Sources close to Netanyahu gave mixed messages for why Barkat was rejected. One source said it was because Barkat did not pose a threat to Netanyahu. Another said it was because he did.
The government worked secretly through diplomatic ties with the Moroccan government after an initial operation reportedly failed when the Moroccan government blocked it.
"It is not right to make appointments before an election," Economy Minister Eli Cohen told Maariv's Business Conference.
Labor-Gesher-Meretz's ad says its leader Amir Peretz has a "socioeconomic heart" and contrast him with Barkat, who the ad calls "capitalist pig."
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and would-be finance minister Nir Barkat presented their vision for the Israeli economy under continued Likud governance on Sunday.
Likud polls have shown that appointing Barkat as finance minister would help the party attract soft-right voters from Blue and White.
Former Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat is reportedly set to be appointed finance minister.
Channel 12 reported that Barkat cut short a visit to the US on behalf of the Zionist Organization of America. He told Jewish leaders there that he needed to hurry back to Jerusalem.
A roundup of news from around Israel.
Speaking at the Kohelet Forum’s conference on the US decision that settlements are not illegal on Wednesday, Barkat noted that he believed that the US policy shift would be reflected in the plan.