If any more evidence is needed regarding MK Avigdor Lieberman's desire to join the government, here it is: the Israel Our Home chairman called Shas chairman and Minister of Industry, Trade, and Labor Eli Yishai Tuesday morning and spoke with him about the coalition and the possibility of Israel Our Home joining it.
Throughout the call it became apparent that they were both in the Golan Heights and Liberman was invited to visit Yishai's sukkah, built near a guest house Yishai was staying at.
Lieberman didn't miss the opportunity to straighten things out between the two parties and arrived at Yishai's sukkah. The two discussed Israel Our Home's bid to join the government and a possible change of the government system in Israel.
Yishai told Lieberman that Shas didn't intend to back down on the issue of civil marriage and that it views the matter as a "red line" that must not be crossed. After the visit Shas estimated that Lieberman would not insist on the issue of civil marriage to allow his party to join the coalition. But Lieberman's associates say that "civil union was and remains a fundamental precondition for (his) joining the government."
Changing government system
Yishai stressed that he sees Israel Our Home as a worthy and wanted coalition partner at this time. The two agreed to speak again in the near future.
The civil marriage law, which has not been passed yet, defines 'civil marriage' as "an agreement between a man and a woman to live together as partners and maintain a joint family and household life, in accordance with this law, without marrying each other according to religious law."
MK Gilad Erden (Likud) said in response to the meeting: "It's odd that their visit to the north and their meetings with a public dealing with the ramifications of the last war brought Yishai and Lieberman to discuss the expansion of the government instead of drawing them to the obligatory conclusion that the government must be dissolved and replaced with a better government."
Last weekend PM Ehud Olmert met with Lieberman and the two agreed that with the start of the coming Knesset session their two parties will advance legislation towards a change in the existing government system and draft a bill for an Israeli constitution.
Parties within the political system said that the meaning of the agreement, which was officially released by the PM's office, is a move on Israel Our Home's part towards entering the government.