Netanyahu confirms wanting Lieberman for Likud

Opposition leader confirms 'Post' report that he held talks with Lieberman; Lieberman: I will not join Bibi.

binyamin netanyahu 88 29 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
binyamin netanyahu 88 29
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Likud chairman Binyamin Netanyahu confirmed a report by The Jerusalem Post published Friday, that he was interested in recruiting Israel Beitenu leader Avigdor Lieberman to run on a joint list for the next Knesset. In an interview to Army Radio on Wednesday, Netanyahu was at first reluctant to confirm the report, saying only that "there will be a nationalist camp. I don't know if there'll be an alignment of parties." Only when the presenter asked Netanyahu whether the "nationalist camp" he had in mind would be similar to the presentation of the Likud in the 1996 elections, when the party ran with Gesher (a small party started by David Levy and David Magen, both formerly of Likud) and Tzomet (led by Rafael Eitan z"l), Netanyahu confirmed that "that's a possibility, we haven't discussed it yet, but I think it's possible [the idea is] in the air and I think it's important." But on Sunday Lieberman rejected the proposal, saying the obstacles between his party and the Likud were not personal but ideological. He also denied having an interest in challenging Netanyahu for the Likud leadership. "There is a gap in the outlooks of the parties," Lieberman said. "We are a right-wing secular movement with a clear socioeconomic and civilian agenda. We want the Likud to adopt our approach on changing the government system, conversion and civil unions. I'm not playing games of ego. There are people in Israeli politics who behave differently, not just ambitions and personal pretensions."