Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman 311 (R).
(photo credit: REUTERS/Baz Ratner)
Yisrael Beytenu chairman Avigdor Liberman said on Saturday that his party was no
longer obligated to the coalition, as heads of opposition parties called for
“Our obligation to the coalition has ended, and we are
also obligated to voters, so we are going to make decisions,” Liberman told
Channel 2’s Meet the Press.
Yisrael Beytenu did all it could to keep the
coalition together as long as possible, Liberman said, adding that while the
original date (September 2013) for an election would be best, his party “won’t
be held hostage.”
However, Liberman said all talk about elections must
wait until after May 9, when Yisrael Beytenu’s alternative to the “Tal Law,”
which calls for most haredim and Arabs to enlist in the IDF or participate in
national service programs, will be brought to a vote in the
“After the vote, we will truly know where we are going and
when,” the foreign minister explained.
Meanwhile, Kadima chairman Shaul
Mofaz called for his party to prepare for a vote on October 16, the earliest
possible date for elections after the High Holy Days and Succot.
government’s days are numbered,” Mofaz warned on his Facebook page. “[Prime
Minister Binyamin] Netanyahu has failed in his job, and the time has come to bring hope back to
Mofaz wrote that Netanyahu must start discussing elections
openly and reach an agreement with other parties on the date. If he does not do
so, Kadima will propose a bill to dissolve the Knesset as soon as next
When elections come, the Kadima leader wrote, the citizens of
Israel will choose between “continued apathy and extremism from the current
government, and hope.”
As part of preparations for the elections that
Mofaz was sure will come this year, he has begun discussions with Kadima MKs
about when the party’s internal elections to choose its candidates list for the
next Knesset should be held.
Other opposition party leaders were not
waiting for answers from Netanyahu, as Labor leader Shelly Yacimovich and Meretz
head Zehava Gal-On both proposed bills to dissolve the
Yacimovich said the government was “systematically destroying
solidarity” and “avoiding taking responsibility for the lives of its
The Labor chairwoman said her party was ready for elections,
and would run against the Likud to lead the country.
will be put to a vote in the second week of the Knesset’s summer session, which
starts on Monday, while Gal-On will bring her proposal to the plenum on
Wednesday, the first day possible to do so.
The gap in dates led Kadima
and Meretz to accuse Yacimovich of coordinating her bill with
“Meretz wants to bring the government down, not to join it,
but to replace it with a better government for the State of Israel,” Gal-On
Yacimovich denied the accusations, and called on all opposition
factions to support her proposal.
“This is not the time for baseless
accusations and small-minded politics that probably come from doing badly in the
polls,” she quipped.
“Our challenge is to unite and bring down the
Netanyahu government, which increased the gaps in Israeli society to dangerous
dimensions, shrinking the middle class,” the Labor Party head said.