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Barak and Netanyahu – chauvinists? Photo: Sebastian Scheiner
Barak and Netanyahu – chauvinists? Photo: Sebastian Scheiner
 
 

Barak, Bibi meet; Livni's associates upset

Defense minister, opposition chairman meet in wake of Livni win; Barak to meet newly elected Kadima chairman Sunday. Meanwhile, her associates slam Bibi-Barak meeting as 'chauvinistic'

Attila Somfalvi
Latest Update: 09.21.08, 00:05 / Israel News

Tensions rising: Likud Chairman Benjamin Netanyahu met Saturday evening with Labor Chairman Ehud Barak at the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv.

 

The two were expected to discuss recent political developments in the wake of Tzipi Livni's win in the Kadima primaries. Barak said he is interested in the formation of an emergency national unity government, yet Netanyahu rejected this option thus far.

 

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Later Saturday, the offices of both figures said Bibi and Barak spoke for more than an hour and half and discussed the security situation, the diplomatic process, and economic issues on the agenda.

 

Meanwhile, Barak spoke with Livni and agreed to meet with her Sunday.

 

Livni's associates slammed the meeting, telling Ynet that Barak and Netanyahu were conducting themselves immorally.

 

"What they're doing is chauvinism: Two men are getting together in order to screw the meidele (young girl in Yiddish.) This is simply a disgrace," said one Livni associate. "Ehud Barak should not be known as Mr. Security, but rather, as Mr. Horse-Trading."

 

However, earlier in the evening senior Labor officials who are closely associated with Barak relayed messages to Livni, making it clear that most of them wish to form a government in the current format. The senior officials asked Livni and her people "not to take the Barak-Netanyahu meeting seriously."

 

'Ball is in Kadima's court'

Several hours after her victory, Livni embarked on unofficial contacts with other parties aimed at forming a new government. However, it appears that the Labor party, Kadima's senior coalition partner, is in no rush to take decisions at this time.

 

In closed-door sessions following the Kadima primaries, Barak said that he is interested in seeing a broad emergency government being formed. He added, however, that the "ball is in Kadima's court."

 

"After we led all the important processes in their party for them, the time has come for Kadima to declare where it's going and what it intends to do," the defense minister said. "The time has come for them to take the reigns."

 

During Friday morning's Kadima faction session, Livni criticized the Labor party and said she is not scared of new elections.

 

"New elections don't frighten me," she said. "They're merely unnecessary. If Labor thinks that elections are needed, too bad it didn't do it two months ago."

 

First Published: 09.20.08, 21:59

 

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