Yesh Atid and Bayit Yehudi sources gave lukewarm responses to reports that the
two formed a bloc and will go enter the coalition or opposition
A Yesh Atid strategist said she isn't denying the Ma'ariv
report, but that it's "exaggerated." A source close to MK Uri Ariel, who is
leading the Bayit Yehudi negotiating team, also called the report an
exaggeration, saying "we're not going to the opposition just because Lapid
doesn't get what he wants." Still, the source that the two parties coordinated
stances on issues like lowering the number of ministers in the government, what
should be cut in the upcoming budget and decreasing the deficit.
addition, the source explained, both sides hope to see more haredim enlist in
the IDF or do national service, but have different ideas about how to go about
Meanwhile, Likud Beytenu negotiations team leader attorney David Shimron summed up two days
of negotiations on Monday evening by saying he was instructed by Prime Minister
Binyamin Netanyahu to build the widest coalition possible
many ways to do this, and we will work on it in the coming days," Shimron
stated. "There are gaps, and we will work [to bridge them]." UTJ leaders Deputy
Health Minister Ya'acov Litzman and MK Moshe Gafni expressed optimism on their
way out of talks in Kfar Hamaccabia in Ramat Gan Monday.
"It was a good
talk. We were in the coalition with [Likud Beytenu] for four years, so we feel
at home," Gafni explained, adding that it's hard to know what will happen as
"We're loyal coalition partners, who don't make problems,
which is why we expect Likud Beytenu to deal with issues that are hard for them
in order to keep us," Litzman added, in reference to issues of haredi
The Tzipi Livni Party said its place in the coalition or
opposition depends on whether the party is allowed to lead peace talks with the
A senior party source explained that, with only six seats,
the party must keep promises based on its central issue, or it will die in the
When asked whether this means the party is demanding Livni
be Foreign Minister, former Prime Minister's Office director-general Yossi Kucik
said they are not discussing portfolios yet.
"We won't be a fig leaf for
a right-wing coalition," Kucik added.
"At the end of the day, the make-up
of the coalition influences the government's agenda," MK Yoel Hasson
Kadima was represented by attorney Yossi Gelhardt and MK Yisrael
Hasson described the talks and the Likud Beytenu team as
"pleasant," and said Kadima's position is essentially the same as it was when it
joined the coalition last May, with an emphasis on equality in the burden of
service and electoral reform.
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