Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu open mouth 311 (R).
(photo credit: REUTERS/Yin Dongxun)
It is extremely unlikely that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will join
together in a national-unity government even if the prime minister agrees to US
President Barack Obama’s plan to restart negotiations with the Palestinians,
sources in Likud and Kadima said Monday.
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Senior officials in Likud and
Kadima have endorsed the idea of a unity government in recent days including
dovish MKs Dan Meridor (Likud) and Michael Eitan (Likud), Kadima faction chair
Dalia Itzik and former MK Tzahi Hanegbi.
Itzik met with Eitan and they
agreed that a unity government was necessary. Eitan urged Itzik to speak about
the issue with Netanyahu.
Itzik told Yediot Aharonot
that the campaign to
delegitimize Israel internationally required unity and that it was the will of
the people, but even she admitted in an interview with The Jerusalem Post two
weeks ago that it was unlikely to happen.
“As an almost fervent supporter
of a unity government, and as someone who failed abysmally in my attempts to
establish one after the last elections, I am sorry to say – I’ll say something
that I don’t think many politicians are willing to say – that a lot of ego
prevented a unity government,” she said.
“At the end of the day, I
imagined a project-based government that put egos aside in order to advance a
plan that took into consideration the diplomatic-security picture.”
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added that no one was exclusively to blame for the lack of a unity government
but that had there been a diplomatic initiative, it would have been easier for
such a coalition to arise.
“It is not just the fault of the prime
minister,” she said.
“Bibi is not guilty in everything. He is
quite responsible for a large part of it, but not everything that happened is
because of him. It would be stupid and superficial to say that it was. It is
correct to say that the lack of initiative that was here – any initiative – is a
tactical and practical error.”
Hanegbi told Israel Radio that only a
diplomatic initiative could save Israel from crisis and that only with Kadima in
the government could Netanyahu advance such a plan.
He said it was not
too late for the largest parties to join forces, but he expressed doubt that
Netanyahu, Livni, or Kadima’s number two, MK Shaul Mofaz, would be interested in
unity at this stage.
Likud officials said the current government was
stable and allowed Netanyahu nearly free reign on the diplomatic front so there
was no reason to change the coalition.
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