Former foreign minister Avigdor Liberman will return to his job if he is
exonerated, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said on Friday.
person has the right to prove his innocence, and Avigdor Liberman also has this
opportunity,” Netanyahu said in reference to the Yisrael Beytenu leader’s legal
“I hope and believe he will do so quickly.”
minister gave interviews to television Channels 1, 2 and 10 on Friday, his first
since an election was declared two months ago.
“Liberman will finish this
process. He did the right thing in resigning, because he wanted to expedite the
dealings with this issue so he can return to a senior position,” Netanyahu
When asked if a “senior position” includes the Defense
portfolio, Netanyahu said Liberman specifically asked to be foreign minister
“The foreign ministry is in my hands at the moment, and I hope
that he will return to the government quickly,” he added.
not directly address whether he plans to appoint Defense Minister Ehud Barak to
his position again, even though Barak is not running in the January 22
“I’m not giving out jobs,” he said.
However, the prime
minister emphasized that the Likud will take the Construction and Housing
“I plan to do to housing prices what we did to cell prices,”
Netanyahu said, referring to reforms by Communications Minister Moshe
“To do that, we need this ministry in our hands, the Israel Land
Authority in our hands, meaning in the government and under my
Although Shas co-leader Ariel Attias is currently Housing
Minister, Netanyahu did not commit to leaving the Sephardic haredi party outside
of the coalition, saying that he is not discounting any
Netanyahu also explained his refusal to participate in election
“I think the public can judge me, anyway,” he said. “Debates are
very nice for the media, but the public can judge. It knows who will take care
of the big problems. It needs, it wants a strong prime minister with a strong
party behind him. Whoever wants to strengthen me, should give power to my
“I would vote for me [as prime minister],” Netanyahu quipped.