Though the meeting of the Left-Center bloc, called with the intent to form a united front ahead of the nearing elections,
did not yield any significant results, Habayit Hayehudi Chairman Naftali Bennett
stated Monday that "It seems that the prime minister's plan is, I'm afraid, to form a leftwing government – Likud, Tzipi Livni,
Amram Mitzna and Amir Peretz."
Bennett criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
for his ties with the left, adding that "Last time a national government was elected, a moment after the elections (Netanyahu) welcomed Barak in. such a government will again start a futile diplomatic move instead of dealing with the real issues."
Bennett attacked what he called "The Left's obsession with relinquishing parts of the land into the hands of the enemy," adding: "We can't have peace with the Palestinians.
Enough. How long can we talk about this? We can only reach coexistence, and those who can reach it are not the ones who go to Annapolis, but rather the settlers, who drive alongside them in Route 60, stand next to them in supermarket checkouts and work with them. We haven’t a shred of hatred for Arabs. The time has arrived for a 'supermarket peace.'"
Chairwoman Tzipi Livni told Ynet Monday that she will not join Netanyahu's government without any other Left-Center party, adding that "No party in the bloc should join the government independently."
Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid
has previously announced he would not join a government that was comprised exclusively of rightists and haredi parties without any other left-center parties.
Labor Chairwoman Shelly Yachimovich,
however, insisted that she will not join Netanyahu's government under any circumstances – even if fellow left-center parties decide to join coalition. According to Yachimovich, therein lies the core of the three's disagreements.
A team player? Livni (Photo: Benny Deutsch)
"If Livni and Lapid join Netanyahu's government, it will be very unfortunate," Yachimovich told Ynet. "I intend to either be the one to form a government or be part of the opposition."
"Unfortunately, last night's meeting ended without the results I was hoping for," Livni said, adding that "Nonetheless, it signifies a change in this election."
'We're realists'In the meeting held Sunday night by the Left-Center bloc – Livni, Lapid and Labor Yachimovich – Livni proposed a twofold plan, for "before" and "after" the elections. "First, according to my proposal, we'd work together and cooperate in any way we can to constitute a government led by us.
"That means that we commit ourselves to recommend to the president someone from within the bloc, that we join forces in the campaign and deliver a clear message stating that anyone who doesn’t want Netanyahu should vote for one of the centrist parties. We are the alternative and we will convince more and more people who don’t want Netanyahu to vote for one of us.
"As for the second stage, pertaining to post-election processes, if we succeeded (to win the elections), we've achieved our goal, and if we haven’t, we form the opposition and the people of Israel are left with a government of haredim and radical-right.
"My proposal was that neither of us served as a fig-leaf for such a government. The three of us will continue to coordinate our moves after the elections to promote the issues that are important to us. We can force a grand coalition."
Lapid told Ynet that "We're realists; we shouldn’t be living in a fantasy world – If Netanyahu wins the elections and forms the next government, we shouldn’t enable the founding of a radical rightwing and haredi government. We should strive for a moderate government."
Lapid referred to Livni's proposal, saying: "I understand that a lot of people have had dreams of a united bloc, but there was an abuse of that dream; a promotion of something that is impossible in the eyes of the law so as to incite drama. It's also impossible because of unshared values. We present completely different values. We're not a Left-Central party, we're a centrist party."
Kobi Nahshoni and Roee Weinberg contributed to this report
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