretz was the role of Finance Minister and two other ministries, with Peretz being given the option of “choosing almost anything you want." He was also reportedly offered a raise in the minimum wage to 6,000 shekels and a mandatory pension law.
Peretz on Wednesday commented on the results of the election and sent a message to Netanyahu. "Save your time on phone calls to me. I served as Prime Minister, Defense Minister and a mayor - I am not looking for a job. Nobody should try to tempt us, you have nothing with which to do so. We promised and we will keep that promise - we will not sit with Netanyahu."
"Netanyahu's incitement is eating away at Israeli democracy," Peretz said. "The incitement against Arab citizens is unbearable. Anyone who wants to be Prime Minister in Israel should denounce it, condemn it and banish racist language from the political discourse in Israel."