Netanyahu rejects running with Kadima

Netanyahu last week ruled out speculation that he would seek a merger with Kadima, Independence.

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
June 10, 2012 01:52
1 minute read.
Mofaz and Netanyahu at cabinet meeting

Mofaz and Netanyahu at cabinet meeting 370. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu last week ruled out speculation that he would seek a merger with Kadima and Defense Minister Ehud Barak’s Independence faction, a notion that has been floating around the political establishment over the past two months.

According to one rumor, Netanyahu would split the Likud as former prime minister Ariel Sharon did when he formed Kadima. Others said Netanyahu would keep the Likud together but seek to add left-wing elements to balance out the increasing influence of thousands of settlers who have joined the party.

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Netanyahu rejected both of those ideas in conversations with Likud ministers and MKs on Wednesday ahead of a vote in the Knesset on the controversial “Outpost Bill.”

“I will not merge the factions and I will not bring Kadima members into the Likud,” he told the politicians in comments first revealed by Israel HaYom. “I will not reserve a slot for Barak on the Likud list.”

In the closed conversations, Netanyahu said he did not believe the five Independence MKs would be an electoral asset for the Likud. He spoke even stronger against the membership of the Kadima Party.

“Why would I want to bring into the Likud Kadima members who were loyal to Ariel Sharon and who dislike me?” Netanyahu was quoted as saying by the politicians.

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