Israel Beitenu still possible partner

"The ball is in Kadima's court; Olmert should consider what's best."

Avigdor Lieberman 248.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
Avigdor Lieberman 248.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
Israel Beitenu Chairman Avigdor Lieberman assured the public on Sunday that there was still a possibility that his party would join Interim Prime Minsiter Ehud Olmert's nascent coalition. "The ball is in Kadima's court," Lieberman said, contradicting the pundits' expectation of an announcement that coalition negotiations between the two parties had failed and Israel Beitenu would not sit in the Olmert's government. Lieberman expressed his firm opinion that it would be to Olmert's advantage to join forces with Israel Beitenu instead of with Labor. "It would be better to put together a Right-Center party," he said, "Voters don't want a left-wing government. If Meretz joins the coalition, the government will become strongly Left." He guaranteed that Israel Beiteinu was a loyal party, indicating that if it was to join the coalition, Olmert would have the support of 11 MKs. Referring to the internal strife in Labor and the rumors that it would split up, Lieberman said that, in spite of the 19 mandates that Peretz's party had received in the elections, it was only good for 12 MKs "at best." As far as the guidelines of the nascent government, Lieberman insisted that his party could never support Olmert's convergence plan, but assured that it would never come to pass anyway. He noted the cost of the disengagement, and that implementing the much more extensive convergence would not be economically feasible. "What you want is one thing, and what you can get is another," Lieberman said. An entire movement can't be discounted, he insisted, and reiterated that Olmert should consider what was best for his government.