Netanyahu and Gabbay.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM,REUTERS)
In talks with Labor head Avi Gabbay, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered him the Finance Ministry and three other ministerial positions in an effort to convince him to join his government, according to Channel 12. A Labor party spokesman said the offer was considered and rejected.
A Labor spokesman confirmed that the party has received an offer from Likud that included stopping bills that the party believes would harm democracy, including the Immunity Law.
"Even in Israeli politics there's a boundary to the amount of disgust that the public can absorb. I can't believe that you'd do something like this," Blue and White number two Yair Lapid tweeted in a response addressing Avi Gabbay on Wednesday.
"We will not be a part of the coalition without the finance ministry," the Kulanu party tweeted.
"We promised in the elections that we would not sit with Netanyahu. Promises must be kept," said Chairman of the Labor Party MK Itzik Shmuli in response to news of the offer, according to Maariv. "I don't have any intention to serve in a government under Benjamin Netanyahu with a indictment and to provide a protecting wall for corruption. I call on my colleagues to immediately reject the offer."
"We will not be a life saver for Netanyahu," tweeted MK Amir Peretz of the Labor party. "We will not enter or sit in his government. Every other option is a violation of everything we promised to the public. What we promised will stand."
"I warn every person in my party that even thinks about cutting a coupon destroying the party and joining the corrupt government of Netanyahu, that he will pay a heavy price for this," said opposition leader MK Shelly Yachimovich of the Labor Party. "I will be speaking at the Knesset plenary shortly and I will address this."
A spokesman for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denies reports that he has offered the Finance Portfolio to the Labor and Blue and White parties.
According to a Channel 12 report, Netanyhu offered labor leader Avi Gabbay four portfolios for his six MK faction, including Finance for Gabbay. Channel 13 reported that Netanayhu included Defense and Finance in a package to Blue and White
A Netanyahu spokesman stated that "Kahlon will be finance minster period."
With Labor choosing to reject Netanyahu's offer, the prime minister is left with only two hopes. One is that the Haredi parties would compromise on the conscription bill, which would enable Yisrael Beiteinu to join the coalition. If this fails, then Netanyahu will be focused on ensuring he has enough MKs to vote to disperse the Knesset.
If there is no coalition and the Knesset votes against dissolving, President Reuven Rivlin will meet with the heads of coalition parties in upcoming days to check whether another MK will be able to form a coalition. If Rivlin gives an MK that mandate, he will have four weeks to complete the process.
Gil Hoffman contributed to this report.
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