Former defense minister and Israel Beiteinu chairman Avigdor Liberman insisted in an interview with Reshet Bet radio Thursday morning that Netanyahu intends to bolster his future coalition government with the Labor contingency in the Knesset, and in return reward Labor chairman Amir Peretz with the presidency after the end of Reuven Rivlin’s term.
Even if Labor only manages to cross the threshold with the minimum four mandates, it should be enough to bring Netanyahu up from 57 (the overall tally of the rightwing bloc seats in most surveys) to the 61-votes needed to form a coalition government.
Liberman added: “He (Netanyahu) has nothing to do with the right, he promotes only two principles: his own ruling with God’s grace and his cult of personality.”
The former DM then issued a litany of complaints against the prime minister, who “overruled a military initiative in Gaza, prevented the return to targeted assassinations, ran to apologize to Erdogan, blocked capital punishment for terrorists – despite his commitment to the bereaved families.”
Liberman, who pledged this week not to recommend to the president a candidate who opposes a unity government composed of Likud and Blue&White, said that “of course Netanyahu has sealed the deal with Amir Peretz, they can deny it from morning till night. When I heard Peretz attacking the left, and when [former coalition whip David] Bittan said that once [Shelly] Yachimovich and [Stav] Shafir were no longer part of Labor, the party has become a proper partner, I understood it. It is clear to me that Peretz’s reward is Netanyahu’s support for the presidency.”
Liberman strongly attacked Netanyahu over the serious incident that had taken place Thursday morning, when a Hamas terrorist entered Israel and wounded an officer and two soldiers (3 IDF Soldiers Wounded in Clash with Hamas Terrorist on Gaza Border). He said Netanyahu “is abandoning long-term Israeli security to buy quiet,” and “allows Hamas to continue unabated.”
“There are two hidden things,” Liberman said, “Netanyahu allows Hamas to continue unabated, and Hamas is growing at the rate of manufacturing two rockets a day that can reach the power station in Hadera. Hamas has received everything it wanted. The conclusion of all the Palestinians is that applying violence against Israel pays off.”
On the other hand, Liberman did not rule out sitting with Netanyahu in the same government, provided it was a “broad unity government.”