Tzipi Livni 311 Ariel J.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu probed opposition leader Tzipi Livni and MK
Tzahi Hanegbi about the possibility of Kadima joining a national unity
government in meetings last week, Kadima and Likud sources confirmed
The sources denied reports that Kadima was en route to the
government or that progress had been made in talks behind the scenes. They said
neither Netanyahu nor Livni had changed their original positions that have
prevented a government between them in the past.
Kadima still opposes
joining the current government without setting new coalition guidelines
of taking steps to expedite the diplomatic process, and Netanyahu still
showing the door to any of his current coalition partners.
“There is no
chance that Netanyahu has changed his mind,” Hanegbi said. “He asked us
thought about widening the government. We said we cannot join the
as-is, but Kadima would have no problem with going back to square one
forming new guidelines. If the other parties want to stay, they
Livni told the Kadima faction on Monday said she was not interested
in saving the current government but in changing its policies and the
“Nothing has changed in my stance, which I explain
everywhere,” she said.
While a Likud source said they sensed a change in
Livni, sources close to her denounced recent speculation as political
said Labor chairman Ehud Barak’s recent comments about widening the
were tactical efforts to ease pressure on him from inside his party to
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Barak was quoted last week saying at an internal Labor meeting
that if Kadima was not added to the coalition by the end of the year or
substantial progress was not made in the diplomatic process, Labor would
the government. His spokesman denied the quotes.
Labor ministers Isaac
Herzog and Avishay Braverman have said that Labor should quit if there
diplomatic breakthrough by September. Labor MK Amir Peretz has called
Likud an ultimatum that if Kadima did not join immediately, Labor would
Barak’s political opponents in Labor said he actually opposed
Livni joining the government, but he was calling for adding Kadima in
pressure Netanyahu to make concessions in the diplomatic process and
promise to renew settlement construction when the moratorium ends at the
The Likud Central Committee is expected to pass a proposal on
Thursday calling for the resumption of construction following the end of
10-month freeze. Netanyahu does not oppose the proposal, but he plans to
the event in order to downplay its significance.
The Central Committee
meeting was initiated by Likud hawk Danny Danon in order to pressure
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