Lapid, Livni, Bennett call for national unity gov't

Yesh Atid head says he wants government that would exclude haredim; Livni warns Israel in state of emergency, needs emergency government; Bennett calls for unity with Likud, Yesh Atid, repeats opposition to Palestinian state.

Netanyahu in Knesset alone 311 (photo credit: REUTERS)
Netanyahu in Knesset alone 311
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The leaders of Yesh Atid, The Tzipi Livni Party, and Bayit Yehudi all called for a national unity government on Thursday, indicating that something of a Centrist coalition could be on the horizon following the upcoming January 22 national elections.
"I am a responsible person," said Yesh Atid party head Yair Lapid at a conference organized by Ma'ariv. "We can build a national unity government oriented toward economic and social issues - one which is not right-wing extremist and haredi."
Lapid continued: "I guarantee that if there won't be equality in the burden of IDF service, and if there will be higher taxes, we will not sit in the Knesset. If they sell us out, we won't be in government."
Tzipi Livni agreed on the need for unity, saying "We require a national emergency government." Earlier in the day, Livni warned that Israel is in a "state of emergency" and promised to work toward a national unity government that would be Centrist and Zionist in its orientation.
Bayit Yehudi head Naftali Bennett said "We must create an emergency government, oriented towards the economy, with Yair Lapid and [Likud Minister] Yisrael Katz."
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Notably absent from Bennett's statement was Tzipi Livni, who has billed herself as the only candidate that will work towards a peace deal with the Palestinians. "I am against a Palestinian state," said Bennett. "The land of Israel has been ours for 3,800 years."
According to a Smith Research poll conducted this week for The Jerusalem Post and the financial newspaper Globes, the Yesh Atid party is set to win 11 seats. Both the Bayit Yehudi and The Tzipi Livni Party are sliding in popularity, however, with the poll showing Bennett's party taking 13 seats and Livni's taking just seven.