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Liberman on Maariv's Yom Kippur supplement cover

How much does Avigdor Liberman hate Benjamin Netanyahu? In an exclusive interview to be published in full on Tuesday, in Maariv’s Yom Kippur supplement, the Israel Beiteinu chairman is settling his accounts with the people who until recently have been his political allies, even partners, speaking unabashedly about people he had sat with around the cabinet table.

About Prime Minister Netanyahu, Liberman says: “Bibi’s problem is that once you have a different approach or perception than his, and it goes against his interests, you immediately become his personal enemy. You are immediately accused of hating the prime minister, of being a leftist, of trying to overthrow him. They ignore the facts.”

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When he was reminded by journalist Ben Kaspit that the interview would be published on the eve of Yom Kippur, so maybe he should beg forgiveness for it in advance, Liberman only exacerbated his tone:

“I sincerely apologize to the barnyard animals (the word he used, “beh’hemot,” suggests dimness). Today’s Likud has nothing to do with the Revisionist movement. It is a collection of apparatchiks, starting with the miserable liar Yisrael Katz to the proverbial Haredi-Nationalist [Likud MK Dr.] Shlomo Karai. For them, the Likud is just a platform for a personal political career.”

“An intellectual like [founder of the revisionist movement Ze’ev] Jabotinsky, if he ever listened for one minute to [Minister of Culture and Sports] Miri Regev, who prides herself on never having picked up a book by [Russian playwright and short-story writer Anton Pavlovich] Chekhov, he would have plutzed (Yiddish: burst). It’s an insult to the people of the book. That’s what happens when you take a barnyard animal and put it in the Ministry of Culture.”

Frankly, that last scenario sounds to this reporter more like Gogol or Bulgakov than Chekhov…

Liberman also mused: “I wouldn’t be surprised if Netanyahu and his people run private investigators against me and against my family. This is their way, threats. Unfortunately, Bibi is incapable of understanding concepts like friendship or loyalty.”

In response to the question, “And if they offer you a rotation [as prime minister], what would you say?” Liberman says, “Let them go [Russian expletive]. I am about the essentials, not the rotation.”

Culture Minister Miri Regev responded sharply to Liberman’s attack, saying: “If you asked today on the street who is the most hated person, who is the person who brought us tremendous damage and political chaos over the past year, and who is the main culprit in creating the social rift in Israel, everyone would point at Liberman.”

Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz said: “Liberman is furious that his lies were revealed, including his involvement in the plot, after the April elections, to transfer the mandate from Netanyahu to Gantz, in violation of his commitment to the voter to support PM Netanyahu..”

MK Dr. Shlomo Karai (Likud) added: “What Liberman, the little dictator, does not understand, is that the Likud, as opposed to his own sectoral party, is the people’s party. I’m a proud Haredi-Nationalist, proud of the Likud movement, the people’s movement, and I was elected democratically, contrary to Liberman’s list, which was appointed by only one man.”

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