'Lieberman not really in rightist bloc'

Kadima official to 'Post': Lieberman "pragmatic," Israel Beiteinu more of a natural partner than Likud.

By AMIR MIZROCH
February 11, 2009 11:16
2 minute read.
'Lieberman not really in rightist bloc'

lieberman gets drunk 248.88. (photo credit: AP)

 
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Hoping to entice Avigdor Lieberman's Israel Beiteinu away from the right-wing bloc and harm Likud leader Binyamin Netanyahu's chances of forming a coalition, a Kadima official told The Jerusalem Post Wednesday that Israel Beiteinu was more of a natural partner than Likud, and that Lieberman's party was "not really in the right-wing bloc." "They are not on the Right on the issue of a two-state solution. They support that solution, but they want a land swap. They are not on the Right on state-religion issues and they are not on the Right on the issue of changing the system of government. Lieberman is pragmatic and he can definitely be in the coalition," the top Kadima official said. He added that Kadima would like to form as broad a coalition as possible, but would settle for a Kadima-Labor-Israel Beitenu-UTJ coalition, which would give it about 63 Knesset seats. Environmental Protection Minister Gideon Ezra said, "Kadima has a common cause with Israel Beitenu on several issues, including changing the electoral system and the Civil Union issues. Housing and Construction Minister Ze'ev Boim said that the gap between Kadima and Likud was "too small," while the right-wing bloc was "too large." "We are confident that we can form a national unity government with Kadima at its base," he said. "The country is facing multiple crises and a unity government is a national necessity. But it is going to be very hard. Netanyahu waited so long to be prime minister. But he is not alone in this game; he has a party behind him with needs and pressures. I know Bibi and the people in the Likud and I don't think it's a fantasy that a national unity government will be formed."

Lior Chorev, another top Kadima strategist, said that the president "has to allow Livni the chance to form a coalition." "It's going to be difficult, but if she gets a chance she will succeed," said Chorev. "The last time she had the opportunity to do it she decided not to burden the Israeli taxpayer with billions of shekels paid to the ultra-Orthodox. Livni has a backbone that Netanyahu never had. This time, she can get the moderate Left and the moderate Right. We will ask Netanyahu to join us. We know he is hurting now, but he'll take the next 48 hours to recover and then we'll talk to him. Lieberman can also join without too many problems. Lieberman's campaign is far from what he is when he's in the government, he's much more practical." For more of Amir's articles and posts, visit his personal blog Forecast Highs

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