Elon: I'd even sit with Meretz in an anti-pullout gov't

NU-NRP leader: Uprooting settlements likely in absence of Palestinian partner.

February 20, 2006 00:17
2 minute read.
benny elon 298.88

benny elon 298.88. (photo credit: [file])


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


MK Benny Elon, who heads the new National Union-National Religious Party bloc, would not only be willing to join a government formed by Kadima chairman Ehud Olmert, he would even agree to enter a coalition with the leftist Meretz Party, he said in an interview with The Jerusalem Post that will be published on Tuesday. Elon conditioned joining the coalition on the government not uprooting settlements - a scenario that he believes is likely without a Palestinian partner. He said even if Labor chairman Amir Peretz wins the March 28 elections, the NU-NRP could join a government focused on socioeconomic issues.

    See JPost.com's hottest articles this past week [click here]
"We don't boycott people," Elon said. "We could join the coalition if Olmert decides that because there is no partner on the Palestinian side, the government's efforts need to be focused on socioeconomic issues and education. Allowing diplomatic issues to set the agenda at a time when there is no partner would be a waste of time." Elon said without a Palestinian partner "even Labor cannot uproot settlements," and therefore, "even if Peretz wins and he asks us to join a government with a socioeconomic and educational agenda, I say, 'Why not?' I have no problem sitting in a coalition on socioeconomic issues, even with Meretz." Prior to disengagement, Elon had tried unsuccessfully to enlist Meretz's help in toppling Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's government by preventing the passage of the 2005 state budget. He said to sit in a government together, Meretz would have to put socioeconomic issues at the top of its agenda. "The [Meretz MKs] were willing to vote for the budget and give up their socioeconomic agenda to allow disengagement to happen," Elon said. "All the social justice they talk about took a back seat. What keeps them together is just their hatred of the settlers. I would sit with them in the government if they could get over their irrational hatred." Elon said he considered the new NU-NRP bloc the first step toward building a solid right-wing bloc that could prevent Kadima from forming a coalition, and then, as the basis for a ruling party. "Short-term, we want the public to see that together with the religious parties, Likud and Yisrael Beiteinu, it is possible to build a bloc of 61 MKs that could prevent Kadima from forming a coalition," Elon said. "Long-term, we want to present an alternative ruling party built by a different community, a community of believers." Elon said polls indicating the Likud had fallen to as low as 13 mandates presented an opportunity for the NU-NRP bloc to replace it as the leading party on the Right. He predicted that the Likud would never recover from the Gaza Strip withdrawal that divided the party. "The political 'big bang' that Sharon used to explode the Likud necessitates doing something different," Elon said. "It would be easier, more practical and more right to build a new framework - a new house - than to remodel the old Likud house that has been destroyed."

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Jisr az-Zarq
April 3, 2014
Residents of Jisr az-Zarqa beckon Israel Trail hikers to enjoy their town