Hatnua Chairwoman Tzipi Livni, who has refused to say whether she would join a coalition led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said she would act toward establishing a unity government following the January 22 national elections.
"We are facing a diplomatic, social and security emergency situation. I will act with all of my power to establish a central, Zionist unity government to withstand this emergency situation," she told a conference in Eilat on Thursday.
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Addressing the strained relations between Netanyahu and Barack Obama, who reportedly said "Israel doesn't know what its own best interests are," Livni said the US president's harsh remarks were the "tip of the iceberg. Israel, which is already facing growing isolation, is going to get after the elections plans that the world's nations will try to impose on us in the absence of (peace) negotiations."
The Hatnua party leader continued to says that "warnings of a third intifada are being voiced by security elements on a daily basis and Iran is continuing its race (toward a nuclear bomb). The huge deficit the government has created is going to once again fall on the public's shoulders with harsh (economic) measures. A recession is just around the corner.
"This is an emergency situation, and I will therefore act to establish an emergency government. In these elections you must (vote for the candidate) with the most experience to deal with this emergency situation," Livni said.
In a series of interviews with Channel 2, which will be aired Thursday, Labor leader Shelly Yachimovich reiterated that she would not join a Likud-led coalition. "I vow that if I form the next government, Livni will be the foreign minister," she said.
Yachimovich said that while the probability that she would serve as prime minister was low, "it can occur in some sort of constellation. Crawling into a Netanyahu government is unacceptable to me," she told Chanel 2.
The third leader of the Left-Center bloc, Yair Lapid, promised that members of his Yesh Atid party would not serve as ministers-without portfolio in the next government, adding that the party would not join a government which would not promote an equal share of the burden or a "government of the extreme Right and the haredim, which will use the middle-class as if it is its personal ATM."
Habayit Hayehudi leader Naftali Bennett told Channel 2, "There is no chance of achieving peace in this generation. The Tzipi Livnis are deluded."
Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar of the ruling Likud party said, "There is no dispute with the US. There are comments that were published by a certain journalist, but you didn’t hear them from Obama. With all due respect, Netanyahu and Obama work together; there is cooperation in the security-diplomatic field."
Moran Azulay is a Ynet and Yedioth Ahronoth correspondent