Minister Yariv Levin today sent a letter to Yisrael Beyteinu faction head MK Oded Forer in response to the list of demands passed by his party to the Likud party as prerequisites to form a coalition.
"I was surprised to receive your letter in question, which allegedly involved conditions for forming a government and joining the coalition. I assume that your request was addressed to Knesset Members Ayman Odeh, Ahmed Tibi, and the members of the Joint Arab List, and sent to me by mistake," Levin writes to Forer.
To read the full letter in the original Hebrew click here.
He adds that "in case this is not a mistake, your appeal is most surprising since it is in complete contradiction to the repeated announcements by your party Chairman MK Avigdor Liberman, where he refuses to sit in a government headed by Likud Chairman Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. This, while your party chairman even declared that Prime Minister Netanyahu 'must retire'."
Levin asks Forer to clarify his message: "I'd appreciate your clarification that the Yisrael Beyteinu Party is retracting MK Avigdor Liberman's statements, and that your party wishes to sit in a national government headed by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu."
In addition, the Minister makes it clear that a basic condition for dialogue between the two parties is Yisrael Beyteinu's declaring support for Netanyahu to the President. "Also, and as you well know, in order for us to be able to hold coalition negotiations with you, the Prime Minister is required to receive a mandate from the President of the State to assemble the government. In light of this, and to the extent that your application is serious and honest, and in order to be able to negotiate a government, I would like to receive your party's commitment to recommend the Prime Minister, MK Binyamin Netanyahu, to receive the mandate for the next government."
Earlier, Forer brought to Ministers Yariv Levina and Ze'ev Elkin the preconditions which Avigdor Liberman demands before joining a coalition led by the Likud party.
The terms, released last week, are completely identical to the conditions set by Yisrael Beytenu during the negotiations for the 21st and 22nd Knesset:
1. Determine a minimum retirement income threshold of 70% of the minimum wage.
2. Transfer of powers to operate public transport and lure businesses on Saturday from the central government to the local government.
3. Pass on its second and third reading the draft law enacted in the first reading of the 20th Knesset.
4. A Law permitting civil marriage.
5. Allowing city rabbis to set up conversion courts rather than the Chief Rabbinate's courts..
Forer claimed that so far, even in the previous two rounds, he has not received the Likud's response to the conditions set by his party.