|Photo by: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post|
Liberman: Case against me weak, I will be cleared
By GIL HOFFMAN
Yisrael Beytenu leader says "all the testimony supports my version of events"; rejects polls that show plummeting support.
Yisrael Beytenu party leader Avigdor Liberman expressed confidence on Wednesday
that he would soon be cleared of the charges of fraud and breach of trust in the
indictment against him that was filed Sunday.
Speaking at a rally for his
party at Kibbutz Shefayim, north of Herzliya, Liberman said that after reading
all the testimony against him, he received an impression that the case against
him was weak.
“I received all the evidence against me and the testimony,”
“All the testimony contradicts the case against me. All
the testimony supports my version of events. But I will present our testimony
and our case in court and I am sure I will be cleared, chair my party and return
to the Foreign Ministry to lead its policies the way they should be led,” he
Responding to the drop in support for Likud-Yisrael Beytenu
joint list in the polls, Liberman said the pollsters were wrong and that the two
parties would do much better than current predictions. He said Yisrael Beytenu
had received a poll from Shvakim Panorama pollster Yossi Vadana predicting 37 to
38 seats for the joint list.
“Usually my gut feelings are more accurate
than any poll,” Liberman said. “I have argued with pollsters and I was always
right. But I got a poll predicting 37 to 38 mandates for us and I am sure it
will be even higher. I am sure we’ll get at least 40 mandates.”
said that in order to prevent smaller factions from being able to extort the
government, Likud-Beytenu required 45 seats. He said Labor, Yesh Atid and The
Tzipi Livni Party would beg to join the coalition.
While in the past
Liberman has insisted on Likud Beytenu keeping the construction and housing and
interior portfolios, in his speech to a crowd made up of members of kibbutzim
and moshavim, he said his party would also claim the agriculture
Liberman praised the nation’s farmers for working the land,
maintaining it and protecting it for the Jewish people. He said a minister from
his party like MK Faina Kirschenbaum or Public Security Minister Yitzhak
Aharonovitch would better than MKs on the Left in representing the kibbutzim and
moshavim as agriculture minister.
“[Labor leader] Shelly Yacimovich
doesn’t represent the farmers, the periphery or the immigrants,” Liberman
“She represents the state of north Tel Aviv, the people who live
between north Tel Aviv and Kfar Shmaryahu.
Meretz represents the
Palestinians in Israel, not the kibbutzim and moshavim,” the Yisrael Beytenu
In response to Liberman’s comments, Yacimovich on Wednesday
described the former foreign minister as “corrupt, extremist and
In a speech at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Yacimovich
asserted that Liberman “never lifted a finger for the periphery specifically and
the public in general, and not even for immigrants from the former Soviet Union,
whom he purports to represent.”
Yacimovich attributed Liberman’s attack
against her to panic over his indictment, and concluded by saying that “it is
shameful that a man like him would be placed second after the prime minister on
the Likud-Beytenu list and that he receives warm hugs from [Prime Minister
Binyamin] Netanyahu on every stage.”