Photo Credit: Gideon Markowicz/FLASH90
Uri Ariel of the Jewish Home party Likud party coalition negotiators.
Uri Ariel of the Jewish Home party Likud party coalition negotiators.

Senior officials in the Jewish Home responded to Tzipi Livni’s joining Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s  coalition, saying that it lessens the chances of the Jewish Home joining the government, the Israeli publication Ma’ariv reported today.

The criticism focused on the fact that Livni, who took a turn to the left on foreign policy and territorial issues since her departure from the Likud several years ago, will be allowed to manage the revival of the peace process with the Palestinians.  Shortly after the elections, Livni had made it clear that she would only join a government if she would be given such a position.

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Ma’ariv cited senior Likud officials who responded saying that according to the coalition agreement with Livni, the Prime Minister will be the one to lead the negotiating team and that the Likud wants the Jewish Home to join the coalition.

Livni’s party, the “Movement Led by Tzipi Livni” won six seats in the Knesset, while the Likud-Beitenu won 31 seats. By signing a coalition agreement, the prospective coalition now has 37 seats. Sixty-one seats (a majority of the Knesset) are needed to form a coalition, but even more are needed to form a stable coalition.

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