Former president Shimon Peres at the EduAction Forum..
(photo credit: DAN BLILATI)
Former president Shimon Peres asked the leaders of the two most dovish parties in Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s governing coalition to leave and force elections, Channel 2’s Rina Matzliah reported over the weekend.
The report said Peres relayed a message in closed conversations to Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid that he should quit together with Hatnua leader Tzipi Livni. If both parties had left Netanyahu’s government, it could have stayed together if haredi (ultra-Orthodox) parties decided to join a coalition, but elections would have been the most likely scenario.
“The Netanyahu government has reached the end of its path,” Peres was quoted as saying. “It did not meet my expectations and did not advance the diplomatic process.”
Sources close to Peres, Lapid, and Livni did not confirm the report. A source close to the finance minister said he had not spoken to the former president in months, or received messages from him.
Peres is more at liberty to criticize Netanyahu than when he was president, a post considered more statesmanlike and apolitical.
His successor, President Reuven Rivlin, committed a gaffe Sunday night in a speech at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center when he referred to the legacy of [former prime minister Yitzhak] Rabin rather than Begin by mistake.