Lieberman: Bibi is running Likud wrong

Israel Beiteinu leader says Netanyahu pandering to centrist voters.

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
December 21, 2005 19:35
1 minute read.
Avigdor Lieberman Israel Beiteinu 298.88

Avigdor Lieberman 248.88. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])

 
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Israel Beiteinu leader Avigdor Lieberman slammed new Likud chairman Binyamin Netanyahu for running the Likud incorrectly. Lieberman, who ran the Likud together with Netanyahu as the party's director-general in the mid-1990s, said that Netanyahu should be sticking to the Likud's traditional ideology instead of pandering to centrist voters. "The Likud is making a mistake by trying to be another Kadima and not the Likud," Lieberman said in an interview with The Jerusalem Post at his party's headquarters in Jerusalem's Romema neighborhood. Lieberman said that seeing Netanyahu on the news returning to his former office at the Likud's Tel Aviv headquarters felt strange for him. "I didn't feel any nostalgia," Lieberman said. "It was a complicated feeling, because we were together there for many years. But life is strange and we have gone in different directions. I am happy for him on a personal level, but at the same time, it's harder for me to run against Netanyahu than it would have been to fight Silvan Shalom, because we fight for the same constituency of secular, right wing and Russian voters." Pointing to a framed copy of the Betar song on the wall of his office, Lieberman said he intends to take voters away from the Likud by portraying Israel Beiteinu as the real Revisionist party. But Lieberman acknowledged that he has strayed from the traditional Likud ideology with his plan to trade the Palestinians land dominated by Arabs in the Galilee for settlement blocs in Judea and Samaria. He said that Israel must make such a deal to survive. "I always said that we were not right, left or center but rational," Lieberman said. "If there is a conflict between the unity of the land and the unity of the people, the completeness of the people wins. That's s my choice and my point of view."

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