Photo Credit: Chaim Goldberg/Flash90
Israel Beiteinu Chairman Avigdor Liberman, September 28, 2023.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Saturday invited Israel Beiteinu Chairman MK Avigdor Liberman to join the political-security cabinet as well as to add another minister to the government on behalf of his faction.

Liberman refused the invitation, presumably because he was not invited to the limited war cabinet of Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, Benny Gantz, Ron Dermer, and Gadi Eisenkot.


“We support and will continue to support all government actions designed to eliminate Hamas and the leaders of Hamas. I am ready to join the War Cabinet in order to bring victory as quickly as possible. I have no interest in being minister number 38 in the government and serving as a fig leaf,” Liberman tweeted Saturday night.

Despite several years of political enmity between Liberman and Netanyahu––after the Israel Beiteinu Chairman refused to join a Netanyahu-led right-wing government in 2019 that included Haredi partners––the Hamas murderous attack last Shabbat convinced Liberman to offer to join a unity government under Netanyahu without preconditions other than a dedication to the destruction of Hamas. But he refused to be taken for granted and to be kept away from where the real decision making too place.

Yesh Atid Chairman and coalition leader MK Yair Lapid continues to condition his joining on the dismissal of Itamar Ben Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich.

According to Israeli media, Netanyahu was not especially excited about inviting Liberman to join, but his Likud Party members as well as Shas Chairman Aryeh Deri made the case for having Liberman on board.

Gantz’s political partner MK Gideon Sa’ar who also joined the unity government, told News 12 on Saturday night that the Gaza Strip “must be smaller at the end of the war” and that “there should be an area that is a security zone and whoever enters it is intercepted.”

Sa’ar added that Israel is at war with Iran and that it must – first of all – neutralize the military capabilities of Hamas. “The settlements in Gaza should not be renewed, nor should we go after the dense population in Gaza, but they do have to pay the price of losing. We must make the end of the campaign clear to everyone around us. Those who start a war against Israel must lose territory.”

NSA head Tzachi Hanegbi said on Saturday night that the government has determined that “Hamas will not be revived. It will not be the sovereign ruler of the Gaza Strip after the war.”

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