Barak rules out coalition with Liberman

"Liberman must also be moved out of the way," Barak said in an interview with KAN radio.

August 12, 2019 03:04
1 minute read.
Barak rules out coalition with Liberman

Ehud Barak announces the formation of a new party on June 26 at Beit Sokolov in Tel Aviv. (photo credit: CORINNA KERN/REUTERS)

Former prime minister Ehud Barak announced on Sunday morning that his Democratic Union party would not agree to join a coalition that would include Avigdor Liberman’s Yisrael Beytenu party.

The Democratic Union has also ruled out coalitions with the United Right, Otzma Yehudit and Likud, whether or not the party is led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The party – led by Nitzan Horowitz, Stav Shaffir and Barak – has differentiated itself from both Blue and White and Labor, which have ruled out joining a Netanyahu-led government but have said that the Likud without him could be a potential coalition partner.

This was the first time the Democratic Union announced that it was also ruling out Yisrael Beytenu, even though Liberman has expressed willingness to facilitate the formation of a coalition led by Blue and White leader Benny Gantz. “Liberman must also be moved out of the way,” Barak said in an interview with KAN radio.

An Yisrael Beytenu spokesman said in response that Liberman would only join what he calls a “national emergency government,” that includes Yisrael Beytenu, Likud and Blue and White.”

A group of activists in Labor called “Thelma’s Friends” claims to represent more than 1,000 Labor members and voted over the weekend to leave Labor en masse for the Democratic Union. The group hosted Barak for a speech the evening before the Democratic Union was founded.

Its leaders have already had their membership in Labor revoked by Labor secretary-general Eran Hermoni in a purge of members who criticized the party’s decision to merge with Gesher and not with Meretz and Barak. “We see the Democratic Union as the new home for the values of Labor,” the group said in a statement.

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